Week 2: Lecture 1 - Attraction And Mate Selection Flashcards Preview

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Proximity (propinquity)

- Bossard (1930s) - examined 5000 marriage licenses
- 12% of couples had lived in the same building before marriage
- Another 33% lived within 5 blocks of each other
- critical factor: functional distance (Myers, 1999)


Familiarity and similarity

- basic principle of attraction
- 'mere exposure effect' Zajonc
- link with safer and adaptiveness
- gaining another's approval is especially rewarding after rejection
- perceived similarity is what matters


Arousal and attraction

- Aron and Aron (1989), men found females "torturers" more attractive -> effects of arousal
- The role of general excitement on attraction -> passionate love thrives on obstacles and stress


Physical attractiveness

- is most accessible and salient dimension along which people judge others
- beautiful children are treated more favorably
- exception: lower ratings of attractive same-sex job candidates by low self self-esteem interviewers


Beauty bias

- Proximal reason: aesthetics (beauty is pleasurable)
- assumption that beautiful people will be good, have more social skills
- basking in reflected glory
- just world effect: good (beautiful) people deserve success


Evolved for beauty?

- Universally, signs of youth and health (reproductive viability) are regarded as attractive
- composite (average) faces are judged as more attractive than individual faces; associated with goodness and safety
- babies stare longer


Role of facial/bodily symmetry

- Symmetry is associated with good health and low parasite load
- facial asymmetry associated with more psychological and physical problems in Uni students
- female preference for male symmetry when ovulating (also male dominance cues)!


Universal & m/f preferences when choosing a mate

- Universal: kindness, loyalty, emotional stability
- male specific: youth, physical attractiveness
- female specific: status, resources


Social power hypothesis

- M/f preferences explained by differential access to resources and power
- Def an important factor across time and diff cultures where women have been dependent on men for resource
- reinforced by sex-role socialization
- weaknesses; as women increasingly control their own resources, their preferences should become more like men's; some evidence (increasing emphasis on male beauty); women still prefer to marry 'up'


Sexual strategies theory - Buss & Schmidt, 1993

- Women need to be highly selective about mating - few reproductive opportunities; need to ensure potential mate has resources and willingness to commit
- Men can be less funny, should be attracted to youth and health
- Evidence; men are less discriminating than women in choice of sexual partner; men value sexual experience in short-term (but not long-term) mate; men are more inclined to casual and extramarital sex (incl. pros.) than women; men have more sexual fantasies than women, and different content


Anthropological evidence

- Nearly 84% of past/present human societies have allowed men more than one wife
- men with resources can get as much sex as they like
- computer dating - as men's income rises, they request younger women


How to attract an ideal mate?

- be kind, reliable, cheerful, and dependable
- women; lie about age, look youthful
- men; exaggerate resources and pretend commitment
- women; put down rivals' appearance and sexual desirability
- men; put down rivals earning ability and commitment potential