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Flashcards in Exam 3- Lecture 12 Deck (18):

What brings us together?



What keeps us together?



What attracts us to others (romantic and friendship)?

1. Proximity - physical distance
2. Physical attractiveness
3. Similarity
4. Reciprocal liking


1. Proximity

Physical distance

Functional distance
-how often people's paths cross

Simply being closer to someone makes a relationship more likely to develop

Apt study (Festinger et al., 1950)
randomly assigned apt (6 months later)
65% said closest friend lived in same building
Of that 65%
-41% lived next door
-22% two doors away
-10% other end of hall

ppl live near staircase, most friends

-more likely to meet and get to know each other
-might have proximity b/c shared interest
-mere exposure effect
-->tendency for novel stimuli to be more liked or rated more positively after repeated exposure

*Expectation of contact = more psychologically generous (benefit of doubt)


Functional distance

1. Proximity

How often people's paths cross


Mere exposure effect

1. Proximity

Tendency for novel stimuli to be more liked or rated more positively after repeated exposure

Nonsense syllables (Zajonc, 1968, 1970)
-exposed to set of novel syllables
-rate big rotation of syll.
-even when subliminal, rested heard better than never heard before

Photographs vs. mirror images (Mita et al., 1977)
-one pic and more mirror image (flipped), asked which one liked better and asked friends
-self: liked mirror better
-friends: liked regular better


2. Physical attractiveness

Welcome week dance study (Hatfield et al., 1966)
-hundreds of freshman, made up dating service and randomly assigned with partner to attend with
-2.5 hours, told matched based on something, what aspects might make them want to seem them again
-only thing that mattered was physical attractiveness

Halo effect
-belief that physically attractive people also have a wide range of other positive characteristics

-Effects of plastic surgery (Kalick, 1977)
-->rate impressions either before or after
-->after- more attractive rating; more kind, sensitive, likable

-Attractive students (Clifford & Walster, 1973)
-->fifth graders rated on attractiveness (take extremes)
-->teachers rate and only pictures differ
---->cute kids better (smarter, socially skilled, fewer behavioral problems)


What do we find attractive (on average)?

2. Physical attractiveness

"Avg" faces

Evolutionary preferences (Buss, 1989)
-gender preferences
->indicators of good health
-->women: baby face (youth, nondominace)
-->men: height, muscular, distinguished (older)

Contrast effects (momentary comparison):
Charlie's Angels study (Kendrick & Gutierres, 1980)
-male college dorm; opinion about avg looking woman
->if watching, rated her as less attractive than those who were not watching at the time

Centerfold study (Kendrick, 1989)
-men in lab; view centerfold models or pics not of women
->when viewed avg pics (centerfold- less attractive)
->when rate wives (centerfold- less attractive)


Matching hypothesis

2. Physical attractiveness
-tendency to choose as partners those who are a MATCH in attractiveness and other qualities

Matching vs. most attractive? depends on fear of rejection

UCLA Dating study
study 1:
-attractiveness of participants and women's photos have been rated
-picked women who was closet to them in attractiveness

study 2:
-all want to date you
-all went for hottest person (no fear of rejection)




Birds of a feather flock together!

Housing study (Newcomb, 1961)
-3 months later
-most similar- most likely to become friends

Little evidence for the complementarity hypothesis (opposites attract)

Why is similarity important in attraction?
-less conflict when viewpoints are similar
-validation of our own characteristics and beliefs
-we may believe that similarity will lead to reciprocity


Reciprocal liking


We like people who like us

The "I overheard you" study (Aronson & Linder, 1965)
Participant overhears other talking about them after interacting each time
1. Smack talk from start to finish
2. Positive whole time (they are ok)
3. Positive -> worse (felt worst and liked least)
4. unsure -> positive (like them the most)


Sternberg's Triangular Theory of Love (3 parts)

1. Passion
Imp. and strongest EARLY in the relationship

Speed dating studies (Finkel & Eastwick's, 2008)
-chemistry is mutual (specific and unique)
-if felt chemistry with everyone, others did not feel the same

2. Intimacy
With more time together, passion fades and intimacy (comfort, security) becomes stronger and more imp

3. Commitment
Necessary for long-term success

Romantic love (passion and intimacy)
Companionate love (intimacy and commitment)
Fatuous love (passion and commitment)


Why do initially happy relationships become unhappy?

Research shows that most relationships DECLINE in satisfaction over time


Successful relationships

Stable- does not end in a break up
Satisfying- fulfills need of both partners


Marriage and divorce

Over 50% of ppl get divorced
Approx. 63% when including separations

Remarriage: HIGHER divorce rate
Cohabitation: HIGHER divorce rate


When do marriages end?

50% of all divorce takes place within first 6 years of marriage (7 yrs itch)

Highest number of divorce occurs between the second and third year of marriage


Predictors of relationship instability or dissatisfaction

1. Communication problems
How we deal with CONFLICT says a lot about the state of the relationship

Gottman's 4 warning signs
1. Criticism- constantly finding fault w/ partner
2. Defensiveness- refusing role in conflict
3. Stonewalling- refuse to talk about problem
4. Contempt- looking down on partner (WORST)

2. Investment model (Rusbult)
Predicts commitment in relationships from three factors
1. Rewards- what you get out of it? 5:1
2. Alternatives- what happen if left (break up side)
3. Investments- what have put in relationship

3. Attachment theory (Bowlby, 1960s)
-infancy, develop models of close relationships that carry throughout their lives (adult attachment style mimics)

Ainsworth: stronge situation
Secure attachment- reliable caregiver
Avoidant attachment- unavailable caretaker
Anxious/ambivalent attachment- undependable, unpredictable caretaker

4. Vulnerability-Stress-Adaptation Model (Karney & Bradbury)
1. Vulnerability- what bring into rel. (attachment, personality, etc.)
2. Stress- external events (death in fam., job loss, etc.)
3. Adaptation- coping strategies (communication, etc.)


5 strategies for happy relationships

1. Share the GOOD times
More imp. than hard times (Gable et al.)

2. Create NOVELTY
Hedonic adaptation model (Lyubomirsky)
-get used to good and bad things
-try new hobby, move to new place, etc.

3. Laugh together
Two-factor theory

4. Idealize your partner, but also recognize faults
Murray's trait rating study

5. Don't have kids (kidding)
Still fiercely debated
-some good (meaning of life, positive emotions)
-some bad (sleep, finances, negative emotions... relationship satisfaction)