March 16, 2010
Social psychologists have identified several major factors that had made an influence in interpersonal attraction which is anything that draws two or more people together characterized by liking, affection, respect, or love. Interpersonal attraction has been an important topic of research in psychology, because humans are social beings, and attraction serves an important function in forming a social way of living, which provides security and satisfies people’s need to belong to a social group. In studying the nature of attraction, psychologists have used methods such as questionnaires, and surveys to determine level of one’s attraction toward another. In this paper we will discuss the effects of affiliation of anxiety; Physical attraction, gender based standards, similarity, and social anxiety are examined to see how they impact interpersonal attraction.
Our Affiliation Desires Increase with Anxiety.
Factors that shape affiliation involve the desire to gain knowledge about ourselves and the world through social exchange, and the desire to secure psychological and material rewards through social exchange. Two reasons for seeking out others relate to our dependence on others for information and our dependence on others for positive outcomes. (Social Psychology – 2009 Custom Edition).
Today people are more connected than ever, the internet and social media have opened Pandora’s box for interpersonal communications. It is hard to imagine our lives before the internet and cell phones. If we take a moment to really think about how we communicate today, most of us would immediately think of our preferred type of social media or our cell phone. Social media is a phenomenon that has ...
Have you ever wondered why your need to be around other people often changes due to your daily experience? Have you ever questioned why your need to socialize is different from that of your friends and acquaintances? Although individuals differ in their habitual desire for affiliation, external events can also motivate people to seek out others.
We, like most people, during time of anxiety, grief, and uncertainly, we sought the companionship of others who are in similarly affected by this tragedy. Such affiliation needs were dramatically demonstrated following the terrorist on September 11, 2001.
Sometimes when anticipating a fearful event, people prefer not to be around those who are fearful. They prefer someone who has already experienced the fearful event and who can tell them something about it.
Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, people’s amount of interaction with others did not significantly increase, but their interaction did shift from group and telephone conversations to in-person dyadic encounters. People who seemed to best cope with the stress caused by disaster were those whose interactions shifted from group discussions to one-on-one personal dialogues. (Social Psychology – Interpersonal Attraction)
There is a variety of laboratory studies concerning the relationship between emotional arousal and affiliation (Schacter, 1959; Zimbardo and Formica, 1963).
There are only a few reports of affiliative behavior in naturalistic, stressful situations, such as the 1965 blackout in New York (Zucker, Manosevitz and Lanyon, 1968); earthquake (Hoyt and Raven, 1953 and disaster (Latane and Wheeler, 1966).
The present study involves procedures that are analogous to several laboratory manipulations of emotional arousal. Anxiety is often manipulated by threat of pain from electric shocks or injections (Schachter,1959; Firestone, Kaplan and Russell, 1973; McDonald, 1970; Lynch, Watts and Galloway, 1973).
Anxiety and affiliation were assessed prior to the event. Participation was voluntary. In common with other field studies, this investigation assessed actual affiliative behavior rather than an inferred need to affiliate and the anxiety-arousing procedures were perfectly credible.
People and Events of World War II by Kevan Salisbury The Axis Powers World War II was started by the Axis Forces, which were comprised of Germany, Italy, and Japan. They fought against the combined might of almost the entire world, and, but for a supreme combined effort on the part of America, the USSR, and Britain, almost won. During the war, the Axis Powers were totalitarian states, controlled ...
Teichman (1974) has listed situations of emotional arousal in which affiliation is favoured. On the list are objective arousal situations. These are events that are socially accepted as arousing, such as hen there is fear of prospective pain. Johnson and Leventhal (1974) have suggested that subjects will be less fearful when exposed to a noxious stimulus if they accurately anticipate how the stimulus will feel. These authors believe that inaccurate expectations about the sensations are cause of negative responses.
Teichman’s and Johnson and Leventhal’s conclusions it was hypothesized that affiliative responses and anxiety among blood donors would be related to their familiarity with the forthcoming event. It was expected that when donating blood, new donors would be more anxious and more likely to come with someone else than experienced volunteers. The latter would be more likely to have correct expectations. It was also hypothesized that for both experienced and inexperienced donors, state anxiety level before would be lower among the affiliated individuals than among those who came alone.
Two Reasons for Affiliations
• Social Comparison
• Social Exchange
Assumption: People have a need for accuracy about self and others
Proposition: the need for accuracy is highest when in a state of uncertainty about self
Prediction: People will have a preference for comparison with similar others
We are drawn toward the Physically Attractive.
Physical attractiveness is a view of the physical traits of an individual person as very pleasing or beautiful, and can include various factors such as sexual attractiveness and physical appearance. The double standard on physical attractiveness reveals that we do not assess people and situations in fair and objective ways. What complicates matters is that we often have specific ways in which we view and judge others for what qualifies as physically attractive, yet we are frequently willing to dismiss or modify those views in specific situations. Time after time Studies demonstrate that physical appearance does matter, and that people relate beauty with concepts like “good-better”, and “smart-successful”. Here are some facts that uphold this theory:
Where did all those romantic fellas go? With all that can be, all that is within us, romance lives forever! So why not take advantage of it. Did you ever look around and wonder why a woman will chose another man over you? Maybe you are more handsome, intelligent, richer and so much more than that other plain fellow what's his name. But he's romantic and obviously knows how to treat a woman and ...
• People perceive physically attractive people as smarter, more successful, more sociable, more dominant, sexually warmer, mentally healthier and higher in self-esteem than their physically unattractive friends and family members.
• Physically attractive people are more relaxed, socially involved, and less socially anxious and lonely than less physically attractive people.
• We prefer to interact with people who are physically attractive. For instance, physically attractive people are generally liked more than less physically attractive people, and they have greater social popularity.
• A physically attractive person charged with the same crime as a less attractive person is more likely to be found not guilty of that crime.
Scientist studying the “laws of attraction” conclude that we tend to be attracted to people we are near (proximity is rewarding and distance is costly to relationships).
Because we fear rejection, we also like people who like us. But most important, we like people that are physically attractive. We all know that physical attractiveness does not guarantee a person’s goodness. However our human nature makes us to assume that good-looking people are also better people. People all over the world tend to agree on who is and who is not attractive. Men all over the world prefer a “feminine” face, with features such as big eyes, small nose, and full lips, along with prominent cheekbones, narrow cheeks and a big smile. Women are tougher to pin down. At times, women tend to prefer the friendly, youthful boyish look (say, Leornardo DiCaprio).
Other times (studies have shown this occurs with monthly regularity!) women prefer the more dominant, rugged look; strong jaw, broad foreheads (think George Clooney).
An attractive woman gets asked out more than a plain woman. However, plain women have as many interactions with men as the beautiful women do. In group settings (at work, at school, etc.) the plain women are just as involved in social interactions with men. This is not the case with unattractive men, however. They don’t get as much social interaction with women no matter what the setting, as handsome men do. It is believed that there is a basis to these preferences. Early human beings learned to choose the “beautiful” mate as one who survived disease and illness and is, therefore, a stronger mate, and one who is likely to produce healthier children. I bet that for a cave woman,
An Attractive Man I’ve never saw such a handsome individual. The day I walked into my fourth period class, I looked around, stopped and stared at him. My eyes were big as golf balls. Breathing hard, I slowly resumed to my seat, stumbling. I put down my tower of books as they dripped with sweat from my hands. As I wiped off the residue, the teacher began class. The teacher instructed that we get ...
that powerful jaw was one that could rip into large chunks of bar-b-qued mastodon meat and would therefore be strong enough to protect her and her babies. Therefore to that caveman that would be an attractive quality and something to desire as a part of their live. It’s truly difficult to describe this whole concept of attraction and how we can manage what we feel and what we can do about it. Best thing we can do is to trust what we feel and to learn from our mistakes. With faith we can have something special that can draw us towards our true love. God works through the very nature he created in us, and allows us to be attracted to that which is true to our individual hearts. The human person is a mysterious combination of body and soul, and these crazy laws of attraction apply to our intimate relationships. Attraction is not the same as love, nor is it a guarantee of love. But, it’s an essential an important first step.
There are Gender-Based Attractiveness Standards.
Our culture, like many around the world, places a premium on physically attractive women and, as a result, women frequently express concerns about being rejected based on their appearance (Park, 2007).
Starting at a very young age, from the Barbie dolls and toy makeup cases girls are encouraged to play with, to the close attention given to clothing fashion and other bodily adornments, females are taught that their body as an object is a significant factor in how others will judge their overall value. The pervasiveness of this attention is seem in the message conveyed in dards of female beauty are established, especially relating to weight (Bessenoff & Del Priore, 2007; Posavac & Posavac, 1998).
Anxiety Disorders Anxiety is a feeling of tension associated with a sense of threat of danger when the source of the danger is not known. In comparison, fear is a feeling of tension that is associated with a known source of danger. I believe it is normal for us to have some mild anxiety present in our daily lives. Everyday that I can think of I have some kind of anxiety though out that day. ...
One consequence of this greater attention to the female form is that women of all age groups are more aware of and influenced by attractiveness standards than are men, and this heightened focus has a lasting negative impact on their body attitudes, or body esteem (Ambwani & Strauss, 2007;).
Beginning in late childhood and early adolescence, girls not only experience more dissatisfaction with their bodies than boys but they also experience a steady increase in this dissatisfaction over time (Feingold & Mazzella, 1998).
By adulthood, negative affect is a pervasive quality of female identifies social
Physique anxiety. Anxiety, about others observing or evaluating their bodies.
The women most likely caught in this “beauty trap” are those with a traditional feminine gender role and those who try to conform to cultural beauty standards (Franzoi, 1995; Strahan 2008).
Although women generally express greater dissatisfaction toward their bodies than do men, evidence shows that minority women and lesbians feel less pressure heterosexual to conform to the unrealistic standard of thinness in the larger culture than White heterosexual women. As a result, they are less concerned about dieting and weight loss, although the differences are not large.
This somewhat healthier perspective appears to be partly due to a greater valuing of larger body sizes in minority and lesbian cultures, but it also may be a by-product of a more general tendency to reject White and heterosexual cultural standards, respectively. Yet, despite the fact that minority heterosexual women appear to have greater body satisfaction than White heterosexual women, this does not mean they are unconcerned about weight issue. In general, they are still more dissatisfied with their bodies- particularly their weight than are heterosexual minority men. Similar ambivalent feelings are also experienced by young adult lesbians regarding the important of weight and overall physical appearance. These findings suggest that although lesbians and minority women may adhere less to the dominant White heterosexual standard of female thinness, they are not immune to this beauty norm.
In contrast to the way that most females are socialized, males are taught to view their bodies as dynamic instruments of action, and they are judged more positively if they engage in physical activities. For boys, their ability to adeptly move their bodies through physical space is an important contributor to their overall self-esteem (Langlois & Downs, 1980).
Your heart is racing, your muscles are tightening, and the room is closing in around you? You back up slowly, and try to make a hasty retreat. This is what it is like for people who are suffering from social anxiety disorder. Anxiety is defined as a state or cause of uneasiness and apprehension; worry, or intense fear resulting from the anticipation of a threatening event. Anxiety often causes a ...
In adulthood, power and function are important criteria for evaluating the male physical self, and the male body as object is judged more positively by women if it is muscular. Because greater importance is placed on the body as a functioning unit in the daily experience of males, they are more likely than women to judge their bodies as a unified whole and less as a collection of parts. Accompanying this more unified view of the body is a higher level of body esteem than typically found among women. One notable gay men experience to this general finding is a gay men. Like many heterosexual women, many are difficult to attain (Kaminski 2005).
This heightened scrutiny of the body as beauty object undoubtedly accounts for the lower levels of body esteem found in this population.
Birds of a feather Really do Flock Together.
Previous studies on similarity and attraction has proves that the more similar someone is the more likely the two person will like each other. An analysis of interpersonal relationship shows that there are three important perceptions that help to form such a relationship: 1) how individuals perceive themselves; 2) how an individual perceives the other person; and 3) how an individual believes the other person perceives him/her.
If we all take a look back over our lives and thing about the way we act when we first left home and started to go out to places where you are about to come in contact with new people. The first thing that come to your mind is: What is his or her race? Where are they from? Will I be able to get along with them? Do he or she like to party? Will they be the type that likes to stay in the room and study all the time?
Researchers have examined the sex differences in the effects of similarity on opposite-sex
attraction. A study by Feingold (1991) on sex differences related to similarity and physical
attractiveness Social psychological research indicates that we are attracted to those who are
similar to us in particular characteristics. This is known as matching hypothesis. Matching
Hypothesis is the proposition that people are attracted to others who are similar to them in
particular characteristics (Galupo, 2007; Takeuchi, 2006).
Theodore Newcomb was the first to
test matching hypothesis. This study was conducted in (1961) longitudinal study of friendship
development in an all-male boardinghouse. Newcomb found in his study that the resident’s
liking for one another was significantly influenced by their similar in age and family background. In the Schechter’s anxiety experiments, when we are uncertain about how to define social reality, we drawn to those with whom we can best compare ourselves. When we meet others who share the same views of important issues it makes us feel better because it reassures us that essential aspects or our self-concept have social validity. In contrast, when others dis-agree these questions of our judgment brings about doubt in our mind about our self-concept and worldview. Researchers have examined sex differences in the effects of similarity on opposite attraction. Study on sex differences by Feingold (1991) related to similarity and physical attractiveness results indicating that women valued similarity more than men and men valued physical attractiveness more than similarity. Women pay more attention to a person’s attitudes and interest than men do, this is due to women are less preoccupied with appearance.
The true question is why are similar others so interpersonally attractive. The desire for social comparison is one reason. When we are uncertain about how to define social reality we are drawn to those with whom we can best compare to ourselves. Meeting others who share our views on important issues makes us feel better. This reassures us that essential aspects or our self-concept have social validity.
Another possible explanation is that our affinity for similar to others is part of our evolutionary heritage. Our ancestor may have used similarity cues (physical and attitudinal) to detect those who were genetically similar. John Rushton in (1989) found out that friends tend to be more similar to one another on certain genetically determined characteristics.
Humans have unconsciously been attracted to similar others because they share many of the same genes is one of the possibilities. One other reason why we attracted to similar to others is that we like that which is familiar. Bornstein discovered that it may have been evolutionarily adaptive to perceive unfamiliar others with caution and distrust. This is due to the dangers inherent in dealing with the unfamiliar (1989).
We perceive similar to others as attractive because they mimic familiarity. Their similarity to makes them seemingly familiar creatures. Similarity may lead to liking because the similar appear familiar to them.
Social Anxiety can keep us Isolated from others
Social anxiety disorder is also known as social phobia. It is defined as the fear of social situations that involve interaction with other people. It is the fear and anxiety of being judged and evaluated negatively by other people or behaving in a way that might cause embarrassment or ridicule. This leads to feelings of inadequacy, self-consciousness, and depression. The person with social anxiety disorder may believe that all eyes are on him at all times.
There are many different perceptions about people with social anxiety. People who do have it are often seen by others as just being shy, constrained, unfriendly, uneasy, quiet, or indifferent. The people who are afflicted with social anxiety may be confused by these perceptions as well, so they may fail to seek treatment. Because the problem is generally unheard of, they may think that they are the only ones who suffer from it. Those who often get help are misdiagnosed with other disorders, personality disorders or schizophrenia or even manic depression. This is because social anxiety is not well understood by the general public, or medical or health care professionals. They do not even know what really causes it or where it really comes from.
Those with the disorder usually know that their anxiety, thoughts, and fears are foolish and unproven. They realize that it is anxiety and terror that they are experiencing. They know that people around them are not really critically judging them or evaluating them constantly.
They understand that everyone is not out to humiliate or embarrass them. But despite this logical knowledge and sense, they still continue to feel and believe differently, thus, thoughts and symptoms of anxiety usually persist with no sign of going away. People with social anxiety may usually experience extreme distress in some of these situations: when they are being introduced to other people, being teased or criticized, being the center of attention, meeting important people or authoritative people, being watched while doing something, having to announce something in a public situation, embarrassing easily, or making eye contact. Social anxiety may be discriminating, though. A person may have an extreme fear of one occasion, such as public speaking, but be perfectly comfortable in any other situation. Others may have several phobias.
There are also emotional and physical symptoms that may follow some of these situations. The emotional feelings may be anxiety, intense fear, nervousness, or automatic negative thinking cycles. The physical symptoms are panic-like attacks, faintness, shortness of breath, heart palpations, profuse sweating, dry throat and mouth, trembling, blushing, racing heart, or muscle twitches. However, the most common feature is constant intense anxiety.
Two types of treatment may be used to help patients suffering from social anxiety and social phobia. A certain type of therapy can be used, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and it has proved to be effective in most cases. Medication is also useful in treatment. Antidepressants, such as maoi’s, in conjunction with cognitive-behavioral therapy, is the most beneficial. But research has shown that if the two treatments are not used together, success is only temporary.
Also, treatment must include a therapist and an active behavioral therapy group. The most important steps in defeating social anxiety disorder is understanding, becoming aware of the problem, and committing yourself to all the treatments, including therapy. What seems to makes the situation even more difficult is the fact that the disorder does not just come and go like other disorders, a person is faced with it every single day of their life, every time they have to go out anywhere or are put in a situation where people are involved. They have to deal with this all the time, until they are treated. Unfortunately, most people do not know that they are afflicted with it, and, without some kind of formal education, knowledge, or treatment, social anxiety continues to ruin their lives. This is the reality for millions Americans, but yet there is very little being done in the way of trying to help them realize that they are not just shy or introverted, they really have a problem. Hopefully, one day, this disorder will be researched and understood more.
Interpersonal attraction leads to friendship and romantic relationships. The study of interpersonal attraction has been a major area of research in social psychology. As a conclusion Interpersonal attraction is related to how much we like, love, dislike, or hate someone. It can be viewed as a force acting between two people that tends to draw them together and fights against their separation. When measuring interpersonal attraction, we must refer to the qualities of the attracted as well as the qualities of the “attractor” to reach and predict with accuracy. It is suggested that to determine attraction, personality and situation must be taken into account for all situations in everyday living.
• Jackie Kimber: www.soton.acuk/~crsi/lectire4html.com
• Gaddiel Martinez: psynet.apa.org
• Lance Williams: Park 2007, Jones 2003, Besenoff &Del Priore, 2007 Posavac & Posavac, Ambwani & Strauss 2007, Feingold & Mazzella 1998, Franzoi 1995, Strahan 2008, Langlos & Downs 1980, Kaminski 2005.
• Amanda Alexander: The Relationship between Similarity of Intelligence and Attraction,
Social Psychology, 2009 Custom Edition, 5th Edition, Stephen L. Franzoi