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The Halo-Effect In Interpersonal Attraction Essays

Some of the very earliest research on attraction focused on the proximity of relationships (Festinger, Schachter, & Back, 1950). These early researchers performed a sociometric study in a housing complex for married students at MIT called Westgate West. The residents were asked to name their three closest friends. The majority of the respondents named people who lived in the same building, even though other housing units were nearby. Even within the building proximity was a striking factor, with 41 percent naming their next-door neighbors as best friends, 22 percent named those living two doors away, and only 10 percent pointed to those living at the end of hallways as close friends. The critical factor was the chance of coming in contact. Festinger et al. called this functional distance.

Interpersonal Attraction and the Social Self essays

It is very powerful to feelings of attraction.
We always want our feelings to be mutual, we don't want to be turned down by the person that we like or want to get to know better.
This is a major factor in forming a serious relationship.

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In today’s world the market place economy dominates in all aspects of culture and interpersonal interactions. Interpersonal attraction is also dominated by market ideas. The theories of interpersonal attraction emerged in western capitalist societies and reflect therefore common social ideas of rewards, costs, and fairness. Social exchange theory states that relationship liking depends on outcomes that is defined as the rewards minus the costs of a relationship. The theory suggests that relationships have rewards, but also costs and the rewards must be larger for the relationship to be lasting and satisfying. Our satisfaction may also to some degree depend on past relationships that serve as a comparison level. Equity theory states that contentment depends on equity, the give and take in a relationship. Essentially equality and fairness is what governs relationship satisfaction from this perspective. In modern times this perspective in intimate relations leads to tiresome negotiations, issues perhaps better solved by consensus about division of responsibilities.

Physical attractiveness is a powerful antecedent to liking. There is in fact little difference between the genders, both like the physically attractive member of the opposite sex. It seems that physical attractiveness is the single most important variable in eliciting sexual desire and arousal. There are some gender differences. Women place greater importance on economic security and stability when considering marriage. They will therefore marry a less desirable male, or an older male, who possesses material resources. Evolutionary psychology would say that these gender differences exist for reproductive reasons. To form family, women must have stable partners. However, as society advances toward economic equality, both sexes place more importance on physical attractiveness.

Explanations on Interpersonal Attraction essay ..

Psychology Essays: Interpersonal Attraction: A Study in the Mate Selection Process

Theories of interpersonal attraction seem more valid for functional relationships one might find at work or school. Western-based societies are more based on exchange, equity and market economies, whereas societies in Asia are more communally based. In communal relations the outcome for the individual depends on need. Also in close relationships, topics dealing with emotional support and satisfaction are relevant, and altruistic behaviors are expected.

Liking someone is the start of relationships. In all its simplicity, we like those who are rewarding to us and we dislike those who are a burden. The literature supports the importance of some antecedents to liking; these include propinquity, similarity, and physical attraction. We tend to like those who live near us because propinquity provides the opportunity to meet, and repeated exposure creates feelings of familiarity. This is an optimistic finding from social psychology that suggests that many relationships are possible in a person’s life given the opportunity. The mere exposure effect supports the idea that repeated exposure leads to liking as exposure creates feelings of safety and security. Proximity may mask another variable important to liking relationships, that of similarity, as we often live in social environments where people share common values, or other characteristics. Also long distance relationships are more difficult to maintain and therefore more costly. Similarity is a powerful variable in liking relationships. We marry those who are similar to us in social class, religion and values. The more similar we are to someone, the more we like the other person. Dating services are based on the idea that a good match is with someone who is similar in values, attitudes, and even physical appearance. The reason similarity is central to liking relationships is that it provides a common platform for understanding the other person and therefore promotes intimacy and trust. Of course it is also reassuring to have our values confirmed by another person. Again, the similarity may be caused by selectivity of the social environment which produces shared experiences and therefore bonding. Those who come from the same culture would have a large set of experiences and values in common not present to outsiders.

Example research essay topic College Interpersonal Attraction
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What Are the Social Factors That Influence Interpersonal Attraction?

Similarity of religion or social class may just be frequency or proximity factors, as the likelihood of exposure is greater for these categories. Similarity in physical attractiveness also plays a role and personality characteristics, although to a lesser extent (Buss, 1984). In a classic study, Newcomb (1961) showed that after a year of living together, student’s liking of roommates was determined by how similar they were. In other studies where the participants thought they were rating another participant (in fact a bogus participant) either similar or dissimilar, the similar person was liked more (Byrne, 1961; Tan & Singh, 1995). The similarity effect holds true across a variety of relationships including friendship and marriage.

Interpersonal Attraction (four factors) Flashcards | Quizlet

Propinquity, similarity and physical attraction have been studied extensively by social psychologists. Many would consider these to be obvious variables in interpersonal attraction. Yet, in our culture we say, “beauty is only skin deep”, thereby denigrating the potential influence of physical attractiveness. As we shall see beauty is much more than skin deep, and along with similarity and propinquity have profound effects on whom we like, and on our relationships and social successes.

Interpersonal attraction essays - Dürr | Stuckateure & Maler

Physical attractiveness is very culturally bound. In some societies voluptuous women are considered beautiful, while in our society the fashion industry and the media define attractiveness as being thin. When it comes to personality based characteristics two factors lead to liking. We like people who show warmth toward others, and people who are socially competent (Lydon, Jamieson, & Zanna, 1988). Warm people are those who have an optimistic outlook on life and people. We like them because they are a source of encouragement in an otherwise discouraging world. Warm people are a pleasure to be around and therefore rewarding. In one study (Folkes & Sears, 1977) the researchers had the participants listen to an interviewee evaluate a variety of objects including movie stars, cities, political leaders. Sometimes the interviewees expressed negativity toward these objects, in other cases positive views. The participants expressed a greater liking for the interviewee who expressed positive views, i.e. displayed warmth toward the rated people and objects.

Interpersonal attraction variables essay - WpCarpooling

Likewise we like more the socially skilled. Social intelligence can be demonstrated by being a good conversationalist. Skilled speakers were seen as more likeable, whereas boring communicators were not only rated as less likeable, but also as less friendly and more impersonal (Leary, Rogers, Canfield, & Coe, 1986). Obviously communication skills are essential to long-lasting relationships. We are especially fond of people whose ways of relating to others are similar to our own (Burleson & Samter, 1996). Those with high communication skills saw interactions as complex with highly valued psychological components. People with low skill levels saw communications as more straightforward and less complicated. To communicate at the same level is a very important aspect of attraction and liking. Operating at the same skill level is rewarding, as we feel empathy and understanding. Those who do not share the same level of communications are less likely to develop long-lasting relationships (Burleson, 1994; Duck & Pittman, 1994).

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