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Interpersonal Attraction & Close Relationships

Need to Affiliate
It is a basic human motive to seek and maintain interpersonal relationships
Our affiliation with others serves various functions:
o Positive stimulation
o Social support
o Attention
o Social comparison
In general, those with a network of close social ties tend to be happier, healthier, and more
satisfied with life than those who are more isolated
Sometimes our affiliation needs are not met, because of
o Ostracism
When an individual is ignored by others or excluded from a social group
o Shyness
This will lead to a feeling that we dont belong (ostracism) or a feeling of deprivation about
social relations (shyness)
May lead to loneliness (dispositional/existential vs situational)
o Existential/ dispositional loneliness is just a feeling of loneliness despite having rich
social life
It is a state of mind that an individual has and tends to be more permanent
The individual feel as though they lack real connections with other
o Situational loneliness is due to factors in a situation that reduces the number of close
relationships that you may have
Ex you are moving away to a new town/school
o If you are shy the it can manifest into existential loneliness
This is temporary feeling.
Social exclusion leads to increased sensitivity to interpersonal information, in less effective
cognitive functioning, and to low self-esteem over time (Baumeister, Twenge & Nuss, 2002)
o Very sensitive to many social cues
Anything said in a social setting is seen as though it is them that others are
referring to.
o Are excluded and so they feel like everyone is against them
o Tends to lead into a never ending negative circle
Few friends low self-esteem neglects current friendshiploses
friends low self esteem
Interpersonal Attraction
There are two basic and necessary factors in the attraction process:
o Proximity
o Exposure
These two are called propinquity
o Effect that occurs when chances of meeting another person increases because of
nearness in the physical space
o Smaller the distance the higher the probability that people will meet and meet more
Festinger study Chartered friendships in apartment complex determined by physical and
functional proximity
o People who lived closer to the stairs/doors/entrance will know more people in the
Why does proximity lead to liking?
o Repeated exposure leads to feeling of familiarity
o Evolution Familiar things, including others, more likely to be safe
Physical attractiveness and Stereotypes
o Based on the What is beautiful is good stereotype
The belief that physically attractive people also have other socially desirable
Beautiful people are liked more by adults, children and infants
o Clifford & Hatfield (1973)
Gave teachers identical information about a boy and a girl, but varied
DV rated intelligence and success
They rated the more attractive kid was more intelligent and more
likely succeed
o Roszell & al. (1990)
1-5 scale of attractiveness
For each point, people tented to earn an extra $2000
o Is the stereotype accurate?
It is both accurate and not accurate
the accuracy could come from the fact that a self-fulfilling prophecy
more attractive someone is the nicer people are to them and the
more support they get meaning they gain self-confidence and tend to
succeed in the things that they put their minds to
o Why does the stereotype persist?
Many research topics on interpersonal attraction have focused on physical attractiveness;
however, other factors, like intelligence, have also been studies.
o Men and women differ in this criterion for sexual partners, but not for long-term
Kenrick & al. (1993)
o Students in these series of studies were asked:
What is the minimum percentile of intelligence you would accept in
considering someone for:
o See slides 7-12
Close Relationships
Often involve three basic components:
o Feelings of attachment, affection, and love.
o The fulfillment of psychological needs.
o Interdependence between partners, where a change in behaviour of one results in a
change in behaviour of partner.
Partners gatts be in sync
According to Aron & al. (1991), the movement from casual to close relationships had to
involve the development of interdependence.
o Close relationships are only possible with the inclusion of the other in ones self
Referring to you and your partner as we
Unable to define who you are without including them.
o Closeness = degree to which cognitive representations of the self-overlap with the
The first close relationships develop in the family
o These set the stage for the relationships that we will form throughout our lives
Attachment Styles (Shaver & Brennan, 1992)
o Our first experience of attachment occurs with mum/dad and fam members
How this attachment style is affects they types of attachment styles an
individual will develop later in life
o Our earliest developmental experiences allow us to form two working models
Working model of the self
Reflects our basic feelings of self-worth or self-esteem
Working model of others
Reflects our basic beliefs involving interpersonal trust
o The two working models define different attachment styles that influence most of
our close relationships
Secure attachment style
Characterized by high self-esteem and interpersonal trust
Most successful and desirable attachment style
Fearful-avoidant attachment style
Negative working model of self and others
Tends to mistrust others
Most insecure and least adaptive attachment style
Preoccupied attachment style
High interpersonal trust and low self esteem
Tend to be conflicted and is an insecure attachment style
They desire a close relationship but they feel unworthy of their
partner and are vulnerable to rejection
Want people to like them but they are not about themselves.
They trust others but do not view themselves positively
o They want others to like them but they do not like themselves
Dismissing attachment style
High self-esteem but you dont trust other people
Is a conflicted and insecure attachment style
Feel as though they deserve a close relationship but are frustrated b/c
of mistrust of potential partners
results in a tendency to reject the other person at some point in the
relationship to avoid being the one that is rejected
o best combo is secure + secure
these are more successful
o secure + other
can also be successful if the securely attached one is able to help the other
person change-but this tends to be a of of work because they dot really know
where the mistrust/low self-esteem comes from
o secure + high self-esteem & mistrustful
this could work if the secure one shows them that they can be trusted
o combinations of other attachment styles(minus secure)
they dont usually work
attachment styles are on a continuum
o so the severity of your class varies
Attachment Styles
o Slide 15
Close Relationships
Another determinant of the nature and quality of our relationships is whether we have a
communal orientation or an exchange orientation
o Exchange Relationships:
Participants expect and desire strict reciprocity in their interactions (equity
Want to be repaid immediately for favours
Tend to be exploited when favour arent reciprocated
Take note of what each I bringing to the relationship
Doing something for your partner has no effect on your mood.
I do something for you, you do something for me
This relationship only works when both partners are strong exchange
relationship thinkers.
o Communal Relationships:
Participants expect and desire mutual responsiveness to each others needs
Do not really reciprocate favours
Do not feel exploited when favours are not repaid
Do not keep track of what each is contributing to the relationship
Helping their partner puts them in a good mood.
When both partners have this approach tend to have happier partnerships
What is love?
o Sternbergs Triangular Theory of love (1986)
This researcher believes that the numerous ways to define love (i.e., caring,
loyalty, attraction, etc.<-- the Behr study) earlier could be reduced to three
essential components:
o Linked to motivation
o The sexual motives and the sexual excitement that a person
o Based on romance, physical and sexual attraction
o Tend to peak early in a relationship and tends to diminish
o Linked to emotions
o The closeness felt by two people; the strength of the bond
that holds them together
Concerned with each others welfare and happiness
Value, like and count on one another
o This steadily increases as the relationship progresses
o Linked to cognition
o The cognitive processes involved in the decision that you
love the other person and are committed to maintaining the
o Making a conscious decision that you love that person and
want to be with them.
o This makes a sudden apparition and then remains stable and
high overtime.
Different combination of these three components help define eight different
types of love
Each with positive and negative aspects
#8=absence of love
o Absence of all 3 components
The components of Sternbergs model tend to change in level over time,
which accounts for the changing nature of love in most long-term

Sternbergs Triangular Theory of Love

The 8
o Absence of all 3 components=absence of love
Consummate love
o Intimacy + passion + commitment
o should be strived for in a relationship
Companionate love
o Intimacy + commitment
o marriage where the passion has faded(happen over time)
Fatuous love
o Passion + commitment
o Otherwise known as Hollywood love.
o A commitment based on passion but not enough time is given for the development
of intimacy
It is a shallow relationship doesnt really allow for intimacy to develop as they
tend to break up before that.
Romantic love
o Intimacy + passion
o Involves Physical + emotional attraction
o Ex summer fling
Intimacy alone
o liking
o True friendship without passion or long term commitment
o You and your friends dont really make an effort to make some sort of commitment;
yall are just chilling
Commitment alone
o Empty love
o Make a decision to be with one another without any intimacy or passion
o Ex an arranged marriage
o Infatuation
o Usually obsessive love/attraction
o Kind of like love at first sight