Determinants of Attraction

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r * External Determinants of Attraction
* The Power of Proximity: Unplanned Contacts
* Proximity—in attraction research, the physical closeness between two individuals with respect to where they live, where they sit in a classroom, where they work, and so on * Smaller physical distances are related to an increased likelihood that two people will come into repeated contact and exposure to each other, feel positive affect, and develop mutual attraction. * External Determinants of Attraction

* Why does proximity matter? Repeated exposure is the key * Repeated exposure (sometimes called the mere exposure effect)—Zajonc’s (1968) finding that frequent contact with any mildly negative, neutral, or positive stimulus results in an increasingly positive evaluation of that stimulus * Repeated exposure without harmful effects increases familiarity, reduces uncertainty, and increases liking * Extensions of the repeated exposure effect

* The repeated exposure effect is stronger when people are not aware that the exposure has occurred. * Positive affect elicited by repeated exposure to subliminal stimuli generalizes to other, similar stimuli * People high in the need for structure may be more responsive to repeated exposure effects. * The repeated exposure effect does not happen when people’s initial reaction to a stimulus is very negative. * In this case, familiarity can result in more dislike. * Applying knowledge about the effects of proximity

* It is possible to learn from research findings on proximity and apply them to one’s surroundings and the choices made within them. * Architects have used this research to design offices and neighborhoods to promote social interaction. * Observable Characteristics: Instant Evaluations

* First impressions can arouse strong affect and may overcome the effects of...
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