Activity ◦ Write your own ‘lonely hearts’ ads. ◦ As a group, analyse the results.
Why do this? ◦ This links in to theories of intersexual selection, and the idea that men will advertise resources they think women select (e.g. wealth and strength)and vice versa (women will advertise nurturing qualities). ◦ Intra sexual selection: Selection within same sex. Males fighting with other males to gain access to a female
Intersexual selection ◦ Selection between the two sections. ◦ Selection based on one sex preferring characteristics in the other sex ◦ E.G Peacocks
Types of relationships ◦ Friendship/Companionship ◦ Romantic ◦ Sexual
Continued ◦ We are a social species ◦ Most of our emotions are experienced through relationships ◦ Companionships: Prevents loneliness ◦ Procreation and child rearing
A relationship is ◦ ‘ Any ongoing association between 2 or more individuals’ (Reis, ’96)
Formation of interpersonal relationships Basic idea ◦ We tend to have relationships with those we live close to ◦ Because we live close to someone we are also likely to have more frequent interactions with those people – 2 factors linked
Evaluation Festinger et al. (1950) found: In multistory buildings, most friendships were formed with people on the same floor Zajonc (1968) circular argument Do we like the person more because we spend time with them, or do we spend time with them because we like the person Warr (1965) Found: Not all frequent interactions result in liking, sometimes it can produce more disliking. Suggests: frequency & proximity do NOT lead to greater liking just greater intensity of feelings
Physical Attractiveness Basic idea ◦ Degree of physical attractiveness = one of the first things we notice Research evidence ◦ General agreement on what is considered attractive ◦ Attractive people are perceived as having more positive characteristics (Brigham, 1971) ◦ Attractive people often DO have more positive characteristics (Langlois et al., 2000) WHY?
Evaluation There are cultural differences in preferences for female body sizes (Anderson et al., 1992). ◦ Individuals also change their preferences, e.g., see others as more attractive when they are sexually aroused (Stephan et al., 1971).
The Similarity theory Basic idea ◦ Alikes rather than opposites attract ◦ Values, attitudes & beliefs are common indicators of strong friendships & attractiveness (Lea & Duck, 1982) Rubin (1973) explains why: ◦ possibility of engaging in same activities ◦ social validation of our beliefs ◦ if we like ourselves, it should logically follow that we will like others who are similar ◦ facilitate communication ◦ we may presume that people who are similar to us will like us
Evaluation ◦ There is considerable evidence in favour of this theory ◦ Sprecher (1998) Found: Similarity was especially important in same-sex friendships Proximity, physical attractiveness, first impressions, and similarity have all been shown to be implicated in friendship choice ◦ Kerckhoff & Davis (1962) Suggests: Only applies in early stages of a friendship/relationship Suggest in later stages of an established relationship of needs is more important
Mate Selection Basic idea ◦ We choose those who are similar in attitudes, attractiveness, and personality to mate with. ◦ Winch (1958) = opposites attract & are happier ◦ Burgess and Wallin (1953) found no evidence for this ◦ Rosenbaum (1986) Found: Dissimilarity of attitudes reduces liking BUT no evidence to suggest the other way round
Evaluation ◦ Buss (1989) looked at evidence from the last 50 years to confirm the similarity hypothesis in mate selection
Physical attractiveness – Matching hypothesis (Ernest Goffman) ◦ Whether we think someone is attractive or not is often one of the first things we think about when we meet someone
The Theory Suggests ◦ Physical attractiveness is very important ◦ We all want a partner who is considered ‘socially desirable’ ◦ Qualities that most people look for: ◦ Many women prefer a man who is taller than themselves ◦ Good personality ◦ Intelligence ◦ ‘Good looks’ ◦ We also take into account our own social desirability & how likely we are to get what we want in a partner ◦ We ‘socially match’ ourselves with a partner
Evaluation Walster et al. (1966)—we choose a partner who is the same level of attractiveness as we are (possibly to minimise the chance of rejection) Feingold (1988) found a high correlation between attractiveness of partners—supporting the matching hypothesis.