Discussion & Consideration Topics
Affiliation & Interpersonal Attraction
Liking, Loving, and Interpersonal Sensitivity, Aronson Chapter 8
Pines & Maslach
Dutton, D. G., & Aron, A. P. “Heightened sexual attraction under high anxiety” (p. 302)
Hazan, C., & Shaver, P. “Romantic love conceptualized as an attachment process” (p. 316)
What makes people like one another and what makes people fall in love with one another? This chapter presents
several theories that attempt to answer these questions, and describes many research studies on liking and love.
Some research has shown that our beliefs about what makes us like others are accurate, such as the popular belief
that we like people who are pleasant, cooperative, and helpful. But the research has also indicated that our notions
about what increases our liking of other people are not always accurate. The chapter also explores some key aspects
of love relationships and the important role of effective communication in maintaining close personal relationships
TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION OF DUTTON & ARON (1974) & HAZAN & SHAVER (1987):
1. Do people fall in love more easily at certain times (“in spring, a young man’s fancy ...,” summer romances)
or in certain places (wartime romances, cruise ship romances, office romances).
2. How does a particular setting make romantic arousal more likely? For example, what about going with a
date on scary rides at the amusement park? Are the excitement and fear likely to get converted into passion
and love? In these examples, you should direct the students’ attention to the two elements that correspond
to Schachter and Singer’s two-factor theory: (1) arousal and (2) romantic cognition.
3. How else could Schachter & Singer’s theory be tested in a “real-world” setting?
4. How can you make yourself most interesting and attractive to someone else? Discuss both verbal and
5. From Research Project 11.3, identify the attachment style that fits you best. Who among your friends and
acquaintances do you think fits the other two attachment style? Why might you have developed such
different attitudes towards intimate relationships?
6. What types of attachment styles “go together”? Characterize the nature of relationships between people
with similar and different attachment styles? Consider your personal experiences and/ or those represented
in the media – what is would you estimate is the prognosis of these types of relationships, and why?
7. Given all that you know about factors affecting affiliation, what would be the ideal setting for you to be in
with your most romantic partner?
8. In thinking about deep levels of attraction and love, what do you postulate to be the most important factors?