Exam One Lecture Notes 9/1/2009 I. Who we like and why? A. Everyone tends to want some set of basic characteristics in a mate: 1) Stability 5) Self sufficient 2) Trust 6) Physical characteristics 3) Personality 7) Sense of humor 4) Similar preferences 8) etc. B. Competing Processes- we want to be connected to our mate but then we want our space and our own sense of self II. THE FUNDAMENTAL ASSUMPTION ABOUT INTERPERSONAL ATTRACTION: we are attracted to those whose presence is rewarding to us. A. Direct rewards- all positive consequences we directly obtain from being with someone 1) Material stuff & Gifts 2) Physical contact & Affection 3) Interest & Approval 4) Laughter & Smiling B. Indirect rewards- attraction by association (aka misattraction of arousal)- strong emotions can be relabeled as attraction if an acceptable object is present 1) Examples: (a) Riding a roller coaster (b) Romantic setting (c) Scary movies (d) Spicy food 2) Dutton & Aron, 1974 (Capilano Suspension Bridge ) aka “The Shaky Bridge” study (a) Bridge in Canada where there is a normal sturdy bridge and then a shaky suspension bridge (b) Researchers are asked to approach people of the opposite sex whom they think are attractive (c) The people are asked to write a story about an image they are shown and afterwards, the researcher gives them their phone number (d) Study was trying to see if being in a stimulating situation (i.e., crossing a shaky suspension bridge) could result in someone being more attracted to another person because they misattributed the arousal from crossing the bridge to the researcher. (i) Results show that those who were chosen off the suspension bridge were twice as likely to make sexual references in the stories they wrote. • Sturdy bridge=1.35 approximately
• Shaky bridge=2.5 approximately (ii) Results also show that the subjects chosen off the suspension bridge were more likely to call the researcher after the study. (12% vs. 50%) (e) Keep in mind that there could have been some extraneous factors: (i) The type of people who chose to cross the suspension bridge may be more outgoing and more likely to call because of that (ii) But other research has also shown that if you create an emotion (arousal or a “rush”) it can be mistaken for attraction if given the right situation without consciously knowing the emotion is from something else (not the person) III. How do we find that person in the first place? A. Proximity- our friendships & romances grow out of interactions with those that are nearby 1) Festinger, Schacter & Back’s Study, 1950 (a) Student apartment complex at MIT and the students are randomly assigned roommates (b) At the end of the year, each subject was asked who their 3 closest friends of all time were (i) Results: (keep in mind this is doors on the same floor) • 1 door down 41% of the time they list them in their top 3 • 2 doors down 22% • 3 doors down 16% • 4 doors down 10% (ii) Distance does not seem to play a part. 4 doors down is only 88 feet away. Adjacent apartments matter
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