Interpersonal attraction Sample Essay

Describe and measure two psychological theories of interpersonal attractive force. In this consider the extent to which attractive force is determined by cultural and societal factors. instead than an act of pick.

Attraction can be considered as a comparatively simple procedure. which has a figure of different signifiers such as friendly relationships. sexual attractive force and romantic love. There are assorted factors and procedures which are involved in attractive force. which will be covered in this essay.

Interpersonal attractive force does hold an of import map. in that it foremost. fulfills the basic human demand to reproduce. Second. adult male can be considered as gregarious. The effects of societal want have been outlined in assorted surveies such as Bexton et Al ( 1954 ) . Schachter ( 1959 ) . Newcomb ( 1990 ) . Social interaction is besides indispensable with respect to assurance and self-pride. and supply critical information about a individuals competency and worth. Social interaction besides provides reassurance in state of affairss of fright and uncertainness as shown by Schachter ( 1959 ) and Karmarck et Al ( 1990 ) .

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Research has identified a figure of factors such as physical attraction. similarity. complementarity. acquaintance. propinquity. mutual liking and perceived fallibility which influence the procedure of attractive force to changing grades.

The first phase of interpersonal attractive force is physical attraction. There are assorted theories about the importance of physical attractive force and the influence of factors such as civilization and coevals. It has been shown in many surveies that physical attraction has important bearing in many countries of society from employment desirableness to the execution of justness. It has been concluded that if a individual is considered as physically attractive so they are likely to be treated more favorably. Surveies carried out by Dion ( 1972 ) concluded that an attractive child’s behavior was considered as less serious than that of an unattractive kid. even for the exact same act. Surveies by Sigall and Ostrove ( 1975 ) concluded that for all offenses. except fraud. an attractive individual would be given a well shorter length of sentence. The halo consequence could be considered as an of import facet of this evident prejudice towards physical attraction. this is when we attribute extra traits as portion of the individuals character. even if they are non valid.

The importance of attraction in regard to long-run relationships was studied by Walster et Al ( 1966 ) who stated that matrimony spouses were rated as possessing similar degrees of attraction. this was called the matching hypothesis. this research was supported by farther surveies conducted by Murstein ( 1972 ) and Silverman ( 1971 ) . However Huston ( 1973 ) maintained that it is non a consequence of fiting but should be alternatively considered as fright of rejection from person more attractive that consequences in couple possessing similar degrees of attraction.

Another of import facet in the procedure of attractive force could be that of propinquity. this can be considered as the physical distance which in bend determines the intimacy of the relationship. A survey by Segal ( 1974 ) concluded that propinquity was a important factor in the development of relationships. This decision was farther supported by research conducted by Festinger et Al ( 1950 ) . Clarke ( 1952 ) and Saegart et Al ( 1973 ) who all agreed that increased contact resulted in a higher degree of respect.

However. if we feel that our personal infinite is being invaded so this may bring forth an inauspicious consequence that consequences in ill will. This was illustrated absolutely by the research carried out by Felipe and Sommer ( 1966 ) . which nevertheless would now be considered as extremely unethical method of research as all the participants were non cognizant of the research that they were taking portion in.

Acquaintance is closely linked to propinquity. in that the more we see person the more likely we are to organize a relationship with them. This was supported by research carried out by Zajonc ( 1968 ) who concluded that exposure or contact is adequate to bring forth liking.

Another facet of attractive force is that of similarity and complementarity. Research has shown that groups of friends have similar attitudes and sentiments Winslow ( 1937 ) . Kandel ( 1978 ) . there are several possible accounts for this. for illustration friends may turn more similar over clip. an apprehension of each other may ensue in shared attitudes. shared experiences may besides ensue in common attitudes. A survey by Byrne ( 1961 ) showed that people rated aliens with similar attitudes as more attractive Internet Explorer intelligent. knowing etc. The importance of similarity in regard to long term relationships was studied by Kerchoff and Davis ( 1962 ) found that relationships tend to be stronger if there is a sharing of attitudes. Duck ( 1973 ) concluded that the type of similarity was more of import than the sum.

The function of complementarity was studied by Winch ( 1958 ) who proposed the theory of complementary demands hypothesis. this states that people select spouses to counterbalance for personal lacks. Winch identified two chief types of complementary demands. foremost nurturant-receptive. secondly dominant-submissive. This hypothesis has been criticised for being to simplistic. and that depending on the state of affairs functions may be reversed ie a individual may be dominant in one state of affairs and submissive in another. This theory may play a function in the long term viabilty of a relationship. instead than act uponing initial attractive force.

A major factor in finding attractive force is mutual liking. this is basically that we are more inclined to wish person if they like us. A survey carried out by Aronson and Linder ( 1965 ) led Aronson. in1976 to province that there were four conditions of what he termed the reward-cost rule.

1. ( Positive ) Person is systematically positive towards you.

2. ( Negative ) Person is systematically negative towards you.

3. ( Gain ) Person is ab initio negative but so becomes positive.

4. ( Loss ) Person is ab initio positive but so becomes negative.

Aronson ( 1976 ) stated that the strongest attractive force comes from status 3 Internet Explorer that you have won person about. Aronson and Linder stated that this reaction was a general rule of interpersonal attractive force which they termed as the gain-loss theoretical account. This was further supported by research conducted by Clore et Al ( 1975 ) which followed the same conditions as Aronson’s consequences and fit’s the gain-loss theoretical account proposed by Aronson and Linder. This hypothesis is in kernel extremely mechanistic in it’s position of interpersonal attractive force.

An interesting facet of interpersonal attractive force is that of sensed fallibillity. this was defined by Aronson et Al ( 1966 ) which states that people of mean self-esteem consider errors by high winners as acceptable. nevertheless errors from those considered as less than high winners is more likely to do a feeling of antipathy. This decision was supported by research conducted by Helmreich et Al ( 1970 ) . which stated that people of high or low ego regard liked superior people less if they made a error.

Once initial choice has taken topographic point. there are several factors which may act upon the hereafter or development of the relationship. The chief theories refering relationship care involve some signifier of wages system. The complementary demands theory proposed by Winch ( 1958 ) can besides be applied to the care of the relationship. Newcomb ( 1971 ) stated that in the formation of relationships there is a desire to make a balance. and that we seek to develop relationships with people of similar interest’s. This theory was supported by research conducted by Newcomb in ( 1961 ) and farther research conducted by Hill. Rubin and Peplau ( 1976 ) .

Other theories refering this country of attractive force pigment a pessimistic image of the nature under which relationships are formed. The equity theory proposed by Hatfield and Traupmann ( 1981 ) and Walster et Al ( 1978 ) province that there is a high grade of selfishness involved. The key to prolonging a relationship harmonizing to this theory is that there should be a balance of each spouses needs being satisfied. Another facet of this theory was that developed by Thibaut and Kelly ( 1959 ) . Huesmann and Levinger ( 1976 ) who decribed relationships in footings of cost and wages.

The support theoretical account proposed by Byrne and Clore ( 1970 ) states that we are more likely to develop relationships with people to whom we attach feelings of satisfaction. This theory was supported by the research of Veitch and Griffin ( 1976 ) . Rabbie and Horwitz ( 1960 ) . It was. nevertheless. criticised by Duck ( 1992 ) who doubted the cogency of the research methods used in carry oning it.

Duck ( 1992 ) proposed that relationships provide continuity of modus operandi and non concious or uncious determinations which decide the destiny of relationships. research conducted by Duck and Pond ( 1989 ) endorse’s this theory.

There are several grounds why relationships dislocation. runing from deficiency of stabilty. instability. fraudulence etc. Research by Bentler and Newcomb ; Jaffe and Kanter ( 1979 ) . Rusbuilt ( 1987 ) states that there is four types of disgruntled behavior ;

1. Exit strategy- involves get awaying from the relationship either physically or mentally.

2. Voice strategy- involves treatment of jobs within the relationship.

3. Loyalty- belief that the relationship will better.

4. Neglect- response to the cuurent province of the relationship is one of lassitude or neglect.

Duck ( 1982. 1992 ) states that there is. what he termed. a theoretical account of relational disintegration. This can be considered as the procedure by which relationships breakdown. This starts with a feeling of dissatisfaction about the current province of the relationship and involves an rating of the spouses behaviour. This can be considered as the inter-psychic stage. as the individuals ideas are non yet apparent. The 2nd stage is that of the dyadic stage. this involves discoursing their uncertainties with there spouse. This may take to several possible decisions such as renegotiation. fix. backdown or struggle. If the latter two occur so this leads to the societal stage. this is where the province of the relationship is discussed publically. attempts might yet still be made to salvage the relationship at this point. When the relationship has eventually been considered as beyond fix so the grave-dressing stage begins. this involves covering with the effects of the interruption up. Baxter ( 1984 ) states that there is six stages involved in the interruption up of a relationship ;

1. Onset of job.

2. Decision to issue.

3. Initiation of one-sided disengagement action.

4. Initial reaction to the other party.

5. Ambivalence and fix scenarios.

6. Initiation of bilateral detachment.

In decision the procedure of attractive force can be considered as comparatively simple. nevertheless it has to be stated that it is non as clear cut as first seems. this is apparent from the figure of theories that seem to belie each other on the motivations involved ie the theories refering the maintenace of relationships conflict on the issue of whether it is concious or unconcious wagess system that influences behavior or the desire for predictabilty. It is besides apparent that the procedure of attractive force is cosmopolitan in nature ie it can be practically applied to all facets of relationships from love to company.


Cardwell. Mike ; The complete A -Z Psychology Handbook ; 1996.

Gleitman ; Psychology. Third Edition ; 1981.

Hayes. Nicky ; Foundations of Psychology ; 1995.


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