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The Burger King Study

The Burger King Study

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The Burger King Study

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  1. The Burger King Study • Townsend & Levy (1990) • Who would you prefer: a well-dressed unattractive person or a good-looking person in a Burger King outfit???

  2. Cues to resources – Clothes • Burger King study: • Townsend and Levy (1990) looked at the effects of male status and ornamentation. • First, males were pre-rated into 2 groups: • Handsome versus homely • Each were put into 1 of 3 costumes: • Armani suit with Rolex (high status), white t-shirt (medium status), or Burger King uniform (low status)

  3. Design of the study: 2x3 Handsome Homely Armani suit (high) White t-shirt (medium) BK outfit (low)

  4. Results? • What do you think happened? • Females? • Males?

  5. Women were unwilling to date, have sex with, or marry the men in the Burger King outfit but were willing to consider any of these when he was wearing the suit and Rolex. It was an interesting demonstration of “clothes makes the man” or that emblems of income and status make the man.

  6. Despite his sense of humor, this guy won’t appeal to most women.

  7. Attraction and Close Relationships

  8. The Need to Belong • The need to belong is a basic human motive • We care deeply about what others think of us • Those with a network of close social ties tend to be happier, healthier, and more satisfied with life than those who are more isolated

  9. The Thrill of Affiliation • Need for Affiliation: • The desire to establish social contact with others. • We are motivated to establish and maintain an optimum balance of social contact. • Stress arouses our need for affiliation • Fearful misery loves company • Embarrassed misery seeks solitude • Misery loves the company of those in the same miserable situation

  10. Shyness: A Pervasive Problem

  11. Shyness • Sources • Inborn personality trait • Learned reaction to failed interactions with others • Painful consequences • Negative self-evaluations • Expectations of failure in social encounters • Self-blame for social failures • Self-imposed isolation

  12. The Agony of Loneliness • A feeling of deprivation about social relations • Most likely to occur during times of transition or disruption • Loneliest group in American society are those 18 to 30 years old • We employ various strategies to combat loneliness

  13. Perspectives on Attraction • We are attracted to others with whom a relationship is directly or indirectly rewarding • All humans exhibit patterns of attraction and mate selection that favor the conception, birth, and survival of their offspring • Evolutionary perspective

  14. Familiarity: Being There • Who are we most likely to become attracted to? • Two basic and necessary factors in the attraction process: • Proximity • Exposure

  15. The Proximity Effect • The single best predictor of attraction is physical proximity, or nearness • Where we live influences the friends we make • College students tend to date those who live either nearby or in the same type of housing as they do

  16. The Mere Exposure Effect • Contrary to folk wisdom, familiarity does not breed contempt • The more often we are exposed to a stimulus, the more we come to like that stimulus • Familiarity can influence our self-evaluations

  17. Here we go again… • Physical Attractiveness: • We react more favorably to others who are physically attractive than to those who are not • Bias for beauty is pervasive

  18. Is Beauty an Objective Quality? • Some argue that certain faces are inherently more attractive than others • High levels of agreement for facial ratings across ages and cultures • Physical features of the face are reliably associated with judgments of attractiveness • Babies prefer faces considered attractive by adults

  19. Is Beauty a Subjective Quality? • People from different cultures enhance their beauty in very different ways • Ideal body shapes vary across cultures, as well as among racial groups within a culture • Standards of beauty change over time • Situational factors can influence judgments of beauty

  20. Why Are We Blinded by Beauty? • Inherently rewarding to be in the company of people who are aesthetically appealing • Possible intrinsic and extrinsic rewards • Tendency to associate physical attractiveness with other desirable qualities • What-is-beautiful-is-good stereotype

  21. The Physical Attractiveness Stereotype • People within a culture, assume that attractive people have the traits that are valued by that culture • Adults and children are biased toward attractive people • Even infants stare at attractive people longer than unattractive people! • Lessons begin early – how many ugly heroes are there in children’s tales vs. the number of ugly villians?

  22. The Benefits and Costs of Beauty • Being good-looking does not guarantee health, happiness, or high self-esteem • Attributional problems with being good-looking: • Is the attention and praise one receives due to one’s talents or just one’s good looks?

  23. Other Costs of Beauty • Pressure to maintain one’s appearance • In American society, pressures are particularly strong when it comes to the body • Women are more likely than men to suffer from the “modern mania for slenderness” • Overall, being beautiful is a mixed blessing • Little relationship between appearance in youth and later happiness

  24. This appears to be conflicting research… • Simpson, Gangestad, & Lerma (1990) • People involved in serious relationships rate beautiful models as less attractive • Kendrick et al. (1989) • Men viewing ravishing nude models in magazines gave lower ratings to average-looking women including their own wives • Appears contrast effect is in place here

  25. How important is intelligence? • Men and women differ in this criterion for sexual partners • But not for long-term partners

  26. Kenrick, Sadalla, Groth, & Trost (1990) Kenrick, Groth, Trost & Sadalla (1993) • Students in these series of studies were asked: • What is the minimum percentile of intelligence you would accept in considering someone for: • A DATE • A SEXUAL PARTNER • A ONE NIGHT STAND • A STEADY DATING PARTNER • A MARRIAGE PARTNER

  27. Minimum Intelligence Desired Women desire slightly above average for a single date 50th %ile AVERAGE DATE • 

  28. And want more with increasing commitment 50th %ile STEADY DATE SEX MARRIAGE • 

  29. Men have similar criteria for dates STEADY DATE SEX MARRIAGE • 

  30. And for long-term mates STEADY DATE SEX MARRIAGE • 

  31. But men’s criteria are considerably lower for sexual partners STEADY DATE SEX MARRIAGE • 

  32. The differences are even more pronounced for one-night stands STEADY DATE SEX MARRIAGE • 

  33. First Encounters: Liking Others Who Are Similar • We tend to associate with others who are similar to ourselves… • Byrne (1971): • We like people who we perceive as having similar attitudes to our own • Rosenbaum (1986): • Similarity does not spark attraction; rather dissimilarity triggers repulsion, the desire to avoid someone

  34. Matching Hypothesis • People tend to become involved romantically with others who are equivalent in their physical attractiveness • Matching is predictive of progress in a relationship

  35. Do Opposites Attract? • Is there support for the complementarity hypothesis, which holds that people seek others whose needs “oppose” their own? • Research shows that complementarity does not influence attraction

  36. First Encounters: Liking Others Who Like Us • Heider (1958): People prefer relationships that are psychologically balanced • A state of balance exists when the relationship is characterized by reciprocity • Mutual exchange between what one gives and what one receives • Liking is mutual, which is why we tend to like others who indicate that they like us

  37. First Encounters: Pursuing Those Who Are Hard to Get • Does the hard-to-get effect exist? • We prefer people who are moderately selective to those who are nonselective or too selective • We are turned off by those who reject us • Psychological reactance can increase or decrease attraction

  38. Mate Selection: The Evolutionary Perspective • Men and women by nature must differ in their optimal mating behaviors • Women must be highly selective because they are biologically limited in the number of children they can bear and raise in a lifetime • Men can father an unlimited number of children and ensure their reproductive success by inseminating many women

  39. Sex Differences in Mate Preferences: Evolutionary Necessities? Li et al. (2002)

  40. The Content of Women’s MatePreferences • Social status universal clue to the control of resources • Greater social status bestows children with better opportunities • Women consistently rate social status as being more desirable in a partner than men do • For women, social status rated only slightly less important than good financial prospects

  41. Supporting Evidence for the Evolutionary Perspective • Universal tendency in desired age for potential mate • Men tend to seek younger women • Women tend to desire older men • Men and women become jealous for different reasons • Men become most upset by sexual infidelity • Women feel more threatened by emotional infidelity

  42. Mate Selection: Sociocultural Perspectives • Women trade youth and beauty for money because they often lack direct access to economic power • Men are fearful of sexual infidelity because it represents a threat to the relationship, not fatherhood issues

  43. Are women selective about earning capacity?Minimum Standards (Kenrick et al, 1990)

  44. Studies of personal ads… • Wiederman (1993) • A study of 1,111 personal ads found that female advertisers seek financial resources 11 times as often as male advertisers • Buss (1989) • Looked at 10,047 individuals in 37 cultures on 6 continents and 5 islands • Found this was not just restricted to American or Western Societies

  45. Gender Differences… • The differences typically found between the sexes are small compared to the similarities. • But when it comes to casual sex… • See next slides…

  46. “I have been noticing you around campus. I find you very attractive.” • Clark & Hatfield (1989) • In this study, students were approached by another student of the opposite sex, who uttered the above statement… • This was followed by one of three invitations: • “Would you go out tonight?” or • “Would you come over to my apartment?” or • “Would you go to bed with me?”

  47. Men were even more likely to say “yes” to the sexual invitation 100 80 60 Not a single woman said “yes” to the sexual invitation Percent Saying “Yes” About half of both sexes said “yes” to the date 40 20 0 Go Out Go to Apt. Go to Bed

  48. Variations in Perceptions and Reactions • Compared to women, men perceive more sexuality in an interaction between a man and a woman • This is true whether they are participants or observers • However, men see interactions involving their sister as platonic

  49. Defining Features of Love • Beverly Fehr (1988) asked Canadian students to list as many features of love as they could in 3 minutes. • Students lists commonly included: • caring • happiness • friendship • warmth • trust • commitment • euphoria • Sexual passion • heart rate increases