Psychology of Attraction

Topics: Physical attractiveness, Waist-hip ratio, Female body shape Pages: 4 (1620 words) Published: October 22, 2008
What makes us attracted to certain people more than others? The science of Psychology explains how people become attracted to one another. Certainly some aspects of beauty are cultural; fashion and trends change over time. Also, society and the media influence us into thinking what traits are attractive. Some reasons for attraction have to do with familiarity and proximity. Biology also plays a role in determining what traits we will possess. Biology and Psychology work hand and hand to help us pick our mates. The media plays a major role in determining what is and isn’t attractive. In Breeding Between the Lines: Why Interracial People Are Healthier and More Attractive, Alon Ziv (2006) writes,” When it comes to picking a mate, society has just as much to say as biology. Society and biology are often depicted as "polar opposites” (p. 132). In The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins (1976) points out that “social ideas can spread and evolve just like genes” (Dawkins, 1976). Everyday when we turn on the television we see advertisements. Advertisements are put on the air to buy the consumer into their product. Advertisers use the association principle when trying to sell their product and attractive models are used to link their desirability and beauty to the product being sold (Batt, Hall, Hendricks, & Olson, 1998). A group of authors from Miami University stated on their website that,” The contrast principle can hinder attraction to certain individuals in a couple of ways. For example, if you were talking to a beautiful person at a party, and a less attractive person joined the conversation, the second individual will strike you as less attractive than he/she really is” (Batt, Hall, Hendricks, & Olson, 1998). Also, unrealistically attractive people, like models and actors, may cause you to be less satisfied with potential mates. The reason why is that you may contrast them with the unrealistic examples portrayed in the media. Generally, people tend to remember the...

References: Carey, B (2006, February 13). The rules of attraction in the game of love. Retrieved June 26, 2008, from Live Science Web site:
Cialdini, R. B. (1984). The psychology of persuasion. New York: Quill William Morrow.
Dawkins, R. (1976). The selfish gene. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Batt, J., Hall, S., Hendricks, C., & Olson, D. (1998). Living in a social world. Retrieved June 24, 2008, from Physical Attraction Web site:
Nahemow. L. & Lawton, M. P. (1975). Similarity and propinquity in friendship formation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 33, 205-213.
Ziv, A. (2006). Breeding between the lines: Why interracial people are healthier and
more attractive. Fort Lee, NJ: Barricade Books.
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