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Lecture 10. Attraction, Affiliation and Love. Outline. Attraction and Liking Love Attachment Equity Theory Interpersonal Communication Relationship Dissolution. Factors Influencing Attraction. Propinquity - Proximity Mere-exposure effect Similarity Reciprocal Positive Evaluations

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Lecture 10

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lecture 10

Lecture 10

Attraction, Affiliation

and Love

  • Attraction and Liking
  • Love
  • Attachment
  • Equity Theory
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Relationship Dissolution
factors influencing attraction
Factors Influencing Attraction
  • Propinquity - Proximity
  • Mere-exposure effect
  • Similarity
  • Reciprocal Positive Evaluations
  • Physical Attractiveness
proximity quote 1a
Proximity - Quote 1a

Contrary to popular belief, I do not believe that friends are necessarily the people you like best, they are merely the people who got there first

- Sir Peter Ustinov, 1977

proximity quote 1b
Proximity - Quote 1b

When I’m not near the one I love, I love the one I’m near

- E. Y. Harburg, 1947

propinquity proximity
Propinquity (Proximity)

A powerful predictor of friendship is geographical nearness

- Proximity kindles liking

Actually it is not geographical distance that is critical but “functional distance”

mere exposure effect
Mere-exposure effect

The tendency for novel stimuli to be more liked after repeated exposures

Do people like the Mona Lisa or is it a familiar face? To know her is to like her

Can we use this to get people to like us?

frequency of exposure and liking in the classroom from moreland beach 1992
Frequency of Exposure and Liking in the Classroom (from Moreland & Beach, 1992)

Attraction Rating

# of Times the RA came to Class


We like people that are similar to us

Newcomb (1961) – Dormitory Study

People who are similar provide social validation of beliefs

We assume it will be enjoyable to spend time with those who are similar to us

birds of a feather or opposites attract
‘Birds of a feather’ or‘Opposites attract’
  • Demographics
  • Personality
        • Two warm people or two cold people
        • Dominance vs. Submissive
  • Physical Attractiveness
        • Folkes (1982) – dating service study
another quote
Another Quote

The average man is more interested in a woman who is interested in him than he is in a woman with beautiful legs

- Marlene Dietrich (1901-1992)

reciprocal liking
Reciprocal Liking
  • We like to be liked
  • We like those who like us

Curtis & Miller (1986)

Participants in Pairs

Told target that other participant doesn’t like them

attractiveness quotes 2
Attractiveness – Quotes 2




- Oscar Wilde, 1891

effects of attractiveness on liking
Effects of Attractiveness on Liking

Buss & Barnes (1986)

Asked university students what qualities they want in a mate

effects of attractiveness on liking ii
Effects of Attractiveness on Liking II

Walster (Hatfield) and colleagues (1966)

  • University of Minnesota dance (N = 752)
          • Battery of personality test
          • Blind Date (Not the TV show)
what is beautiful is good
What is Beautiful is Good


What are they?

Snyder, Tanke, & Berscheid (1977)

test of the no one is ugly after 2 a m hypothesis
Test of the “No one is Ugly After 2 a.m. Hypothesis”

Pennebaker et al. (1979)

“How attractive are the men/women here tonight?”

what is love
What is Love?

“Love is something so divine,

Description would but make it less;

‘Tis what I feel, but can’t define,

‘Tis what I know, but can’t express.”

- Beilby Porteus

zick rubin 1970
Zick Rubin (1970)

The Love Scale

3 Factors:

  • Attachment
  • Caring
  • Intimacy
companionate vs passionate love
Companionate vs. Passionate Love
  • Companionate Love
    • The affection we feel for those with whom our lives are deeply intertwined
  • Passionate Love
    • A state of intense longing for union with another. Passionate lovers are absorbed in one another, feel ecstatic at attaining their partner’s love, and are disconsolate on losing it.
companionate vs passionate love1
Companionate vs. Passionate Love

Driscoll et al (1972)

Brehm (1985) - Love continuum

Fehr (1988) – Young adults view of love

companionate vs passionate love2
Companionate vs. Passionate Love

Passionate love tends to cool after a period

  • leading cause of divorce

Gupta & Singh (1982) – Love Marriages vs. Arranged Marriages

love styles hendrick hendrick 1992


physical appearance



no commitment



slow-moving to commitment






gentle, caring, dutiful



match on vital statistics

Love Styles (Hendrick & Hendrick, 1992)
  • Parent-child relationships
    • Secure
      • Characterized by trust, a lack of concern with being abandoned and the view that one is worthy and well liked
    • Avoidant
      • Characterized by a suppression of attachment needs
    • Anxious/ambivalent
      • Characterized by a concern that others will not reciprocate one’s desire for intimacy, resulting in higher-than-average levels of anxiety
  • 2 Kinds of Avoidant Attachment (Bartholomew, 1990; Bartholomew & Horowitz, 1991)
    • Fearful Avoidant
      • Characterized by avoidance of close relationships because of mistrust and fears of being hurt
    • Dismissive Avoidant
      • Characterized by claims of self-sufficiency and no need for close relationships
maintaining relationships
Maintaining Relationships
  • Social Exchange Theory
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • The Role of Positive Illusions

“What, after all, is our life

but a great dance in which we are all trying to fix the best going rate if exchange?”

  • Malcolm Bradbury, 1992
social exchange equity theory
Social Exchange/Equity Theory
  • Equity
    • A condition in which the outcomes (i.e. rewards) people receive from a relationship are proportional to what they contribute to it (i.e., costs; cf. reward/cost ratio)
  • Comparison level
    • People’s expectations about the level of rewards and costs (punishment) they deserve in a relationship.

“What is a friends? I will tell you.

It is a person with whom you dare to be yourself.”

- Frank Crane

interpersonal communication
Interpersonal Communication
  • Self-disclosure
    • The act of deliberately revealing significant, personal information about oneself that would not normally be known.
  • Dimensions of self-disclosure
    • Breadth (quantity) of information
    • Depth (intimacy) of information
role of positive illusion
Role of Positive Illusion

Love is blind

  • Idealization of our romantic partners in order to maintain the relationship

Murray & Holmes (1993)

Study 1: asked if partner tended to initiate conflicts

Study2: asked to list similarities and differences

why relationships end
Why Relationships End

“To marry a woman you love and who loves you is to lay a wager with her as to who will stop loving the other first.”

- Alfred Capus

relationship dissolution
Relationship Dissolution
  • Conflict in Relationships
  • Who is more likely to report problems?

A. What are your partners character flaws?

B. Research on Co-habiting couples

C. Literature on Divorce

predictors of relationship failure
Predictors of Relationship Failure

Rubin, Peplau, & Hill (1981)

Followed 231 dating couples. After 2 yrs 103 couple broke up.


  • Best predictor:Unhappiness of female
the happiness continuum
The Happiness Continuum

Married men  Single women  Married women  Single men

relationship dissolution1
Relationship Dissolution

Accounts of relationship Dissolution

Three types:

relationship dissolution2
Relationship Dissolution

Who is more negatively effected?

Male or Female?

Breaker or Breakee?

relationship dissolution3
Relationship Dissolution

How do people react?

Sadness, anger, and some people obsess?

- Why do people obsess?