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1 Lesson 7 Interpersonal Attraction and Relationships.

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1 1 Lesson 7 Interpersonal Attraction and Relationships

2 2 Lesson Outline  Who Is Available?  Who Is Desirable?  The Determinants of Liking  The Growth of Relationships  Love and Loving  Breaking Up

3 3 Interpersonal Attraction & Developing Relationships  Interpersonal Attraction is a positive attitude held by one person toward another person.  Relationships develop in stages.

4 4 Stages of Development and Outcome of Relationships 1. Who is available - What determines with whom we come into contact? 2. Who is desirable? 3. What are the determinants of attraction or liking? 4. How do friendship and love develop between two people? 5. What is love? 6. What determines whether love thrives or dies?

5 5 Who Is Available?  Available means people with whom we come into contact, no matter how fleeting. –Potential friends and lovers come from the field of availables.  Two basic influences determine who is available. 1.Institutional structures – influence our personal encounters. 2.Individuals’ personal characteristics –influence their choice of activities.

6 6 Factors That Influence our Choices  Three factors influence whom we select: 1.Our daily routines make some more accessible. 2.Proximity makes it more rewarding to interact with some people rather than others. 3.Familiarity produces a positive attitude toward those with whom we repeatedly come into contact. Mere exposure effect = repeated exposure to the same novel stimulus is sufficient to produce a positive attitude toward it.

7 7 Contact and Relationships  Contact by itself does not ensure the development of a relationship.  Whether a relationship between two people develops depends on whether each is attracted to the other.

8 8 Who Is Desirable?  We choose among available candidates, based on several criteria. –Social norms tell us what kinds of people are appropriate as friends, lovers, and mentors. –We prefer a more physically attractive person, for esthetic reasons and because we expect rewards from associating with that person. –We choose based on our expectations about the rewards and costs of potential relationships.

9 9 Norm of Homogamy  Norm of Homogamy is a norm that tell us which persons are appropriate as friends, lovers, and mentors. –In U.S. society this norms requires that friends, lovers, and spouses be similar in age, race, religion, and socioeconomic status.  Research shows that homogamy is characteristic of all types of social relationships from acquaintance to intimate.

10 10 Matching Hypothesis  According to this hypothesis, people seek partners whose level of social desirability is about equal to their own.  Contrary to this hypothesis, research has shown that students preferred a more attractive date, regardless of their own attractiveness. –Cultural standards influence our esthetic judgments. –One anticipates more reward when he/she associates with attractive persons.

11 11 Attractiveness Stereotype  The belief that “what is beautiful is good”.  Research finds that we believe physically attractive people have more favorable personality traits and are more likely to be successful. –More than 70 studies found that attractiveness has a moderate influence on how sensitive, kind, and interesting a person is. –It has less influence on judgments of intelligence, and no influence on judgments of integrity.

12 12 Evolutionary Perspective on Attractiveness  According to the evolutionary perspective, men and women have an evolved disposition to mate with healthy individuals, so that they will produce healthy offspring, who will in turn mate and pass on their genetic code.  Thus, we prefer young, attractive partners because they have high reproductive potential.

13 13 Choosing Friends: The Exchange Theory  According to the exchange theory, people evaluate interactions and relationships in terms of the rewards and costs that each is likely to entail. –They calculate likely outcomes by subtracting anticipated costs from anticipated rewards. –If the expected outcome is positive, people are inclined to initiate or maintain the relationship. –If the expected outcome is negative, they are unlikely to initiate a new relationship or to stay in an ongoing relationship.

14 14 Communicating Interest  Once in proximity, a stranger attracted to another person wants to communicate interest without making a commitment to interaction.  Women will try to control the interaction; to do so, they will initially use nonverbal cues that men may not consciously perceive. –Short glances, coy smiles, primping

15 15 Scripts  The development of relationships is influenced by an event schema or script.  A script specifies: –the definition of the situation (a date, job interview, or sexual encounter) –the identities of the social actors involved –the range and sequence of permissible behaviors

16 16 The Marriage Script  The United States is one of a small number of societies in which love is widely included in the script for getting married.  In many other societies, marriages reflect political and economic influences, not romance.

17 17 The Determinants of Liking  How much we like someone is determined by three factors: 1.The greater the proportion of similar attitudes, the more they like each other. 2.Shared activities become an important influence on our liking for another person as we spend time with them. 3.Reciprocal liking (we like those who like us) As we experience positive feedback from another person, it increases our liking for them.

18 18 Online Relationships  Potential partners only have access to messages crafted by the person. –If there is the potential to meet each other, those interacting must craft an accurate self-image. –In a study of an online Canadian dating site, 25% misrepresented themselves.  A survey of found that: 56% were female 93% percent were White many were in their forties

19 19 The Growth of Relationships  As relationships grow, they change on three dimensions. 1.There may be a gradual increase in the disclosure of intimate information (self disclosure). 2.Trust in the other person increases as relationships develop. 3.Interdependence for various gratifications also increases, often accompanied by a decline in reliance on relationships with others.

20 20 Dyadic Withdrawal  Increasing reliance on one person for gratifications and decreasing reliance on others. –One study of 750 men and women illustrates the extent to which such withdrawal occurs. –The more intimate his or her current heterosexual relationship, the smaller the number of friends listed by the respondent. –As the degree of involvement increased, the proportion of mutual friends of the couple also increase.

21 21 Love and Loving  Liking is a positive attitude toward an object.  Love is an attachment to and caring for another person. –Love also may involve passion. Passion is a state of intense physiological arousal and intense absorption in the other.

22 22 Occurrence Of Romantic Love Ideal In American Magazines, 1741–1865  A team of researchers selected some of the best-selling magazines from 4 historical periods and counted the number of times each of the 5 romantic ideals was mentioned.  The findings suggest that American acceptance of the romantic love ideal occurred gradually from 1741 to 1865.  The romantic love ideal first really came into its own about the time of the Civil War.

23 23 Romantic Love Ideal: 5 Beliefs 1. True love can strike without prior interaction (“love at first sight”). 2. For each of us, there is only one other person who will inspire true love. 3. True love can overcome any obstacle. 4. Our beloved is (nearly) perfect. 5. We should follow our feelings; we should base our choice of partners on love rather than on other, more rational considerations.

24 24 Breaking Up  There are three major influences on whether a relationship dissolves: –Breaking up may result if one person feels that outcomes (rewards minus costs) are inadequate. –The degree of commitment: Someone who feels a low level of emotional attachment to and concern for his or her partner is more likely to break up. –Responses to dissatisfaction with a relationship include exit, voice, loyalty, or neglect.

25 25 Equity Theory  Equity theory postulates that each of us compares the rewards we receive from a relationship to our costs or contributions.  In general, we expect to get more out of the relationship if we put more into it.  Thus, we compare our outcomes (rewards minus costs) to the outcomes our partner is receiving.  The theory predicts that equitable relationships—in which the outcomes are equivalent—will be stable, whereas inequitable ones will be unstable.

26 26 Differential Commitment and Dissolution  The dissolution of a relationship is often painful, but breaking up is not necessarily undesirable. –Breaking up is a filtering process; people who are not suited to each other terminate their relationships. –A breakup may lead to personal growth and more successful relationships in the future.

27 27 Three Factors in Assessing a Relationship 1. The costs of leaving a relationship include: –Material - financial –Symbolic - reactions of others –Affectual - changes in relationships with others

28 28 Three Factors in Assessing a Relationship 2. Availability of alternatives. –The absence of an attractive alternative may lead the individual to maintain an unrewarding relationship. –The appearance of an attractive alternative may trigger the dissatisfied person to dissolve the relationship –The level of rewards experienced before the relationship became dissatisfying. –If the relationship was particularly rewarding in the past, the individual is less likely to decide to terminate it.

29 29 Reactions to the Costs to Breaking Up  A longitudinal study of dating couples found that lower levels of support by friends for the relationship were associated with later termination of the relationship.  A study of married couples listed the following barriers to terminating their marriage –Children - 31% –Religion - 13% –Financial need – 6%

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