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Chapter 3: Attraction Social Psychology by Tom Gilovich, Dacher Keltner, and Richard Nisbett.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 3: Attraction Social Psychology by Tom Gilovich, Dacher Keltner, and Richard Nisbett."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 3: Attraction Social Psychology by Tom Gilovich, Dacher Keltner, and Richard Nisbett

2 What Influences Attraction? Physical Attractiveness Propinquity Similarity

3 What Do We Find Attractive? “Average” Faces – Composite faces are judged more attractive than any individual face that comprises composite. Symmetrical Faces – Deviations from symmetry often occur from exposure to diseases in uteri. What is “your” good side? Female waist-to-hip ratio of 0.7 – Regardless of weight

4 Physical Attractiveness Some important conclusions from research on physical attractiveness and attraction: – Though there are some features that are nearly universally-regarded as attractive, there is considerable variability in what individuals find attractive – Though we tend to like those people who are physically attractive, the reverse is also true: We find people we like more attractive than those we don’t like. – Happy couples tend to idealize each other’s physical attractiveness – Physical attractiveness is less stable than we think: some less attractive young people get better looking with age, and some great looking young people lose their ‘luster’ with age.

5 Impact of Physical Attractiveness Attractive Individuals as compared to less attractive individuals – Are more popular with members of opposite sex – May be graded easier – May earn more money – May get help easier – Are less likely to be convicted – Receive lighter sentences if convicted

6 Early Effects of Physical Attractiveness Attractive infants receive more affection and attention from mothers Attractive children are thought to be more intelligent and better behaved by teachers Held less accountable for transgressions. Even infants show same preference for attractiveness

7 Why Does Physical Attractiveness Have Such Impact? a. Immediacy b. Prestige Sigall and Landy (1973) c. Halo Effect Belief that attractive people also possess a number of other desirable characteristics

8 Gender and the Impact of Physical Attractiveness Attractiveness plays more important role in women’s lives than men’s lives. – Beauty functions as currency for women Allows greater access to… – Social mobility – Popularity – Dating prospects – Marriage opportunities

9 Evolutionary Theory Primary motive is reproductive success. – People who make bad mate choices will have little success. – Mate preferences should be shaped by natural selection. We are instinctively attracted to features associated with reproductive success Parental Investment Theory – The sex that invests more is more selective. – Females look for mate that could Provide resources Was willing to invest resources Protect family – Males look for mate that Had good reproductive potential – Young and healthy Would be faithful Nuturing

10 Evolution and Long-Term Mate Choice David Buss (1986) – Had college students rank 13 traits on how desirable they were in a mate. – Both attractiveness and earning capacity were ranked lower than kindness and intelligence

11 Buss’s Cross Cultural Study Looked at rankings across 36 countries – Men ranked attractiveness higher than women – Women ranked good financial prospect higher than men – Women want to marry an older mate while men want to marry younger mate

12 Social Structure Theory (Eagly & Wood, 1999) Argue that differences found by Buss can be explained by social structure – In most countries, mean control financial resources – Easiest way for women to access these resources is marry a man with them – Found that as women have increased access to resources, gender differences in importance ratings decreased.

13 Gender Differences in Jealousy Buss argued that men should be more jealous of sexual infidelity than women since it is difficult to prove paternity – Found that males were more physiologically aroused when they imagined partner having sex with another man compared to falling in love with another man. Christine Harris argued mean are more aroused by sex and would show same pattern imagining fidelity as infidelity.

14 Gender Differences in Short-Term Mating Males are more interested in short-term mating than females. – Men and women are equally interested in long-term mating. Males are more interested in having more sex partners than females.

15 Gender Differences in Short-Term Mating Men do not need to know partner very long to have sex.

16 Propinquity 1. Studies of Propinquity and Attraction Westwood West Study (Festinger, Schachter, & Back, 1950) --used a Sociometric Survey - a survey that attempts to measure the interpersonal relationships in a group of people --measured Functional Distance - an architectural layout’s propensity to encourage or inhibit certain activities, like contact between people

17 Propinquity Manhattan Housing Project (Nahemow & Lawton, 1975) Zajonc studies 2. Explanations of Propinquity Effects a. Availability and Propinquity b. Anticipating Interaction c. The Mere Exposure Effect

18 Fig. 3.2

19 Fig. 3.3

20 Fig. 3.4

21 Similarity and Attraction B. Similarity 1. Studies of Similarity and Attraction Whyte (1956) study of Chicago suburb layout Newcomb (1956, 1961) “Bogus Stranger” paradigm

22 Fig. 3.5

23 Similarity and Attraction 2. Don’t Opposites Attract? Complementarity Most studies claiming to support complementarity have been criticized on methodological grounds Similarity appears to be the rule, and complementarity, the exception, in attraction 3. Why Does Similarity Promote Attraction? a. Similar Others Validate Our Beliefs and Orientations b. Similarity Facilitates Smooth Interactions c. We Expect Similar Others to Like Us d. Similar Others Have Qualities We Like

24 Attraction D. Theoretical Integration 1. The Reward Perspective on Interpersonal Attraction 2. The Social Exchange Perspective on Physical Attraction

25 Study Smarter: Student Website Chapter Reviews Diagnostic Quizzes Vocabulary Flashcards Apply It! Exercises


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