Interpersonal attraction

 3 main factors related to interpersonal attraction.

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  • Created by: shauna
  • Created on: 14-10-11 16:43


Physical proximity usually determines our future partners. Seeing someone daily makes them familiar and familiarity is comforting, as their behaviour becomes predictable therefore putting us at ease.

Bossard (1932) examined pre-marital addresses of 5000 couples in philadelphia. Majority lived within walking distance.

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Physical appearance

Physical attractiveness is important as:

  • we have positive stereotypes of attractive people
  • we gain prestige from being seen with attractive person
  • we gain direct pleasure from their appearance

Matching hypothesis: states we are attracted to individuals who match us in terms of physical attraction.

Walster et al's (1966) computer dance study randomly paired 700 students into blindate dance after which they completed questionnaire about the date. Was predicted pp's would like dance partners according to m.p. Yet pp's preffered thode more physically attractive than themselves, thus rejecting m.p hypothesis.

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Similarity (attitudes and social background)

Attitude similarity is important as it boosts our self esteem when others agree with us as it validates our views.

Byrene's 'law of attraction' states that there's a direct relationship between level of attraction and proprtion of simislar attitudes. In the 'bogus stranger study' pp's completed an attitude questionnaire which the researcher assesed. Pp's then given fake questionnaires believed to be from other p's tat varied slightly. They assessed how much they thought they'd like individuals. Greater the similarity more pp's theought they'd got on.

x Lacks ecological validity because people assess each other.

x Deterministic

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