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LECTURE 13 Interpersonal Attraction and Course Wrap-up

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1 LECTURE 13 Interpersonal Attraction and Course Wrap-up
Administration Need to Belong What Determines Attraction Reward Theories of Attraction Passionate vs. Companionate Love Final Exam Break Learning More about Research in Social Psychology Volunteering, Independent Studies, Honour’s Theses, Grad School

2 Questions?

3 Need to Belong Need to Belong
A motivation to bond with others in relationships that provide ongoing, positive interactions. We are social animals. Human beings are driven by a desire to form and maintain relationships. People seek relationships with others to fill a fundamental need to belong. Not meeting this need to belong influences us in many important ways.

4 Need to Belong Cyberball task (Williams et al. 2001)

5 Need to Belong Twenge et al. (2001) exclusion task
YOUR PERSONALITY PROFILE (Alone Feedback) Based on past personality research, your overall score and the specific pattern of your responses indicate that you are the type of person who will end up alone later in life. You may have friends and relationships now, but by your late-20s to early-30s, most of these will have drifted away. You may even marry or have several marriages, but these are likely to be short-lived and will not continue into your 30s or 40s. Relationships tend not to last for people with your personality profile, and when you are past the age where people are constantly forming new relationships (such as in university), it is likely that you will end up being increasingly alone.

6 Need to Belong Twenge et al. (2001) exclusion task
YOUR PERSONALITY PROFILE (Belong Feedback) Based on past personality research, your overall score and the specific pattern of your responses indicate that you are the type of person who will have rewarding relationships throughout life. Your personality type allows you to have close and satisfying connections with other people. Therefore, you are likely to have a long and stable marriage and friendships that will last into your later years. The odds are that you will always have friends and people who care about you.

7 Need to Belong Twenge et al. (2001) exclusion task
YOUR PERSONALITY PROFILE (Misfortune Feedback) Your overall score and the specific pattern of your responses indicate that you have scored high on a subscale of this questionnaire that past personality research has correlated with accident proneness later in life. This suggests that you have a personality type that will likely cause you to sustain several accidents later in your life. You may break an arm or a leg a few times or you may be injured in car accidents. Even if you were not accident-prone earlier in life, the probability of these occurrences will increase greatly later in life, and the odds are that you will be involved in many accidents.

8 Need to Belong When our need to belong is not met (e.g., when we are ostracized or excluded from bonding with others), research has shown that our mood becomes depressed we feel anxious we feel emotional pain (similar to physical pain in fMRI data) we can become aggressive we underperform we may even engage in self-defeating behaviour conform more (e.g., Asch line task estimation task)

9 Personal Relationships
Intergroup Processes Processes that occur between 2 or more groups. How other groups influence your group and how your group influences other groups (e.g., prejudice, stereotyping). Intragroup Processes Processes that occur within a group. How others in your own group influence you and how you influence your group (e.g., groupthink, deindividuation). Interpersonal Processes/Relationships Processes that occur between two people. How another person can influence you and how you influence that person (e.g., attraction, personal relationships).

10 Personal Relationships
Opinion poll (something to think about…) Please record your answer to the following question. If a man (woman) had all the other qualities you desired, would you marry this person if you were not in love with him (her)? ____ Yes ____ No ____ Undecided

11 What Determines Attraction?
Proximity Physical Attractiveness Similarity Reciprocity

12 1. Proximity We like people who are close by. Proximity or more specifically “Functional distance” between two people predicts liking. It is not geographical distance so much as how often people cross paths and come into contact with each other.

13 Proximity: Impact (Festinger, Schachter, & Back, 1950)
270 MIT students randomly assigned to apartments in 17-building complex Asked to name 3 closest friends within the complex 65% of friends mentioned were from same building Out of students living on the same floor # of doors away % said they were a close friend 1 41% 2 22% 3 16% 4 10%

14 Why does proximity influence attraction?
Interactions – more see people and interact with them the more likely we are to be friends. Anticipation of interaction – we prefer those we expect to meet and interact with. Familiarity (mere exposure)

15 2. Physical Attractiveness
We are attracted to what we consider to be beautiful. Signs of genetic health such as symmetrical faces, clear rosy skin, average weight, shiny hair Signs of access to resources such as wealth, status and power (culture with scarce resources find heavier women more attractive, cultures with more resources find thinner women more attractive) We also possess a strong stereotype that “What is beautiful is good.” Physically attractive people are assumed to possess other socially desirable traits as well. They are judged to be more sensitive, kind, interesting, strong, poised, modest, sociable, outgoing, exciting, and sexually warm and responsive. Some truth to the stereotype – more attractive people are typically more relaxed and socially polished. Why?

16 2. Physical Attractiveness
Constraints on what is beautiful is good assumption. The Matching Hypothesis People often pair off with others who are about as attractive as they are. When couples were matched in terms of their physical attractiveness, their courtship progress was more positive over a 9 month period –more likely fallen deeply in love. Costs of Beauty What is beautiful is not good in ALL ways. Negative stereotypes related to attractive people are vain and promiscuous. Also they receive more unwanted sexual advances. Very attractive people may attribute positive responses from others to their looks rather than their personality or deeds. What is good (likeable) is also beautiful.

17 2. Other Qualities We find Attractive
According to evolutionary psychologist, men and women find different qualities attractive in their mates. This perspective suggests that our mate selection is based on the extent to which this partner can help us pass on our genes to the next generation. Because childbearing is a long and involved process, women look for cues that a man can protect and provide for her and her offspring. For women to succeed reproductively, they need a mate who displays wealth and power/dominance. A partner with these traits will help her provide and care for the limited number of children she can produce and look after. Because passing along genes is relatively fast and easy, men look for cues that women are fertile. For men to succeed reproductively, they need produce as many children as possible. They therefore look for a women who is beautiful (i.e., healthy and fertile) and young.

18 Evidence for the Evolutionary Perspective
Good financial prospect Physically attractive

19 Evidence for the Evolutionary Perspective
Jealousy “is an emotional state that is aroused by a perceived threat to a valued relationship…” Buss et al. (1992) asked his participants to think of a committed romantic relationship that they had been in. And asked which of the following would distress or upset them more? Imagining your partner forming a deep emotional attachment to another person (female concern resources) Imagining your partner enjoying passionate sexual intercourse with another person (male concern paternity)

20 Evolutionary Perspective vs. Social Structural Theory
When researchers specify a social context, the gender gap decreases a short term sexual encounter both men and women want physically attractive partners a long-term committed relationship both men and women report personality traits to be most important factor (agreeableness, trustworthiness, honesty, warmth) and access to resources men think more about and are more willing to engage in casual sex

21 3. Similarity We like people who are similar. Physical Attractiveness
Attitudes Personality Complementarity - attraction to people who are the opposite of us (e.g., “You complete me.”). No real evidence for this. Behaviors and activities Mimicry and synchrony (Eli Finkel) We dislike others who are dissimilar (this latter effect is even larger).

22 4. Reciprocity We tend to like those who like us.
In a study by Curtis and Miller (1986) 60 same-sex pairs of previously unacquainted students 5-min. get-to-know-you conversation Manipulate Person A’s belief about Person B’s feelings for them. Importantly Person B does not know about this manipulation. Person A is told: “Person B likes you” “Person B dislikes you” 10-min. discussion Measure A’s and B’s liking

23 4. Reciprocity

24 Reward Theory of Attraction
We are attracted to those whose behavior is rewarding to us or to those whom we associate with rewarding events. If the relationship gives us more rewards than costs, we will like it. Direct Rewards Positive consequences that we experience as a result of the other person’s presence (e.g., makes us feel good, capable, interesting, validate us) Indirect Rewards Positive consequences that we experience in the other person’s presence, but not as a result of that person’s presence. For example, we like people more if we associate them with positive things such as good food, music, a nice environment (e.g., nicely furnished, good temperature)

25 How are the factors that influence attraction related to the Reward Theory?
1. Proximity (partners or friends close by) - costs less time and less effort 2. Physical Attractiveness (pretty partners or friends) - Benefit by associating with them and they offer desirable traits 3. Similarity (similar partners or friends) - Assume they like us in return, validate us 4. Reciprocity (partners or friends who like us) - We like to be liked, its rewarding.

26 The Investment Model of Commitment Rusbult (1983)
Rewards Satisfaction with relationship Costs Commitment to relationship Stability of relationship Level of investment in relationship Comparison Level Quality of alternatives to relationship

27 Love and Passion Passionate Love
A state of intense longing for union with another. “When it comes to saying ‘I do,’ is a relationship a relationship without the zsa zsa zsu (aka: that special something that gives you butterflies in the stomach)?” ~Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City, Vol. 5 episode 74

28 The role of arousing activities
Couples assigned to engage in “exciting” activities (vs. pleasant but unexciting or control) showed greater increase in relationship quality over 10 weeks (Reissman, Aron, & Bergman, 1993)

29 Influences of Arousal on Attraction
Schacter and Singer’s two-factor theory of emotion: we feel aroused and then infer the most plausible emotion If aroused, might misattribute to another person Label it love

30 (Levine, Sato, Hashimoto, & Verma, 1995)
Love and Passion If a man (woman) had all the other qualities you desired, would you marry this person if you were not in love with him (her)? ____ Yes ____ No (Levine, Sato, Hashimoto, & Verma, 1995)

31 (Levine, Sato, Hashimoto, & Verma, 1995)
Love and Passion If a man (woman) had all the other qualities you desired, would you marry this person if you were not in love with him (her)? ____ Yes ____ No (Levine, Sato, Hashimoto, & Verma, 1995)

32 Love over time Romantic love has a limited life-span
months (Hazan, 1999) When relationships last, it may be because of companionship rather than romantic love Most common responses among couples married over 15 years when asked why their marriages had lasted (Lauer & Lauer, 1985). “My spouse is my best friend.” “I like my spouse as a person.”

33 Is the drop in romantic love inevitable?
Among couples married 30 years or longer, only a very small number report high levels of passion (e.g., “I melt when I look into my partner’s eyes.”) (Tucker & Aron, 1993) Most couples on average experienced declines in marital quality over the first 10 years of marriage (especially in the first year and the eighth year), only 10% experienced an increase (Karney & Bradbury, 1997).

34 Decline in Marital Quality
Issues Interdependence breeds conflict Desire for more autonomy Lack of psychological support (openness and intimacy; absence of passion External Pressures Job Children Extramarital affairs Social Norms related to roles Study of 17,000 people in 28 countries showed that women do about 21 hours of housework compared to 9.5 hours for men Men are still considered the breadwinners

35 Decline in Marital Quality
Four Problematic Types of Communication in Conflictual Relationships 1) Criticism that goes beyond complaining about a specific act to characterizing the person as a whole (e.g., “You left the kitchen messy today” not “You never think about other people”) 2) Contempt or lack of respect for the partner conveyed by ridicule, sarcasm, and name-calling (e.g., Do you always have to be such a moron!) 3) Defensiveness – responding to criticisms by making excuses or not taking the complaint seriously rather than an apology or solution 4) Stonewalling, tuning out, or withdrawing from the interaction – this limits your ability to have an intimate relationship

36 Strategies to Stop the Decline in Marital Quality
Some training programs exist to teach couples how to deal with conflict. For example, in a Finkel et al. study (2013) First year, couples periodically reported various indicators of relationship quality Randomly assigned to be trained or not trained In training, couple received practice in thinking about conflicts with their partner from a third-party perspective Helps them deal with conflicts in calmer, less angry frame of mind During first year with no training, there was a steady decline in relationship quality for all couples In the second year for those with no training, this decline got worse. For those with training, however, the decline stopped.

37 Questions?

38 Final Exam Date: Wednesday, April 22, 2015 Time: 9:00-12:00 Place: TBA
Multiple choice and short answer questions. The test is cumulative (Chapters 1-12). Questions will be very similar to the first exam. Read questions carefully! Know main concepts and methods and the results of main studies. Study the textbook and lecture notes. Please remember to bring student ID with photo and a pencil. Show up for the exam on time. If you have any questions about the material or the exam, please contact Regis Caprara Elysia Vaccarino or Francine Karmali

39 Questions?

40 I like social psychology! How can I learn more?
Volunteer Independent study Honour’s thesis Graduate school

41 Social Psychological Research at York
I would like to get involved in research at York, how do I volunteer in a lab? Figure out what area of psychology you like best. What can maintain your interest. Check out people who are in that area and their websites. What type of research do they do? Do they accept volunteers into their lab? Ask their graduate students how their lab works. This is probably the best way to find a thesis supervisor and to learn more about research. If you are considering grad school or other professional training programs – this is a great strategy to get an academic reference. When?

42 Who are the Social-Personality Researchers at York?
Esther Greenglass – stress, proactive coping, rehabilitation, and health psychology Michaela Hynie - cross-cultural psychology, health disparities, social relationships, applied psychology Kerry Kawakami – social cognition, prejudice, social perception, and the self

43 Who are the Social-Personality Researchers at York?
Richard Lalonde – intergroup relations, ethnic, cultural, and national identity, immigration, cross-cultural psychology Raymond Mar – relationships with fictional narratives, empathy, and the neural underpinnings of these processes Doug McCann - social information processing, self, and depression

44 Who are the Social-Personality Researchers at York?
Erin Ross – research on lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender, and sexual assault Cross cultural psychology, religion, emotion, gene–environment interactions Regina Schuller - law and social psychology, biases in the courtroom, jury decision making

45 Who are the Social-Personality Researchers at York?
Jenn Steele – prejudice and discrimination from the victim’s perspective, development of stereotypes in children Ward Struthers – social cognition, organizational psychology, attributions, social motivation, and forgiveness David Wiesenthal - driving behaviour, psychological dimensions of housing; violence and criminality, ethics

46 Social-Personality Research at York
Independent Study/Research Project 3 credits or 6 credits Psyc A Specialized Honour’s Thesis Apply to this program online around the end of your second year in early May A cumulative GPA of 7.0 (B+) Additional course work A specialized honour’s will make you more competitive for graduate school

47 Social-Personality Research at York
Psyc 4000 – Honour’s Thesis Not the specialized program but research conducted with a specific supervisor (approximately 75 students) It is hard to find a supervisor Need to fill out a thesis contract with supervisor Reference letter Psyc 4170 – Advanced Research in Psychology Independent research project as part of course, regularly scheduled classes and course work, no individual supervisor but course instructor (approximately 500 students) Can pursue your own ideas – both good and bad

48 Social-Personality Research at York
Psyc 4175 – Advanced Community Based Applied Research Course instructor (approximately 25 students) Need to apply and candidates are screened Carrying out research in community health organizations

49 Social/Personality Research after York
Graduate school Research experience (volunteer, independent project, honour’s thesis) Reference letters GREs and grades Personal Statement

50 Social/Personality Research after York
Graduate school Check out all the programs that interest you (Social/Personality programs at Waterloo, Toronto, Western, Queens, UBC, York, etc). Who is doing research that you are interested in? Personally approach that faculty member and ask about their lab, their research, and whether they are planning on taking on graduate students that year. Write GREs in spring or summer and apply in fall. Talk to potential advisors’ graduate students, go visit their labs. In January you will begin to hear about your applications and by April you need to decide where you want to go.

51 Questions?

52 Yeah!!! We did it!!! I want to thank you. This has been a fun class to teach and I have appreciated your participation. Good luck on your final. Marks will be posted within 2 weeks on the course website. Enjoy your summer.

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