Comm 220 Attraction

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Factors affecting Attraction

-What matters at first
--Propinquity
--Physical attractiveness; IQ; personality
--Attitude similarity
--Responsiveness
--Reciprocal like Interpersonal Attraction

Proximity

-People near us
-Physical Attractiveness: We like those who we like to look at
-Similarity/Complementary: similar to us
-Responsiveness: reciprocal liking

Reasons why proximity plays a role in attraction

1) Exposure
2) More opportunities to interact
3) Similar economic and social backgrounds

Mere Exposure Study

-As interaction increases, so does attraction

Westgate Housing Project

-Physical attractiveness
-the "ingredients" of a beautiful female face often included:
--Wide cheekbones
--Narrow cheeks
--Broad smile
--Wide nostrils
--Wide eyes
--High-placed eyes
--Eyes set far apart
--Large pupils
--Large eyes relative to the size of the face
--High eyebrows
--Small nose
--Small chins
-Characteristics of an attractive male face
--Browner skin
--Narrower facial shape
--Less fat
--Fuller and more symmetrical lips
--Darker eye brows
--More and darker lashes
--Upper half of the face broader in relation to the lower
--Higher cheek bones
--Prominent lower jaw
--More prominent chin
--No receding brows
--Thinner lids
--No wrinkles between nose and corner of the mouth

Some benefits of being physically attractive

-Halo effects
-More attractive people get lower bail set
-more easily influence others
-earn more money
-#1 predictor of date satisfaction for males is physical attraction

With attractive Children

-They are more popular, better liked by parents, teachers, and peers.
-Dealt with less severely if they commit a transgression
-Teachers give them more information, better evaluations, more opportunities to perform, and more support for their educational endeavors.

Infants and Beauty

-Infants (6 month olds) smile more at attractive than unattractive photos of adults (regardless of race of child and race of photo) and, the other way around

Benefits of being symmetrical

-Mates of symmetrical men show the most reported orgasms.
-Women's breast size symmetry positively affects women's attractiveness
-How symmetry interacts with other criteria for sexual and romantic interest is still being explored

Situational influences on attraction

-Contrast effects
-Opinions of same sex peers (for women)
-Girls all get prettier at closing time effect
-Misattribution of arousal: a high/low
--suspension bridge over a river

Freshman "Welcome Week" Dance Study

-I.V.s
--Attractiveness rated
--Personality tests (social skills; introversion-extroversion; masculinity-femininity; MMPI
-IQ
--Subjects matched for date (randomly)
-D.V.s
--Rated date at intermission
--Contacted several months later about further dates

Results of Freshman "Welcome Week" Dance Study

-Physical attractiveness the most important factor

Snyder et al.

-Males (subjects) thought experiment was about communication--had picture taken
-Told would have conversation w/female student; given folder with a woman's picture
-I.V.
--either attractive or unattractive woman (but not woman male subject was to talk with)
--Talked on phone to a female subject; call recorded
-D.V.s
--Before call: male rated expected friendliness
--After call: male rated perceived friendliness
--Conversation rated for actual friendliness

Snyder results

-Males' expectations reflected stereotypes
--if thought they were going to talk to an attractive woman--expected her to be friendlier and perceived that she was friendlier than males who thought they were talking to unattractive woman
-Males' expectations were also a self-fulfilling prophecy
-Independent judges rated woman (thought to have been attractive) to have been friendlier
-Playing hard to get
-Very hard to get empirical data supporting this strategy
-Although people prefer moderately selective mates to those with no selectivity, lack of perceived interest is typically perceived as a turn off

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