"Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at
each other but in looking outward together in the same
direction." --- Antoine de Saint-Exupery
It is with true love as it is with ghosts; everyone talks about it,
but few have seen it. --- La Rochefoucauld
"When two people are under the influence of the most violent,
most insane, most delusive, and most transient of passions,
they are required to swear that they will remain in that excited,
abnormal, and exhausting condition continuously until death
do them part.“ --- George Bernard Shaw
Thought Frequency As Pie Charts
The Women Men relationship
thrashing Food bald
Aging Things we Career
Having shouldn’t Strange ear Aging
to pee have eaten & nose hair
Alvy's Voice Over: I thought of that old joke, you know,
this guy goes to a psychiatrist and says, “Doc, my
brother's crazy. He thinks he's a chicken." And, the
doctor says, "why don't you turn him in?" And the guy
says, “I would, but I need the eggs." Well, I guess that's
pretty much how I feel about relationships. You know,
they're totally irrational and crazy and absurd and...But, I
guess we keep going through it because, uh, most of us
need the eggs.
--- ANNIE HALL
Cecilia: i just met a wonderful new man. Sure, he's fictional but you
can't have everything. ---The Purple Rose of Cairo
Ike: Well, I'm old-fashioned. I don't believe in extramarital
relationships. I think people should mate for life, like pigeons or
Catholics. --- Manhattan
Cliff: Wendy and I finally decided to call it quits, you know, and even
though the last couple of years have been terrible, this kind of thing
makes me feel sad, you know, I don't know why.
Babs: But you know what you told me? You told me it's been platonic
for a year. And I say, once the sex goes, it all goes.
---Crimes and Misdemeanors
Arthur: I had dropped out of law school when i met eve. She was
very beautiful. Very pale and cool in her black dress...With never
anything more than a single strand of pearls. And distant. Always
poised and distant.
By the time the girls were born ... It was all so perfect, so ordered.
Looking back, of course, it was rigid. The truth is. .. She'd created
a world around us that we existed in where everything had its
place, where there was always a kind of harmony. Oh, great
dignity. I will say ... It was like an ice palace.
Then suddenly, one day, out of nowhere ... An enormous abyss
opened up beneath our feet. And I was staring into a face I didn't
Early Attraction Factors
• Proximity (physical distance, repeated exposure)
• Anxiety Affiliation Link (Dr. Zilstein study)
• General Emotional Arousal Attraction Link
Results of Schachter’s “Dr. Zilstein study”
Nonanxious Anxious subjects Schachter (1959) manipulated
subjects the anxiety levels of female
subjects by having them
20 20 anticipate either painful or
innocuous shock. The
18 18 dependent variable was
16 16 subjects’ choice to wait with
others or to wait alone.
# of Subjects
The results indicated that
anxious subjects chose to
10 10 wait with others more
than non-anxious subjects.
Also, a follow-up study
found that anxious people
4 4 preferred to wait with
other anxious people
rather than those who
Choose to wait Choose to wait were not anxious
alone with others
Attitude similarity and attraction
Attraction toward other person (range = 2-14)
Byrne and Nelson (1965) asked
to rate how much they liked a
stranger after learning he agreed
12.00 with varying proportions of their
attitudes expressed on a
11.00 questionnaire. (Higher numbers
indication greater liking.)
As the graph shows, the
greater the proportion of
7.00 attitudes subjects shared
6.00 with the stranger, the
.00 .20 .40 .60 .80 1.00 more subjects liked him
Proportion of similar attitudes held by
Why such a powerful effect of similarity?
A) Cognitive Consistency
(We like ourselves, therefore we like those who are like us)
B) Social Comparison (validation of one's beliefs)
C) Anticipate/Predict other's behavior (e.G., Likes/dislikes,
D) They will like us also (reciprocal)
Application of Similarity Theory
Key Dimensions Used by eHarmony
Stated goal: “eHarmony … creates compatible matches based on 29 dimensions
scientifically proven to predict happier, healthier relationships”
Core Traits ---
Social Style (Character, Kindness, Dominance, Sociability, Autonomy, Adaptability):
How do you relate to other people? Do you crave company, or prefer to be alone? Are
you more comfortable leading, or do you prefer to go along with the group?
Cognitive Mode (Intellect, Curiosity, Humor, Artistic Passion)
How do you think about the world around you? Are you motivated by an insatiable
curiosity about the world and events around you? Are you constantly looking for
intellectual challenges? Do you find humor to be your favorite coping strategy when
dealing with the world?
Physicality (Energy – Physical, Passion – Sexual, Vitality & Security, Industry,
Appearance). How do you relate physically with the world? How do you relate
physically with yourself? Are you energetic, athletic and constantly in motion? Or are
you more comfortable and happy walking than running?
Application of Similarity Theory (cont.)
Relationship Skills (Communication Style, Emotion Management – Anger,
Emotion Management – Mood, Conflict Resolution)
The amount of effort and skill that you devote to making a relationship work are
key elements of who you are, and what type of person you are most likely to
succeed with in a relationship
Values and Beliefs (Spirituality, Family Goals, Traditionalism, Ambition,
Altruism). Values and Beliefs are at the center of most of our life experiences.
How we feel about spirituality, religion, family and even politics for a enormous
part of how we think about the world, and who we are going to be most
comfortable sharing our lives with.
Key Experiences (Family Background, Family Status, Education) All of your life
experiences combine to affect who you are and how you relate to the world.
Although many of the effects of these experiences are represented by the other
Core Traits and Learned Attributes, the following components of the 29
Dimensions are considered separately as part of your Key Experiences in your
Basic premise: Differences are disliked; perceived as threatening
“Lab” studies Avg. attraction score
• Similar attitudes 5.5 No
• No information regarding attitudes 5.2 difference
• Dissimilar attitudes 2.1 (less attraction)
Iowa Caucus Study (Democratic)
Description of person No party affiliation
D S S D S
DS S D D
Reject those who are
DDD S S D dissimilar
S D D S D
S S S S
S S S
End result is that we are
left with similar people to S
The motivational value of dissimilarity is various other
theories in social psychology:
• Balance Theory Imbalance is motivating
• Congruity Theory Incongruity is motivating
• Dissonance Theory Dissonance is motivating
• Equity Theory Inequity is motivating
Naturally discovering similarity/dissimilarity (rather
than being given other’s attitudes is quite different
Active search process
The “Bridge” Study
Misattribution of Emotional Arousal
• Tilted, swayed (6 ft.), wobbled
• Low handrails (3 feet)
• 230 foot drop to rocks and rapids
Misattribution of Emotional Arousal
Misattribution of Emotional Arousal (cont.)
Measures: 1) TAT (men wrote stories) scored for sexual content
2) % of men who called female back
Higher TAT sexual content scores scores and greater
percent called back when on the dangerous bridge
Why??? --- Arousal (anxiety) misattributed as partly due to sexual attraction
Eating Lightly and Self-Presentation
Basic Premise: People are motivated to behave in ways to enhance their image
• Females have greater number of eating disorders and dieting than males
(emphasis on thin as attractive)
Equal intake of candy by
males and females
• Females ate significantly less food when interacting with a
conformity Self-Presentation Through Ingratiation
Undesirable Desirable man
Conversation Style and Relationship Type
Intimate Friend (versus Casual Friend)
Voice Quality Trait Ratings
High pitch Approachable
• Much better than chance identification of who was being spoken to, a
casual versus intimate friend.
• No difference in what was said (transcript analysis). Focus on how
things were said, paralinguistic cues.
• Greater overall liking (best predictor of desire to date)
• More desirable character traits (e.g., sensitive, warm, intelligent)
• Higher income
• Higher evaluation of work performance
• More lenient treatment in the legal system Often different in
• Better mental health physical
• Matching Length of Short
relationship Couple is
Long equal in
Impression Romantically linked
Attractiveness as a Business
• In 2002, 6.9 million spent on cosmetic surgical and non-surgical procedures in
the U.S. --- a 22% increase from 1997 (American Society for Plastic Surgery, 2003)
• Most common procedure (Botox injections) was performed 1.6 million times
• Across the world, the cosmetic industry makes 20 billion/year
• Nearly 1 million adults wear braces (mostly to improves smiles)
• 35 billion is spent on weight loss programs, diet foods, and health club
membership per year in the U.S.
Misattributions of Friendly Behavior
Viewed female as
Male promiscuous; were attracted to
the female; saw themselves as
flirtatious and seductive
Observers Viewed males as behaving
Male in a sexual manner;
females as promiscuous
The life cycle Communication/ Relationship
Important Triggering factors: Social-exchange and equity: Social-exchange and
variables Proximity, Communication, Self- equity/inequity: Relative
influencing Similarity, Erotic disclosure, Communal attractiveness of
attraction love etc… concern, External supports alternatives, Barriers to
Low: High: Upset of
High: Heady Relationship deterioration and
feeling of in stable trauma of
romantic love state disruption
Social Equity Theory
• Costs (Inputs) Loss of freedom, $, time, etc.
• Benefits (Outputs) Companionship, sexual
• Comparison Level Other person in a relationship,
(e.g., a standard) yourself in the past, an ideal
• Comparison Level for Evaluation of the value of
Alternatives other partners
Gender and the Personal Columns
Offer Seek Offer Seek
Money Young Physical Money
attractiveness Job information
attractive Personality traits
U. S. Divorce Rates per 1,000 population
1990 2000 2004
4.7 4.2 3.7
U.S. totals for the number of divorces is an estimate which includes states not reporting
(California, Colorado, Indiana, and Louisiana).
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2006.
• Who identifies more problems?
• Who initiates most breakups?
• When are the partners most likely to remain friends, when the male of
female initiates the breakup?
Relationship-Enhancing and Distress-Maintaining Attributions
My partner takes me My partner is My partner took
out to an expensive sweet and me out to write the
dinner thoughtful cost off on taxes
Internal, stable, External, unstable,
Something My partner is
My partner forgot my
birthday unexpected must always uncaring
have come up and selfish
External, unstable, Internal, stable,
Separate constructs or along a
Sample Liking Scale Items
When I am with _____, we are almost always in the same mood.
I think that _____ is unusually well-adjusted.
I would highly recommend _____ for a responsible job.
In my opinion, _____ is an exceptionally mature person.
I have great confidence in _____’s good judgment.
I think that _____ is someone one of those people who quickly
win your respect.
_____ is one of the most likeable people I know.
_____ is the sort of person whom I myself would like to be.
I would vote for _____ in a class or group election.
Sample Love Scale Items
I would do anything for _____.
I feel responsible for _____’s well being.
I feel very possessive toward _____.
If I could never be with _____, I would feel miserable.
If I were lonely, my first thought would be to seek _____ out.
I would forgive _____ for practically anything.
In would greatly enjoy being confided in by _____.
When I am with _____, I spend a good deal of my time just
looking at him/her.
I would be hard for me to get along without _____.
Liking & Loving for Dating Partners and Same-Sex Friends
Index Women Men
Love for Partner 89.5 89.3
Liking for Partner 88.7 84.6
Love for Friend 65.3 55.1
Liking for Friend 80.5 79.1
Interpersonal Relationship --- Newer
• Individual subjective reactions to cues in
Relationships • Active search/detection process for cues
• Timing and sequencing of cues (e.g.,
baking a cake example)
Interpersonal Relationship --- Newer
Thoughts about Evaluation of
interpersonal interaction as good,
interactions average, poor • Strategies
• Who is told? When they are told?
Narratives/stories What is said? Why they are told?
relationships • Difference in perceptions; memory for facts
2 men 2 women Man & woman Man & woman
(best friends) best friends) (platonic) (romantic)
Marriage, Health and Longevity
High Unhappily married
Playing Hard To Get
8.5 8.4 8.6
No one Only the Any (all) Control
participant the eligible
Gender Differences in Mate Preferences
% Monet % Monet Women
High Budget Low Budget
Physical Social status Physical Social status
% “yes” Gender Differences in
Go on a date Go to Sexual
“No man or woman really knows what love is until they have been
married a quarter of a century.” --- Mark Twain
0-1 1-2 2-5 5-10 10+
Years of marriage
Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love
(Intimacy & (Intimacy &
Infatuate (Passion &
Sample Question Based on Sternberg’s Triangular
˜ Intimacy Component ˜
I am actively supportive of _____'s wellbeing.____
I have a warm relationship with _____.
I am able to count on _____ in times of need.
˜ Passion Component ˜
Just seeing ________ excites me.
I find myself thinking about _____ frequently during the day.____
My relationship with ___________ is very romantic.
˜ Commitment Component ˜
I know that I care about _____.
I am committed to maintaining my relationship with _____.
Because of my commitment to ________, I would not let other people
come between us.
Sternberg’s 8 Components of Love
Intimacy Passion Commitment
Non-Love x x x
Liking x x
Infatuated x x
Empty x x
Sternberg’s Love Story Approach*
[Based on past experience and personality]
• Business Story --- 2 partners in a business endeavor, power issues
• Collector Story --- Impossible for any one individual to fill all
one’s love needs; find combination of other people to meet all
• Fairytale Story --- Idealized story, unrealistic (e.g., prince and
• War Story --- Love as war, combatants, winner and loser
* Approximately 24 different love stories are included in the model
Sample Items --- Adult Attachment Scale*
• I find it difficult to allow myself to depend on others [Trust]
• I often wonder that my partner does not really love me [Anxiety]
• I am nervous when anyone gets too close [Closeness]
• I know that others will be there when I need them [Trust]
• I find that others are reluctant to get as close as I would like [Anxiety]
• I am comfortable having others depend on me [Closeness]
* Source: Collins & Reid (1990)
Relationship Conflict --- Some Issues
• Jealousy ---
Men Sexual infidelity (60%)
Women Emotional infidelity (83%)
• Communication ---
Demand-withdraw interaction pattern (Females wish to
discuss problems, men avoid/withdraw from such discussions)
• Different expectations
Self Other Self Other
Self Other Self Other