Attractions Between Sexes.

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 1521
  • Published : September 3, 2008
Open Document
Text Preview
The notion of “birds of a feather flock together” points out that similarity is a crucial determinant of interpersonal attraction. According to Morry’s attraction-similarity model (2007), there is a lay belief that people with actual similarity produce initial attraction. Perceived similarity develops for someone to rate others as similar to themselves in on-going relationship. Such perception is either self-serving (friendship) or relationship-serving (romantic relationship). Newcomb (1963) pointed out that people tend to change perceived similarity to obtain balance relationship. Additionally, perceived similarity was found to be greater than actual similarity in predicting interpersonal attraction.

[edit] Similarity in different aspects

Findings suggest that interpersonal similarity and attraction are multidimensional constructs (Lydon, Jamieson & Zanna, 1988), in which people are attracted to others who are similar to them in demographics, physical appearance, attitudes, interpersonal style, social and cultural background, personality, interests and activities preferences, and communication and social skills. A study conducted by Theodore Newcomb (1961) on college dorm roommates suggested that individuals with shared background, majors, attitudes, values, and political views became friends.

* Physical appearance

The matching hypothesis proposed by Goffman (1952) suggests why people become attracted to their partner. It claims that people are more likely to form long standing relationships with those who are equally physically attractive as they are. The study by Walster and Walster (1969) supported the matching hypothesis by showing that partners who were similar in terms of physical attractiveness expressed the most liking for each other. Murstein (1972) also found evidence that supported the matching hypothesis: photos of dating and engaged couples were rated in terms of attractiveness. A definite tendency was found for couples of similar attractiveness to date or engage.

* Attitudes

According to the ‘law of attraction’ by Byrne (1971), attraction towards a person is positively related to the proportion of attitudes similarity associated with that person. Clore (1976) also raised that the one with similar attitudes as yours was more agreeable with your perception of things and more reinforcing s/he was, so the more you like him/her. Based on the cognitive consistency theories, difference in attitudes and interests can lead to dislike and avoidance (Singh & Ho, 2000; Tan & Singh, 1995) whereas similarity in attitudes promotes social attraction (Byrne, London & Reeves, 1968; Singh & Ho, 2000). Miller (1972) pointed out that attitude similarity activates the perceived attractiveness and favorability information from each other, whereas dissimilarity would reduce the impact of these cues. The studies by Jamieson, Lydon and Zanna (1987, 1988) showed that attitude similarity could predict how people evaluate their respect for each other, and social and intellectual first impressions which in terms of activity preference similarity and value-based attitude similarity respectively. In intergroup comparisons, high attitude similarity would lead to homogeneity among in-group members whereas low attitude similarity would lead to diversity among in-group members, promoting social attraction and achieving high group performance in different tasks (Hahn & Hwang, 1999). Although attitudinal similarity and attraction are linearly related, attraction may not contribute significantly to attitude change (Simons, Berkowitz & Moyer, 1970)

Byrne, Clore and Worchel (1966) suggested people with similar economic status are likely to be attracted to each other. Buss & Barnes (1986) also found that people prefer their romantic partners to be similar in certain demographic characteristics, including religious background, political orientation and socio-economic status.

Researchers have shown that...
tracking img