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CHAPTER 3 DRAWING PEOPLE TOGETHER Forces of Social Attraction.

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Presentation on theme: "CHAPTER 3 DRAWING PEOPLE TOGETHER Forces of Social Attraction."— Presentation transcript:

1 CHAPTER 3 DRAWING PEOPLE TOGETHER Forces of Social Attraction

2 1.Do you think physical attraction is important when initiating a relationship?  Can communication mediate the effects? 2.When is complementarity good? When is it a problem? 3.What is the hard-to-get phenomenon? 4.Give an example of someone you feel Task attraction towards Give an example for Social attraction.

3  Physical  Drawn to appearance—body, eyes, hair, attire, size, ethnicity, or other aspects of appearance.  Social  Someone you’d like to hang out with and/or become friends with  Task-Oriented  Someone who can fulfill instrumental goals (Box 3.1, p. 50-51-assessment)

4  Sexual  The desire to engage in sexual activity with someone  Often accompanied by sexual arousal when around that person  May stem from physical attraction, but it is different  Relational  Subcategory of social attraction? (Flashbulb attraction)  Desire to have intimate relationship Do these overlap in romantic relationship?

5  Physiological and neurological aspects of atrtraction  Especially the hormone oxytocin.  Oxytocin creates a “warm afterglow, tinting our subsequent experiences with rose-colored glasses.” (nasal injection study)  Also the brain produces dopamine, the primary pleasure chemical in the human system when around love object.

6 Fatal Attraction  The very qualities that drew us to someone eventually contribute to relational breakup  Sense of humor, outgoing, flirtatious  Other examples? Narcissists Why?


8  Perceptions of Reward Value:  What we look for is based on our personal preferences and perceptions of what is rewarding:  Companionship, affection, sex, fun, financial resources  Expectancies : Based on stereotypes or past experiences  Violations can increase or decrease attraction… how?  Expectations and self-fulfilling prophecies  Expectation of future interaction increases the chances that people will find the individual attractive. Why?

9  Demographic Characteristics  Sex and Gender (what’s the difference?)  Men look for physical attractiveness, women look for similarity/personality.  Women more attracted to older men; men are more attracted to younger women.  How might socio-evolutionary theory explain this? Any other explanations?

10 This research may be flawed by social desirability bias, but what would you predict for a woman who is 23 years old and thinking of marriage?


12  Gender Differences: “Traditional” men and women (i.e., masculine men and feminine women) may be more attracted to the “traditional” other  What about androgynous individuals?  AgeSeem to be  Sexual Orientationfew differences

13  Personality Differences  Attachment Style: secure, dismissive, fearful avoidant, preoccupied—(more in Ch. 7)  Relationship Beliefs (destiny & growth beliefs)  Self-Esteem  Narcissism (exaggerated sense of self importance, though possibly low self-esteem so may be attracted to those who admire them) Personal Qualities & Prefs (cont.)

14  Physical Appearance Universal Attributes of Beauty  Body and Facial Symmetry  Height for men  Body Proportionality and the Golden Ratio  Waist-to-Hip Ratio  Physical fitness and athletic build (both men and women)

15  What is Beautiful is Good Hypothesis (Halo Effect)  Evolutionary Theory (aspects related to health and fertility)  Interaction Appearance Theory  People perceive others as less attractive when in a relationship  and more attractive if they have warm, positive interactions with them.  Assimilation Effect  Some of the attention that physically attractive people get spills over to their friend Theories of Physical Attractiveness

16  Interpersonal Communication Skills  May override physical attractiveness  Warmth, sociability, and competence  Dominance and altruistic behavior combo most attractive to women  The Loss-Gain Effect Qualities of the Other Person, cont.

17  Hard-to-Get Phenomenon Who do we find more attractive? Easy to get Moderately difficult Very difficult  Which do we prefer? 1. Easy for us to get--Difficult for others to get 2. Difficult for us to get--Easy for others to get Qualities of the Other Person, cont.

18 Similarity: Do Birds of a Feather Flock Together?  Attitudinal similarity  Reinforcement Model  Similarity in communication skill  Why are poor communicators attracted to other poor communicators?  Similarity in Physical Attractiveness  The matching hypothesis (degree, not kind)  Implicit egotism

19  Complementarity: Do opposites attract? Differences in degree or kind on various dimensions of behavior, attitudes, resources, etc.  When people have differences, which seems to work better?  Resources and behaviors  Attitudes and values  What role does commitment play in the importance of similarity vs. complementarity? Chemistry, cont.

20  Microenvironmental Features  Reinforcement Affect Model  certain environments make people feel good  Excitation Transfer  Dutton and Aron’s (1974) Bridge Study  Influence from Social Networks  Approval from family & friends  The Romeo and Juliet Effect  Proximity  How might online dating sites change this?

21 WHAT RESEARCH HAS NOT YET BEEN ABLE TO TELL US--  What elements of attraction predict a long-term and satisfying relationship? Suggestions?

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