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INTERPERSONAL ATTRACTION
What is Interpersonal attraction?
Interpersonal attraction * is the desire to approach another person. * is the attraction between people which leads to friendships and romantic relationships.. * refers to positive feelings about another person. It can take manyforms,including liking, love, friendship, lust, and admiration. * is anything that draws two or more people together characterized by affection, respect, liking, or love ("Interpersonal attraction," 2010)

Affiliation Needs As Aristotle called humans “the social animal”, indeed we have an intense need to belong – to connect with others in enduring, close relationship(Myers,2007). Around the world and across age-groups, most people spend about 3/4 of their time with others. People want not merely the presence of others but close ties with people who care about them.

Two theories explain the reasons for our affiliation needs:
1. Social comparison Theory
2. Social exchange theory

Social comparison Theory One way to know ourselves and better understand our place in the social environment is to compare ourselves with others. This information is required to evaluate the self. Theory of Social exchange Focus of this theory is on interaction between people. This theory proposes that we seek out and maintain those relationships in which the reward exceeds the cost. The exchanged goods can be either material (money, food, etc.) or nonmaterial (social influence, affection, information, etc Husband and wife exchange work and affection with each other. States that people are basically hedonists and they exchange rewards for maintaining their well-being. Earliest versions of this theory (George Homans, 1958) state that all social relationships are like economic bargains in which each party places a value on the goods they exchange with one another.

Factors influencing affiliation desires
1. Evolutionary heritage
2. The brain & central nervous system (CNS) activity
3. Culture, gender & affiliation

Our evolutionary heritage Need to belong is a powerful, fundamental and extremely pervasive motivation. Evolutionary psychologists state that the tendency to socialize, and make friends is an inherited trait. People differ in their desire for affiliation; some are "people persons" while some like a more restricted range of social contact. People want not merely the presence of others but close ties to people who care about them. Non-fulfillment of these needs leads to stress, anxiety, and self-defeating thinking and behavior.

The brain & central nervous system (CNS) activity Individual differences in the need for affiliation have been reported to involve differences in CNS arousability & brain activity:

CNS Arousability: The habitual degree to which stimulation produces arousal of the CNS
Introverts have inherited a NS that operates at a higher level of arousal than extroverts (Eysenck,1990). Studies have demonstrated that anterior cingulate, brain's danger and pain alarm centre, is more active among introverts, because of which they avoid a great deal of social interaction and situational change in order to keep their arousal from reaching to uncomfortable level. Socially active extroverts not only choose to perform tasks in noisy settings, they actually perform better there (Geen, 1996).

Brain activity: Extroverts appear to experience greater activation of dopamine pathways in the brain associated with reward and positive affect. On showing positive images, extroverts experience greater activation of brain areas that control emotion, such as frontal lobe and amygdala (Canli et al., 2001). Research suggests that experience of positive affect may be a primary feature of extroversion. Each of us has a NS that causes us to have varying degrees of tolerance for stimulation for social interaction, which may influence the emotion we experience in such settings. It is this biological difference that significantly shapes our affiliation desires.

Culture, gender, & affiliation Affiliation needs are also shaped by cultural variables. It has been demonstrated through research that people residing in individualistic cultures have a greater affiliation need as people have to individually develop their own relationships over there. They also have to establish these relationships in many varied social settings. However, these relationships may be numerous but may not be particularly intimate.

Factors that influence Interpersonal Attraction 1. physical attractiveness 2. propinquity 3. similarity 4. complementarity 5. reciprocal liking
1. Physical Attraction
Who is desirable? * Research shows that romantic attraction is primarily determined by physical attractiveness. In the early stages of dating, people are more attracted to partners whom they consider to be physically attractive. Men are more likely to value physical attractiveness than are women. Philosopher B. Russel thought that, “on the whole women tend to love men for their character while men tend to love women for their appearance ( 1930 p.139) * To say that attractiveness is important, other things being equal , is not to say that physical appearance always outranks other qualities because some people more than others judge people by their looks (Livingston 2001). Attractiveness probably most affects first impressions and such is important as society are becoming increasingly mobile and urbanized and contacts with people become more fleeting(Berscheid,1981). * We would like to believe that beauty is only skin deep, and therefore, a trivial determinant of liking. However several studies proved that looks do matter:
Matching Phenomenon Several studies show that people tend to select friends or partners who are good match not only to their level of intelligence but also to their level of attractiveness(Myers,2007).
Physical Attractiveness stereotype What is beautiful is good. We assume that beautiful people possess certain desirable traits. Be that, it pays to consider Leo Tolstoy’s writing saying that “to suppose that beauty is goodness is a strange illusion”. However several studies show that there is some truth to the stereotype that physically attractive people tend to be more popular, more outgoing, relaxed and socially polished. The differences between the unattractive and the attractive results into self-fulfilling prophesies. Attractive people are valued and favored and so many develop more social self confidence. By this analysis, what is crucial to your social skill is not how you look but how people treat you and how you feel about yourself.
2. Propinquity/proximity The propinquity effect can be defined as, “the more we see and interact with a person, the more likely he or she is to become our friend or sexual partner." This effect is very similar to the mere exposure effect(familiarity principle) in that the more a person is exposed to a stimulus, the more the person likes it; This applies equally to both objects and people (Miller, 2006). The social allergy effect occurs when a person's annoying habits grow worse over time, instead of growing more fond of his or her idiosyncrasies. Familiarity can also occur without physical exposure. Recent studies show that relationships formed over the Internet resemble those developed face-to-face, in terms of quality and depth.
3. Similarity (like-attracts-like) The notion of "birds of a feather flock together" points out that similarity is a crucial determinant of interpersonal attraction. Studies about attraction indicate that people are strongly attracted to look-a-likes in physical and social appearance ("like attracts like"). This similarity is in the broadest sense: similarity in bone-structure, characteristics, life goals, ethnicity and appearance. The more these points match, the happier people are in a relationship (Folkes, 1982, Wilson et al., 2006). The lookalike effect plays an important role called self-affirmation. A person typically enjoys receiving confirmation of every aspect of his or her life, ideas, attitudes and personal characteristics and it seems that people are looking for an image of themselves to spend their life with. One of the basic principles of interpersonal attraction is the rule of similarity: similarity is attractive. It is this underlying principle that applies to both friendships and romantic relationships. There is a high correlation between the proportion of attitudes shared, and the degree of interpersonal attraction. Cheerful people like to be around other cheerful people and negative people would rather be around other negative people (Locke & Horowitz, 1990). According to Morry’s attraction-similarity model (2007), there is a lay belief that people with actual similarity produce initial attraction. Perceived similarity develops for someone to rate others as similar to themselves in on-going relationship. Such perception is either self-serving (friendship) or relationship-serving (romantic relationship). Theodore Newcomb (1963) pointed out that people tend to change perceived similarity to obtain balance in a relationship. Additionally, perceived similarity was found to be greater than actual similarity in predicting interpersonal attraction. A 2004 study, based on indirect evidence, concluded that humans choose mates based partly on facial resemblance to themselves.
4. Complementarity The model of complementarity explains whether "birds of a feather flock together" or "opposites attract". Studies show that complementary interaction between two partners increases their attractiveness to each other (Nowicki and Manheim; 1991). Complementary partners preferred closer interpersonal relationship than non-complementary ones (Nowicki & Manheim,1991). Couples who reported the highest level of loving and harmonious relationship were more dissimilar in dominance than couples who scored lower in relationship quality. (Markey & Markey (2007)). Mathes and Moore (1985) found that people were more attracted to peers approximating to their ideal self than to those who did not. Specifically, low self-esteem individuals appeared more likely to desire a complementary relationship than high self-esteem people. We are attracted to people who complement to us because this allows us to maintain our preferred style of behavior (Markey & Markey (2007), and through interaction with someone who complements our own behavior, we are likely to have a sense of self-validation and security (Carson, 1969).
Similarity or complementarity? Principles of similarity and complementarity seem to be contradictory on the surface (Posavac, 1971; Klohnen & Mendelsohn, 1998). In fact, they agree on the dimension of warmth. Both principles state that friendly people would prefer friendly partners. (Dryer & Horowitz, 1997) The importance of similarity and complementarity may depend on the stage of the relationship. Similarity seems to carry considerable weight in initial attraction, while complementarity assumes importance as the relationship develops over time (Vinacke, Shannon, Palazzo, Balsavage, et-al, 1988). Markey (2007) found that people would be more satisfied with their relationship if their partners differed from them, at least, in terms of dominance, as two dominant persons may experience conflicts while two dominant persons may experience conflicts while two submissive individuals may have frustration as neither member take the initiative.
5. Reciprocity People tend to like others who reciprocate their liking. That we like those we perceive as liking us was recognized by observers from Hecato (“if you wish to be love, love”) to Dale Carnegie (“Dole out praise lavishly”)(Myers, 2007).

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