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Close Relationships and Interpersonal Attraction. History in Social Psychology. relatively new -- last 30 years or so interested in studying individuals many thought it was non-scholarly work “Golden Fleece of the Year Award” theories shown to be useful in therapy.

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Close Relationships and Interpersonal Attraction


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    1. Close Relationships and Interpersonal Attraction

    2. History in Social Psychology • relatively new -- last 30 years or so • interested in studying individuals • many thought it was non-scholarly work • “Golden Fleece of the Year Award” • theories shown to be useful in therapy

    3. What Defines a Close Relationship? • different types • friends • romantic partners • parents • children • siblings

    4. What Defines a Close Relationship? • behavioral interdependence • the actions of two people have mutual impact on each other

    5. What Defines a Close Relationship? • need fulfillment • the relationship must meet some basic needs • emotional intimacy • social integration (need for affiliation) • assistance • to be nurturing • reassurance of our self-worth

    6. What Defines a Close Relationship? • emotional attachment • must be mutual feelings of love, affection, and/or admiration

    7. What Defines a Close Relationship? • dimensions of variance • intensity • commitment • emotion • sexuality • gender

    8. How Do People Become Attracted? • reward theory • we like those whose behavior is rewarding or who are associated with rewarding situations

    9. How Do People Become Attracted? • exposure • the more exposure we have to a stimulus, the more positively we evaluate it • infants smiled more at repeatedly exposed faces (Brooks-Gunn & Lewis, 1981)

    10. How Do People Become Attracted? • exposure • 4 different female research assistants • 3 came to class (5, 10, or 15 times) • students shown photos and asked to rate RAs • intelligence, attractiveness, spend time, work together • the more she came to class, the more she was liked (Moreland & Beach, 1992)

    11. How Do People Become Attracted? • exposure • mere exposure effect • repeated exposure to a stimulus produces familiarity, and familiarity breeds liking and attraction • pleasant or unpleasant circumstances? • too much exposure?

    12. How Do People Become Attracted? • proximity • simple physical proximity can lead to liking

    13. How Do People Become Attracted? • proximity • friendships of couples in student housing at MIT • 65% of friends lived in the same building • 44% next door, 22% two doors apart, 10% on opposite ends of the hall (Festinger, Schachter, & Back, 1950)

    14. How Do People Become Attracted? • proximity • friendships of couples in student housing at MIT • 65% of friends lived in the same building • near stairwells on 1st floor reported more 2nd floor friends that other 1st floor residents • proximity was best predictor of friendship (Festinger, Schachter, & Back, 1950)

    15. How Do People Become Attracted? • proximity • asked school children who their friends were • more likely friends with others whose last name is close to theirs in the alphabet • Why? (Byrne & Buehler, 1955)

    16. How Do People Become Attracted? • proximity • asked school children who their friends were • more likely friends with others whose last name is close to theirs in the alphabet • often children who sat nearby (alphabetically) (Byrne & Buehler, 1955)

    17. How Do People Become Attracted? • proximity • if interactions are negative, then proximity will breed disliking • condominium residents • 62% of friends lived in same building cluster • 70% of disliked others lived in the same cluster

    18. How Do People Become Attracted? • attitude similarity • more attracted to people who hold similar attitudes to our own than dissimilar others • e.g., 400 families -- husbands and wives agree on many issues (Schuster & Elderton, 1906)

    19. How Do People Become Attracted? • attitude similarity • study of students in the dorms • IV: paired students based on attitude similarity • DV: Who were friends at the end of the year? • more likely to be friends with attitudinally similar others (Newcomb, 1961)

    20. How Do People Become Attracted? • attitude similarity • balance theory: we’re motivated to keep balance in our constellation of relationships (Heider, 1957) • negative outcome = out of balance • positive outcome = relationship in balance

    21. How Do People Become Attracted? • attitude similarity • interact with grad student experimenter • IV: experimenter polite or rude • then saw experimenter interact with supervisor • IV: supervisor was nice or critical • DV: how many helped supervisor on unrelated task (Aronson & Cope, 1968)

    22. How Do People Become Attracted? • attitude similarity • participants most likely to help: • treated well and saw supervisor treat grad student well • treated rudely and saw supervisor criticize grad student • We like friends of our friends and our enemy’s enemy. (Aronson & Cope, 1968)

    23. How Do People Become Attracted? • physical attractiveness • randomly matched 752 incoming students for blind dates to a dance at the U of M • students’ rated partner’s physical attractiveness and desire to see their date again • only physical attractiveness predicted the desire to date again (intelligence, sincerity, sensitivity) (Hatfield et al., 1966)

    24. How Do People Become Attracted? • physical attractiveness • CW: only important for men • men are more willing to admit it is important

    25. How Do People Become Attracted? • physical attractiveness • simple aesthetic appeal • what-is-beautiful-good-stereotype • rewarding • could be self-fulfilling prophecy (Hatfield & Sprecher, 1986)

    26. How Do People Become Attracted? • Is beauty in the “eye of the beholder”? • matching hypothesis • people tend to chose partners who are similar to them in physical attractiveness (i.e., a “good match”) • same-sex friendships, dating couples, cohabitants, married couples

    27. How Do People Become Attracted? • Is beauty in the “eye of the beholder”?

    28. How Do People Become Attracted? • Is beauty in the “eye of the beholder”? • matching hypothesis • people tend to chose partners who are similar to them in physical attractiveness (i.e., a “good match”) • same-sex friendships, dating couples, cohabitants, married couples • people who don’t match on physical attractiveness may be trading other assets

    29. How Do People Become Attracted? • Is beauty in the “eye of the beholder”?

    30. How Do People Become Attracted? • evolutionary perspective • we behave in ways that further the existence of our offspring • for women, reproduction is more physically and time demanding • for men, reproduction is much less constraining • leads to different types of mate preferences

    31. How Do People Become Attracted? • evolutionary perspective • examined men’s and women’s feelings of jealousy when victims of sexual or emotional infidelity • men more upset by sexual infidelity and women by emotional infidelity (Buss et al., 1992)

    32. How Do People Become Attracted? • evolutionary perspective • problems: • difficult to tease apart emotional and sexual infidelity • may be responding to normative beliefs -- issue of socialization

    33. Types of Love • What is love? liking love

    34. Types of Love • What is love? liking love

    35. Types of Love • companionate love • feelings of mutual respect and trust • less emotionally volatile • often found in good friendships

    36. Types of Love • passionate love • intense longing for the person • physiological arousal • much more emotionally volatile

    37. Types of Love • Sternberg’s Tripartite Theory of Love • passion: motivational component • intimacy: emotional component • commitment: cognitive component

    38. Types of Love • Sternberg’s Tripartite Theory of Love I P nonlove C

    39. Types of Love • Sternberg’s Tripartite Theory of Love I P liking C

    40. Types of Love • Sternberg’s Tripartite Theory of Love I P infatuation C

    41. Types of Love • Sternberg’s Tripartite Theory of Love I P empty love C

    42. Types of Love • Sternberg’s Tripartite Theory of Love I P romantic love C

    43. Types of Love • Sternberg’s Tripartite Theory of Love I P fatuous love C

    44. Types of Love • Sternberg’s Tripartite Theory of Love I P companionate love C

    45. Types of Love • Sternberg’s Tripartite Theory of Love I P consummate love C

    46. Types of Love • Henrick & Henrick’s “wheel of love” Eros -- emotionally intense physical attraction

    47. Types of Love • Henrick & Henrick’s “wheel of love” Eros -- emotionally intense physical attraction Ludus -- selfish love; practiced as a game

    48. Types of Love • Henrick & Henrick’s “wheel of love” Eros -- emotionally intense physical attraction Ludus -- selfish love; practiced as a game Storge -- friendship love

    49. Types of Love • Henrick & Henrick’s “wheel of love” Eros -- emotionally intense physical attraction Ludus -- selfish love; practiced as a game Mania -- possessive love; love is painful Storge -- friendship love

    50. Types of Love • Henrick & Henrick’s “wheel of love” Eros -- emotionally intense physical attraction Ludus -- selfish love; practiced as a game Pragma -- practical love Mania -- possessive love; love is painful Storge -- friendship love