Liking and Loving

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					     Liking and Loving

The Science of How and Why People
    are Attracted to Each Other
              Early Theories
• Charles Darwin and the evolution of the
• Reward Theory
  – We like people whose behavior provides us
    with maximum reward at minimum cost
  – Impossible to argue against, but useless as a
    predictive theory
The Effects of Praise and Favors
• As expected, we generally like people who
  evaluate us positively
  – Although we think that critical individuals are
    more intelligent
  – However, if we believe that ulterior motives lie
    behind the praise, we dislike the person
• Similar logic with favors
  – Best way to get someone to like you is to get
    them to do you a favor
  – The answer lies in cognitive dissonance
 What about personal attributes?
• Competence
  – In general we prefer competent people.
  – However, we find the highly competent person
    who makes a mistake to be the most likable.
  – This finding is tied to self-esteem. Low and
    moderate self-esteem individuals differ, with
    low self-esteem (non-competitive) males
    preferring the perfect individual (don’t perceive
    person as a threat).
  Physical Attractiveness
• Elaine Walster found that despite our
  objections, the strongest determinant of
  liking another person is physical
• White, found that even more important was
  the similarity in level of attractiveness in a
What is Beautiful is Good
• Dion and colleagues. Attractive people are
  assumed to have a multitude of other positive
• Think about our fairy tales (Walt Disney).
• These effects begin as early as nursery school.
• Internal attributions are made for misdeeds of
  unattractive children.
• Handsome men receive higher starting salaries:
  Attractive women get larger raises.
     What is Beautiful is Good
• Courtroom issues. In misdemeanor cases,
  lower bail and fines assessed to physically
  attractive individuals
  – Not true for felony cases
• A man is perceived as friendlier and more
  self-confident in the presence of an
  attractive female
      Self-fulfilling Prophecy
• Snyder, Tanke, and Berscheid
  – Males shown a photograph of a woman that
    they will then talk to over the phone
  – Men shown an attractive photo rate the women
    as more poised, humorous, and socially adept
  – More importantly, individuals merely listening
    to the female’s half of the conversation are
    more impressed by the women whose partner
    thought she was attractive
  – In essence, positive qualities were drawn out
      Similarity and Attraction
• We tend to like those with similar opinions
  – Rewarding and not threatening to our self-
• Fritz Heider first proposed this with
  Balance Theory
• We will prefer a disagreer, however, if we
  succeed in converting them to our opinion.
• We assume that people we like agree with
  our opinions
   What do men and women look
         for in a partner?
• Women look for:               • Men look for:
  –   Record of achievement       –   Physical Attractiveness
  –   Leadership qualities        –   Ability in bed
  –   Skill at his job            –   Warmth and affection
  –   Earning potential           –   Social skill
  –   Sense of humor              –   Homemaking ability
  –   Intellectual ability        –   Dress sense
  –   Attentiveness               –   Sensitivity to other’s needs
  –   Common sense                –   Good taste
  –   Athletic ability            –   Moral perception
  –   Good abstract reasoning     –   Artistic creativity
              Styles of Love
• Hendrick and Hendrick: Love has different
  meaning to different people
• Six styles of loving
  –   Eros: Passionate Love
  –   Ludus: Game Playing Love
  –   Storge: Friendship Love
  –   Pragma: Logical Love
  –   Mania: Dependent Love
  –   Agape: Selfless Love
   Dealing with Dissatisfaction
• Rusboldt and Zimbrodt identified 4 general
  –   Exit: ending or actively abusing the relationship
  –   Voice: actively attempting to improve conditions
  –   Loyalty: passively waiting for things to improve
  –   Neglect: passively allowing the relationship to
• Two dimensions: constructive/destructive
  and active/passive