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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 11 Love and attraction Chapter 11 Love and attraction Q: What attracts people to each other, romantically? A1: If they "match" in various ways "We like what is like us" 1. The "matching hypothesis" people assort based on looks 1. The "matching hypothesis" people assort based on looks Q: If a homely person approaches a homely person, are they really most attracted to that person, or are they just settling for who they can get? 1. The "matching hypothesis" people assort based on looks Think of an unmatched couple, in terms of looks. Does the less attractive one have "compensatory" qualities? 2. People assort based on matching names (the "Jason and Jennifer" effect) Pelham et al., 2004, found this in archival marriage records and also in three experiments (name-letter effect) 3. People assort based on matching personalities (values, traits, interests) E-Harmony wants to do this for you! An exception to the matching hypothesis: People are attracted to others with dissimilar immune systems! "Stinky t-shirt" studies: women prefer men whose MHC (Major histocompatiblity complex) is dissimilar (as indexed by smell) What is Love? (what is it, when does it happen, how can it last?) Sternberg's Triarchic Theory of Love: Love always involves some mixture of passion (lust), intimacy (connection), and commitment (acceptance). Sternberg's Triarchic Theory of Love: Four "Love styles" derive from different combinations of these: Romantic, Companionate, Fatuous, Consummate love. Sternberg's Triarchic Theory of Love: Think of your last romantic relationship. Which type was it? Romantic? (intimacy, passion, no commit) Companionate? (intimacy, commit, no
passion) Fatuous? (passion, commit, no intimacy) Consummate? (passion, commit, intimacy) Q: Are "feelings of passion" an adequate basis for marriage? "I know he's the one because he makes my heart beat faster" Q: What if we're too biased by shortlasting passion? Q: What keeps love from dying? 1. The Attachment theory perspective: Having a secure (rather than an anxious or avoidant) "attachment style" Which type are you? Secure: "I am comfortable depending on others" Anxious: "I worry that others will abandon me" Avoidant: "I get nervous when others get too close" Securely attached partners are: More trusting Have a more stable sense of selfworth Have more ability to help and be helped by others. Q: Where do attachment styles come from? In part from temperament, in part from parents' care-giving style.
Warm/responsive: S/he was good at knowing when to be supportive and to let me operate on my own; our relationship was almost always comfortable, and I have no major reservations or complaints about it. Cold/rejecting: S/he was not very responsive: I wasn't his/her highest priority, and his/her concerns were often elsewhere. Maybe he/she would just as soon not have had me. Ambivalent/inconsistent: S/he was inconsistent in his/her reactions to me, sometimes warm and sometimes not; he/she had his/her own concerns and definitely loved me, but didn't always show it in the best way. MOTHER ____ FATHER ____ Q: does your current relationship attachment style converge with your opposite sex parent's care-giving style? Q: What keeps love from dying? 2. The Reward theory perspective: Continuing to have many positive experiences both OF and WITH each other. According to John Gottman's famous marriage research: The key is 5 to 1 (positive experiences for every negative experience) Why? Unfortunately, "bad is stronger than good" (Baumeister, 2002) Gottman identified 3 couple styles: All OK as long as "5 to 1" 1. Validating: compromising, calm, acknowledging each other, working things out. 2. Volatile: thriving on emotional intensity, may fight very bitterly. 3. Conflict-avoiding: side-stepping or denying disagreement. (just don't want to get into it) 3. The Equity theory perspective: There is balance in obligations, chores, duties. 4. The disclosure reciprocity theory perspective: Its not how much they disclose, its whether it's approximately equal. What about children? Child-rearing negatively impacts couples' well-being. People say they like interacting with their kids, more than they actually do. Despite the difficulties, married people are happier and live longer. 25% of those who don't marry rate themselves as "very happy". 40% of married adults rate themselves as "very happy." ...
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- Spring '07