Similarity of Attractiveness Levels in Engaged Couples:

Topics: Gender, Gender role, Interpersonal attraction Pages: 5 (1506 words) Published: April 22, 2009
Running head: Similarity of Attractiveness Levels in Engaged Couples

Similarity of Attractiveness Levels in Engaged Couples: Do You Pick Your Mate Based on Your Own Attractiveness Level?


Like other similar research, this study will determine that it is the similarities not the differences that bring people together when they are selecting their mates. This study explores this concept based strictly on physical attractiveness levels. Participants will be asked to rate each member of a couple separately and then the rating will be compared. If the expected result is achieved, each individual will have a rating similar to that of their mate. It was concluded that people select mates that have a similar physical attractiveness level to their own.

Similarity of Attractiveness Levels in Engaged Couples: Do You Pick Your Mate Based on Your Own Attractiveness Level?

It has long been debated whether similarities or differences influenced people more in selecting their mates. Popular sayings such as opposites attract and birds of feather flock together show a need for understanding these occurrences in mate selection. The similarity-dissimilarity effect theory in social psychology suggests that people are more likely to positively respond to others who are similar to themselves and negatively to dissimilar others. The greater the degree of attitude similarity between two persons, the greater is their attraction for each other (Leonard,R.L. 1975). According to Leonard (1975) the levels of similarity are based on physical proximity, personal attributes, competence and physical attractiveness of an individual. Instead of taking into account various factors similarity as done by Leonard, our study will focus strictly on comparing the levels of attractiveness among mates. According to the matching hypothesis in social psychology men and women of a similar level of attractiveness will be drawn to each other as romantic partners. According to the Kalick, S. & Hamilton, T., (1986) study, if we all seek out our own level of attractiveness and everyone will have an equal chance of leaving with a good match. This study will be an adaptation on the Hinsz V.B. (1989) study; instead of rating facial resemblance, participants will be asked to rate levels of attractiveness for each couple. Hinsz (1989) investigated whether people will tend to marry others who look like themselves and found that the participants were able to observe facial resemblance among the couples portrayed. It is hypothesized that participants will rate couples at the same level of physical attractiveness. As a secondary hypothesis, this study will also measure whether ratings provided by female participants will result in more correlated scores between couples whereas; male participants will show a significant discrepancy (lower correlation) in their ratings between couples. The reason for comparing this correlation will be to detect possible homosexual prejudice. As determined by Jellison, W., McConnell, A., & Gabriel, S. (2004) “Straight” men strongly endorsed the importance of their heterosexual identity and of their traditional masculine gender roles.

The participants will be a convenient sample of about 350 undergraduate psychology 101 students from a large Midwestern university. To analyze possible gender differences there will be equal amounts of males and females. Participants will be asked to take part in a study evaluating the difference between perception levels attraction between males and females.

This study is a correlational design in which participants will be asked to rate the attractiveness levels of individuals in photographs. The ratings of attraction for each individual will then be compared with his of her partner’s attractiveness rating. The dependent measures in this design will be the ratings that the individuals in the photographs...

Cited: Hinsz, V.B. (1989).Facial Resemblance in Engaged and Married Couples.
Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 6, 223-229.
Jellison, W., McConnell, A., & Gabriel, S. (2004). Implicit and Explicit Measures of
Sexual Orientation Attitudes: In Group Preferences and Related Behaviors and
Beliefs among Gay and Straight Men. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 30, 629-642.
Kalick, S. & Hamilton, T. (1986). The Matching Hypothesis Reexamined. Journal of
Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 673-682.
Leonard, R.L. 1975. Self-Concept and Attraction for Similar and Dissimilar Others.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 31, 926-929.
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