Factors important in formation of relationships

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Proximity and Familiarity.

  • Festinger et al - students living in close proximity of each other formed strongg/close friendships because of continued exposure. In his study of married graduates who lived in 17 different two story flats, 2/3 had close friends who lived in the same buildings. Bossard looked at 5000 marriage licences in Philidelphia. He found evidence of couples getting together living close to eachother.
  • Argyle - increased exposure to and familiarity with others causes increased polarisation of attitudes towards eachother. This is usually in the direction of greater liking, but only if interation is as equals.
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Attitude Similarity, Similarity in Personality, Ph

  • Newcomb collected information from students regatding beliefs and attitudes. This was used to pair them with someone similar or very different attitudes. Friendship were much more likely to form when paired with someone similar (58% and 25%, respectively)
  • Burgess & Wallin obtained detailed information from 1000 engaged couples. There was significance within couples' similarities for 14 characteristics.
  • The first thing we notice about people is their appearance, and often an assessement of physical attractiveness. There is general agreement about whether someone is attractive. Women in particular are percieved as attractive if they have childlike faces - large, widely seperated eyes, small nose and chin etc.
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