Some factors leading to initial attraction. Proximity (more likely to form relationships with those who live near us, or that we interact with on a regular basis) Similarity (attitudinally, demographically) Emotional arousal Physical attractiveness (best predictor of desire to date)
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Misattribution of Emotional Arousal
Anxiety, when paired with an attractive person (cue), can lead to the labeling of one’s emotional state as sexual attraction.
How does attitude similarity affect attraction?
Byrne and Nelson (1965) asked subjects to rate how much they liked a stranger
after learning he agreed with varying proportions of their attitudes expressed
on a questionnaire. (Higher numbers indicate greater liking.)
.00 .20 .40 .60 .80 1.00
As the graph shows, the greater the proportion of attitudes subjects shared with
the stranger, the more subjects liked or were attracted to the stranger.
Our Own Attitude
Consistent with other theories (e.g., equity theory, balance theory, congruity theory, dissonance theory). When things are “off” we are motivated to restore equilibrium.
Levinger (1980, 1983) describes five stages in the life cycle of relationships.
As the relationship moves through the stages, it is affected by different
variables and characterized by different degrees and kinds emotions.
Social-exchange and equity:
Barriers to dissolution
of romantic love
Upset of deterioration
And trauma of disruption