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Social Psychology by David G. Myers 8th Edition
Attraction and Intimacy: Liking and Loving Others
What leads to attraction & friendship?
Physical attractiveness
Feeling liked

Attraction & Friendship
Proximity (geographical nearness)
Interaction – importance of “functional distance” – how often paths cross has strong influence on liking
Anticipation of interaction increases liking.
Mere exposure effect – tendency for novel stimuli to be liked more or rated more positively after the rater has been exposed repeatedly
Attraction & Friendship
Physical attractiveness
Attractiveness and dating
The matching phenomenon – tendency to choose partners who are a “good match”
The physical-attractiveness stereotype: the presumption that physically attractive people possess other socially desirable traits also.
Who is attractive? Some cultural variation, but also strong cross-cultural agreement.
Computer averaged pictures—average and symmetrical, some exaggeration of certain features
The attractiveness of those we love
Body Self-Esteem
Body Self-Esteem
Attraction & Friendship
Similarity versus complementarity
Do birds of a feather flock together? Yes, friends and couples are more likely to share values, attitudes, & beliefs. They also tend to be similar in a number of other ways, such as education, IQ, race, economic level, appearance, etc.
Do opposites attract? No research support for this idea, although it remains very popular & persuasive.
Attraction & Friendship
Liking those who like us—being liked/loved can cause us to like/love in return.
Attribution - Do we see compliments as sincere or not?
Self-esteem and attraction - Those with temporary or long-term low self-esteem are more vulnerable.
Gaining another’s esteem – We feel more warmly toward someone who expresses a gradual increase in liking us, especially after they were initially critical.
Attraction & Friendship
Relationship Rewards
Reward theory of attraction – We like those whose behavior is rewarding to us or whom we associate with rewarding events.
Liking by association – associate people with rewarding/unrewarding events, may also associate people with other people they resemble

Theory of Love
Passionate love: state of intense longing for union with another
A theory of passionate love: the psychological experience of being biologically aroused
Variations in love by culture and gender

Companionate love
Passion typically declines after several years, and long-term happy relationships are characterized by a deep affectionate attachment.
In contrast, people in arranged marriages report that love grows steadily after marriage.
The decline of passion can bring disillusionment if people do not understand the importance of companionate love.
Maintaining Close Relationships
Crucial for infants and life-long well-being
Secure attachment: trust and intimacy
Avoidant attachment: dismissive detachment
Insecure attachment: anxiety, avoidance, ambivalence

Maintaining Close Relationships
What people receive from the relationship is proportionate to what they contribute to it.
Good long-term relationships are unconcerned with short-term equity and are characterized by generosity & sacrifice, BUT equity must be maintained over the long term.
Perceived inequities cause problems in relationships, and because of the self-serving bias, the person who gives less may be less sensitive to the inequity.
Maintaining Close Relationships
Deeply committed intimate relationships are characterized by self-disclosure (revealing intimate aspects of oneself to others).
We disclose more when we are angry, to those with whom we anticipate further interaction, and if we have a secure attachment style.
Disclosure reciprocity effect: tendency of one’s self-disclosure to match that of the conversational partner.

Ending Relationships – Who Divorces?
Individualistic culture, where passion & personal fulfillment are expected in marriage
Risk factors include: marry before 20, unstable childhood home, dated short time, uneducated, lack stable & sufficient income, live in a big city, cohabited or became pregnant before marriage, not religiously committed
Gottman’s research on behaviors predicting divorce: criticism, defensiveness, contempt, stonewalling.
The Detachment Process
Responses to relationship distress:
Wait for improvement or try to improve it
Neglect the partner/relationship
Exit the relationship
The process of detachment can take a long time.
Emotional costs include grief & loss, guilt
Other costs may include economic loss, loss of friends and family, possibly restricted parental rights.