Social IA&R

Interpersonal Attraction and Relationships

  • interpersonal attraction - evaluation on person makes of another along a 'dimension' ranging from strong liking to stron dislike
  • relationships - regular social encounters over periods of time, many kinds such as platonic, parental, sexual

Factors influencing interpersonal attraction: physical appearance

  • Langlois (2000) meta analysis agreement in attractiveness - healthier, more liked, sexually experienced, higher self esteem, higher intellience
  • evolutionary theory - our attractiveness preferences are shaped by evolution, as reproduction with attractive individuals increases our reproductive fitness
  • faces - average proportion faces seen as more attractive (Rhodes, 1999), symmetry not important, masculinity/femininity important
  • bodies - waist to hip ratio is related to health, fertility, youth so greater chance of conception, shoulder to hip ratio is related to upper body strength and resource aquisition

Factors influencing interpersonal attraction: mental factors

  • proximity (do they live or work close by?) - Festinger, in housing complex people most likely to choose those in the same building or floor as friends, as people close by are accessible so interacting with them has little effort and rewards have little cost
  • familiarity (do we feel we know them) - we like what we are exposed to, familiarity can account for why we gradually like faces of strangers we encounter often, when something familiar seems different we feel uncomfortable
  • similarity - Newcomb (1961) measured…


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