Attraction and the formation of relationships in today’s society is an everyday happening for most people and therefor it’s not surprising that numerous amounts of psychological research into interpersonal and social relationships has centred on romantic relationships. Researchers have found a number of likely factors that play a vital role in the formation of relationships, these being physical attractiveness, proximity, attitude similarity, demographic similarity and similarity in personality. Physical attractiveness in the Western World is of great importance and research has shown that being physically attractive is one of the primary determinants of whether or not you develop a relationship with someone. Investigations have shown that physical attractiveness makes people more popular and applies to both platonic and romantic relationships. A study done by Brigham (1971) found that physically attractive individuals are thought of as being generally attractive and being sociable, exciting, interesting, poised and sexually warm. Cunningham (1986) examined the particular features of men and women that make them attractive to the opposite sex and found that in relation to women what men found most attractive were large eyes, small eyes and a small chin, whereas for men, women looked for square jaws, small eyes and thin lips in terms of attraction.
Several studies in the 1960s presented the zeitgeist of social psychology research into attraction. Walster et al. (1966) did a study testing the matching hypothesis (where you’re most likely attracted to someone who is on a similar level of attractiveness to one’s self) where he advertised a ‘computer dance’ for students during fresher’s week at college. The first 376 males and 376 female volunteers were allowed in at £1.00 each. When the students arrived to sign up for the dance, four independent judges assessed each student’s