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Relationships. What are things people do to attract others?. History of relationships research. Early “computer dating” studies People say physical attractiveness isn’t that important, but studies show it’s a major factor in attraction. Predictors of attraction (target).

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  1. Relationships

  2. What are things people do to attract others?

  3. History of relationships research • Early “computer dating” studies • People say physical attractiveness isn’t that important, but studies show it’s a major factor in attraction.

  4. Predictors of attraction (target) • Physical attractiveness (similar across cultures) • Females: large lips, high cheekbones, big eyes, small nose • Men: strong jaw, big eyes, large smile • Facial symmetry

  5. “Averaged” faces are more symmetrical • http://www.faceresearch.org/demos/average • Similarity to early “hard to get” research—we like those that are hard for others to get, but easy for us to get!

  6. And it doesn’t just matter for romantic relationships • Physically attractive children are punished less • Physically attractive defendants get lighter sentences • Plain people make 5-10% less than average-looking people, who make about 4% less than very physically attractive people (controlling for gender, education, occupation, etc.) • Strong consensus across cultures • Why?

  7. What is beautiful is good stereotype • Physically attractive seen as more • Sociable Extraverted • Happy Popular • Friendly Mature • Sexually warm Likeable • Well-adjusted Poised • In US/Canada, also strong, assertive, and dominant • In S. Korea, also sensitive, honest, empathic, trustworthy, generous

  8. Other factors that increase attraction • Waist-to-hip ratio of .7 for women, .1 for men • Similarity • Familiarity (mere exposure and propinquity) • Misattribution of arousal • Scent and fertility

  9. Fertility effects on women • Women prefer the smell of symmetrical and genetically dissimilar men when they are ovulating (and similar men otherwise) • Women dress more fashionably • They buy sexier clothing • They make more money if they use attractiveness to make money • They are attracted to more masculine men (e.g., strong jaw, deep voice, tall) • They flirt more

  10. Fertility effects on men • When a man’s partner is ovulating, he is • More attentive • More jealous • Sees other men as more of a threat

  11. American humor? • http://www.scienceofrelationships.com/home/2012/12/1/t-rex-did-not-evolve-for-romance.html

  12. Evolutionary arguments for these effects • Parental investment model • For women, good genes and status should be important in a man • For men, good genes, age, and fertility cues (e.g., waist-to-hip ratio) should be important • Cultural/situational effects as well (in most cultures men have more resources and are the “approachers” in relationships

  13. Come back to list • Which of these are supported by research?

  14. Jealousy effects • Imagine your partner having sex with someone else. • Imagine your partner sharing his/her deepest secrets with someone else. • Which would bother you more?

  15. Men—more sexual jealousy • Women—more emotional jealousy • But: • Does one imply the other? • Are men just more affected by thinking about sex? • Or are men just more avoidant? • Hard to test in the real world

  16. What is love? • What does your group think? • Cultural and time differences in our conceptions of romantic love • Love (for North Americans at least) is like chocolate or cocaine: it activates the dopamine-rich pleasure centers of the brain

  17. Passionate vs. companionate love • Passionate: intense longing with arousal. I would feel deep despair if X left me. My thoughts are often on X. I would rather be with X than anyone else. X always seems to be on my mind. • Companionate love: intimacy and affection. I have confidence in the stability of my relationship with X. I am committed to X. I expect my love for X to last the rest of my life.

  18. Secure I find it relatively easy to get close to others an am comfortable depending on them and having them depend on me. I don’t often worry about being abandoned or about someone getting too close.

  19. Avoidant • I am somewhat uncomfortable being close to others. I feel it difficult to trust them completely, difficult to allow myself to depend on them. I am nervous when anyone gets close and often romantic partners want me to be more intimate than I feel comfortable being.

  20. Anxious • I fin that others are reluctant to get as close as I would like. I often worry that my partner doesn’t really love me or won’t stay with me. I want to merge completely with another person, and this desire sometimes scares people away.

  21. Attachment theory (Bowlby, Hazen & Shaver) • Our experiences with parents and later partners can affect how we view relationships

  22. Avoidance: Amount of trust in other people; High avoidance believes that others can’t be counted on, less likely to believe in romantic love, etc. • Anxious: Fear that others will reject them • Attachment styles can change • Affect how we act in relationships, not necessarily whether we stay together

  23. Predictors of relationship success • Make a list

  24. Investment Model (Rusbult) • Commitment (whether you stay in a relationship) is predicted by • Satisfaction • Rewards – costs • What you expect in a relationship • Alternatives • Investments

  25. Investment model • Predicts 50-90% of commitment in relationships of all types (dating, marriage, domestic abuse, homosexual, jobs) • Predicts willingness to accommodate • Predicts when people will derogate alternatives

  26. How to have a good relationship • Surprise as important (Berscheid, 1983) • Novel, exciting activities (Aron) • Positive attributions • Assume they love you and make them feel loved (Murray) • Remember the positive • Think you’re better than other couples • Be accurate but positive (Fletcher) • Others from the readings

  27. Breakups • Who falls in love first? • Who says it first? • Who does hearing it make happiest? • Who falls out of love faster? • Who initiates more breaksups? • Who is more interested in staying friends?

  28. Gottman research • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oB6zNcLIH0 • 4 horsemen of the apocalypse • Contempt • Stonewalling • Defensiveness • Criticism • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fTAKtDB8fY

  29. How interconnected are we? • Six degrees of Kevin Bacon • It also only takes about 6-7 steps to get to another person in the same country by mail • Or to anyone among the millions of people on the internet (email study and Microsoft messenger project)

  30. So can the internet help you find love? • By 2005, 37% of single people who used the internet used it to date online (higher today) • By 2007-2009, more relationships began online than any other method other than meeting through friends

  31. Does it make for better relationships? • Not necessarily. No evidence that match algorithms actually help • Emailing for too long before meeting can be bad for the relationship—you can’t find out some important things online • When people have more choices, they tend to make worse decisions • People are often deceptive (height, weight, age) • Pictures are often misleading (32% in one study, though they didn’t realize it)

  32. More deceptive ads • Use fewer “I” and “me” • Use more negative phrases (e.g., “not judgmental” instead of “open-minded”) • Use fewer words overall

  33. Speed dating • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hOKtyQMZeE

  34. Friends with benefits • http://www.scienceofrelationships.com/home/2012/3/2/are-you-a-booty-call-or-a-friend-with-benefits.html

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