What situational factors lead to attraction?
- Proximity, either literal or emotional (Festinger, Schachter, & Bak,1950)
- Fear arousing situations, people mistakenly attribute fear arousal to arousal due to the presence of another
- Tested by having a female researcher ask males for a phone number for 'follow up questions' either directly after or significantly after crossing a suspension bridge (Dutton & Aron, 1974)
Do likes attract?
- Sort of
- We are attracted to those who we think are similar to us (Montoya et al, 2008).
- Meta analysis of over 300 studies done, no significant effect size for perceived similarity correlating to actual similarity
- More concerned with how similar we think we are than how similar we actually are
Do opposites attract?
- Complementary interaction between two people increases attraction between them (Nowicki and Manheim; 1991)
- Women lacking in economic resources tend to be attracted to men with more (Eagly & Wood, 1999)
- Women are more attracted to men who make more jokes and men are more attracted to women who appreciate them more (Wilbur & Campbell, 2011)
How does physical appearance factor into attraction?
- First information we have
- It was rated as being low on the list of priorities for long term partners (Buss et al, 2001)
- That's probably b.s though, people don't want to look shallow
What is the halo effect?
- A cognitive bias in which an observer's overall impression of a person, company, brand, or product influences the observer's feelings and thoughts about that entity's character or properties (Thorndike, 1920)
- Jacobson (1981) Rape victim belief is affected by attractiveness
What physical factors do humans find attractive?
- Facial symmetry (Pound et al, 2014)
- More symmetrical faces rated as more healthy (Jones et al, 2001)
- Could be because we think they have better genes
- Averageness (Langlois & Roggman, 1990)
- We are more attracted to average looking faces (studied by combining two faces)
- Could be because they are easier to process (Winkielman & Halberstadt, 2006)
What do women find attractive in men?
- large jaw
- broad forehead
- prominent cheekbones
- moderately broad shoulders
- Mix of masculine and feminine
- may be preferred (Cunningham
- et al., 1990)
What do men find attractive in women?
- Baby face:
- smaller chins
- higher eyebrows
- larger eyes
- full lips
- high cheekbones,
- narrow cheeks
- thick long hair
waist-to-hip ratio: 0.7
What are the gender specific preferences?
- Men care about physical attractiveness most, women place more emphasis on status and genes, however both seek more well rounded individuals in the long term (Li et al, 2002)
- Majority of singles ads from males stated they were looking for attractive females and females wanted successful men (Baize & Schroeder, 1995)
What is the parental investment theory?
- First investigated by Fisher (1930)
- Any resource the parent spends that is beneficial to offspring but not to them (Trivers, 1972)
- Men choose on basis of fertility cues (boobs and hips)
- Women choose on the likelihood the male can provide for them and their child
What is social role theory?
- Eagly & Wood (1999)
- Everyone's behaviour is part of a defined social role
- Historically this was defined by biological differences
- People are conditioned to follow their social role Seavey et al (1975) - baby X
- The more disempowered a woman is in society, the more they are attracted to higher powered mates (Zentner & Mitura, 2012)
Is beauty in the eye of the beholder?
- The better the personality description, the more attractive the photo looked (Lewandowski, Aron & Gee, 2007)
- When comparing rural and urban UK and Malaysia, rural areas preferred higher BMI and urban preferred lower (Swami & Tovee, 2005)
- People find faces more attractive when they are composites merged with their own face (Fraley & Marks, 2010)
Do desirable factors cross over to acauyl dates?
- Not really
- Men and women both based it more on looks an earning potential was a poor predictor despite females rating this as more important
- This could be due to the fact that they also value genes or that earning potential in the short term is less important
What errors are made when thinking about dates?
- We overestimate our ability to reject undesirable romantic partners by underestimating our concern for others (Joel, Teper & MacDonald, 2014)
- The more we fear being single, the less choosey we are (Spielmann et al, 2013)