Presentation on theme: "The Repulsion Hypothesis Caitlan Webster. Overview Alternative Explanation for Newcomb’s (1961) Results Methodological Flaws in Byrne’s (1971) Experiment."— Presentation transcript:
Newcomb’s (1961) results Examined naturalistic development of interpersonal attraction in male housemates. Found that pre-acquaintance similarity in attitudes predicted pair attraction on late but not on early acquaintance. The difference in timing was expected on the basis of the presumption that it would take time to know other’s attitudes.
Newcomb’s (1961) results An alternative explanation is that as the housemates got to know each other, they were increasingly repulsed by persons with dissimilar attitudes and values. By the process of elimination, the housemates were left to be attracted to similar persons.
It is possible that similarity leads to attraction and dissimilarity to repulsion. However, it is also possible that dissimilarity leads to repulsion and similarity has no impact on attraction. Newcomb’s (1961) results
Byrne’s (1971) Experiment Subjects responded to an attitude questionnaire. Subjects are then provided with a fake copy of the same questionnaire and told it was completed by a stranger. A linear relation supports the generalization that similarity leads to attraction and dissimilarity causes repulsion.
Byrne’s (1971) Experiment However, an adequate control or baseline condition has never been included. Needs to include a “no-attitudes” questionnaire condition. Permits determination of the degree to which similarity enhances attraction, dissimilarity decreases attraction, or whether either one has any consequence at all.
Byrne’s (1971) Experiment This “no-attitudes” condition was used in Byrne’s 1968 experiment, but was not treated as a control. During the main experiment, participants were given photographs of an attractive or unattractive person and an attitude questionnaire that was either similar or dissimilar.
Byrne’s (1971) Experiment This “no-attitudes” condition was used in Byrne’s 1968 experiment, but was not treated as a control. In a preliminary experiment, photographs were provided without the questionnaire. This could have been used as the “no- attitudes” condition.
Byrne’s (1971) Experiment When the two conditions are combined, the results suggest that: Information concerning similarity does not enhance attraction to both attractive and unattractive people. Information concerning dissimilarity decreases attraction to both attractive and unattractive people.
Experiment 1 Procedure 168 photographs from a yearbook were scaled for physical attractiveness. The eight photographs that received the most extreme mean rating in each category representing sex and attractiveness were chosen for experimental use.
Experiment 1 Procedure 2 X 2 X 2 X 3 factorial design: Sex of subject X Sex of photograph X Attractiveness X Attitude information (similarity, dissimilarity, no-attitude) 192 participants. Previously completed attitude questionnaires. Same-sex group sessions containing 3 to 12 subjects.
Experiment 1 Procedure Subjects were provided with a photograph and a fake attitude questionnaire completed by the photographed person (except for the no-attitude condition). Scales were adjusted to be similar on 10 issues and dissimilar on 2 issues, or similar on 2 issues and dissimilar on 10 issues. Subjects evaluated the person on the Interpersonal Judgment Scales.
Experiment 1 Results Attractive were rated higher than unattractive. Similar and control did not significantly differ. Dissimilar was different from other conditions.
Experiment 1 Discussion The findings support the hypothesis that attitudinal dissimilarity leads to repulsion but similarity does not enhance attraction. Unattractive people who had similar attitudes were not evaluated more positively than people whose attitudes were not presented.
Experiment 2 Procedure Iowa Caucus Study: Presumed that attitudinal information is embedded in political party affiliation. Discovering a stranger is of the same party would lead to liking while discovering a stranger is of the opposite party would lead to disliking.
Experiment 2 Procedure A card with a list of 8 traits describing a person were given to participants to evaluate. A high-positive list of traits and a low- positive list of traits. 8 th word was either Democrat, Republican, or no party affiliation. Cards were given at Democratic caucuses and a Republican rally.
Experiment 2 Procedure 2 X 2 X 3 design: Traits X Party (Person) X Party (Participant) 309 participants. 240 Democrats, 69 Republicans.
Experiment 2 Results Democrats were more attracted to very positive traits. Republicans were equally attracted to either very positive or moderately positive traits.
Experiment 2 Results Democrats were attracted equally to Democrats and controls. Democrats were less attracted to Republicans.
Experiment 2 Results Republicans were equally attracted to Republicans and controls. Republicans were less attracted to Democrats.
Experiment 2 Discussion Another study (Rosenbaum & Holtz, 1985) adapted the caucus study in the context of arbitrary group categorization. Participants were randomly assigned as “Phis” or “Gammas”.
Experiment 2 Discussion Participants were then given trait cards similar to the caucus study. Some subjects’ cards contained either in- group or out-group labels, while others had no labels (control).
Experiment 2 Discussion High-positive traits were not rated differently. Moderately positive traits with in-group membership and no membership label were rated equally. Moderately positive traits with out-group membership were rated more negatively. Based on out-group derogation and not in-group favorability.
Experiment 3 Procedure Based on reinforcement-affect theory, occurrence of attitudinal similarity is a reinforcement and dissimilarity is a punishment. Golightly & Byrne (1964) showed that attitude statements that were similar to or dissimilar from the subject’s attitude could be used to designate correct and incorrect responses and produce learning.
Experiment 3 Procedure A replication was performed later using similar attitudes and neutral responses for correct and incorrect responses compared to neutral responses and dissimilar attitudes for correct and incorrect responses. The neutral-dissimilar group showed learning while the similar-neutral group did not.
Experiment 3 Procedure A follow-up experiment used similar statements and black cards, neutral statements and blank cards, or blank cards and dissimilar statements for correct and incorrect responses. All three groups showed learning. Theorized that neutral statements have reinforcing properties.
Experiment 3 Procedure Stimulus cards were prepared with a circle and square that were black or white, large or small, and appeared on the left or right. The characteristics were randomly varied. The participants had to chose either the circle or the square as the correct response. Half of the participants had “small” as the correct response while the other half had “large” as the correct response.
Experiment 3 Procedure Feedback cards were: A card containing a BXX nonsense syllable and a blank card for correct and incorrect responses. A card containing a DXX nonsense syllable and a blank card for correct and incorrect responses. A card containing a BXX nonsense syllable and a DXX nonsense syllable for correct and incorrect responses.
Experiment 3 Results Significant increase in performance for BXX-neutral and DXX-neutral conditions. No significant increase in performance for BXX-DXX condition.
Experiment 3 Discussion Helson’s (1959,1964) adaptation level theory: One’s own attitude serves as the adaptation level from which a stranger’s attraction is to be judged based on the stranger’s attitude.
Experiment 3 Discussion Helson’s (1959,1964) adaptation level theory: A similar stranger should be viewed at the neutral point, thereby commanding a neutral response. A dissimilar stranger should be viewed as different from the neutral point, thereby commanding a negative response.
Cases where similarity could lead to attraction: Experience of similarity in the context of dissimilarity. Experience of agreement. Relatively new and important attitudes.
General Discussion The experience of similarity in the context of dissimilarity has been shown to result in increased attraction responses above the level obtained in the absence of the dissimilarity context. Similar strangers are rated as more attractive following presentation of an unattractive stranger than similar strangers not preceded by a dissimilar stranger.
General Discussion The consistency theories: Including cognitive dissonance theory. The occurrence of inconsistency in each of these theories produces aversive states that cause motivation to reduce or eliminate them.
General Discussion In the context of consistency theories, exposure to attitudinal similarity is a consistent event that lacks affective or motivational properties. Explanation for no difference occurring in attraction between similar conditions and no- attitude conditions.
General Discussion However, exposure to dissimilar attitudes causes the induction of inconsistency and an aversive state. The presence of the aversive state leads to the repulsion of the person whose attitudes induced the negative state. Repulsion leads to reduction in negative state.
Conclusion Considerable events suggests that attitudinal dissimilarity leads to repulsion but similarity does not enhance attraction.