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Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science. Donohoe, M. Behavioral Ecology, 20 4 , — Petersen, J. A meta-analytic review of research on gender differences in sexuality, — Psychological Bulletin, 1 , 21—38; Saad, G. Sex differences when searching for a mate: A process-tracing approach. Journal of Behavioral Decision making, 22 2 , — And when asked about their regrets in life, men are more likely to wish they had had sex with more partners, whereas women wish they had tried harder to avoid getting involved with men who did not stay with them Roese et al. Roese, N. Sex differences in regret: All for love or some for lust?
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32 6 , — These differences may be due to differential evolutionary-based predispositions of men and women. Evolutionary social psychology. Gilbert, S. Because they do not need to invest a lot of time in child rearing, men may be evolutionarily predisposed to be more willing and desiring of having sex with many different partners and may be less selective in their choice of mates.
Women on the other hand, because they must invest substantial effort in raising each child, should be more selective. But gender differences in mate preferences may also be accounted for in terms of social norms and expectations. Overall, women have lower status than men, and as a result, they may find it important to attempt to raise their status by marrying men who have more of it. Men who, on average, already have higher status may be less concerned in this regard, allowing them to focus relatively more on physical attractiveness.
Psychological Bulletin, 1 , 21— You might find yourself wondering why people find physical attractiveness so important when it seems to say so little about what the person is really like as a person. One reason that we like attractive people is because they are rewarding. We like being around attractive people because they are enjoyable to look at and because being with them makes us feel good about ourselves.
Attractiveness implies high status, and we naturally like being around people who have it.
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Sigall, H. Radiating beauty: Effects of having a physically attractive partner on person perception. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 28 2 , — We may also like attractive people because they are seen as, and in fact may actually be, better friends and partners. The physical attractiveness stereotype The tendency to perceive attractive people as having positive characteristics, such as sociability and competence. Dion, K.
What is beautiful is good. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 24 3 , — Eagly, A. What is beautiful is good, but…: A meta-analytic review of research on the physical attractiveness stereotype. Psychological Bulletin, 1 , — One outcome of the physical attractiveness stereotype is that attractive people receive many social benefits from others.
Hosoda, M. The effects of physical attractiveness on job-related outcomes: A meta-analysis of experimental studies. Personnel Psychology, 56 2 , — We are all of course aware of the physical attractiveness stereotype and make use of it when we can.
We try to look our best on dates, at job interviews, and not necessary, we hope! As with many stereotypes, there may be some truth to the physical attractiveness stereotype.
Diener, E. Physical attractiveness and subjective well-being. Maxims or myths of beauty? A meta-analytic and theoretical review.
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Psychological Bulletin, 3 , — These results are probably the result of self-fulfilling prophecies. Because people expect attractive others to be friendly and warm, and because they want to be around them, they treat attractive people more positively than they do unattractive people.
Bright, bad, baby-faced boys: Appearance stereotypes do not always yield self-fulfilling prophecy effects. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75 5 , — However, as with most stereotypes, our expectations about the different characteristics of attractive and unattractive individuals are much stronger than the real differences between them.
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Although it is a very important variable, finding someone physically attractive is of course only the first stage in developing a close relationship with another person. If we find someone attractive, we may want to pursue the relationship. And if we are lucky, that person will also find us attractive and be interested in the possibility of developing a closer relationship.
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At this point, we will begin to communicate, sharing our values, beliefs, and interests, and begin to determine whether we are compatible in a way that leads to increased liking. Relationships are more likely to develop and be maintained to the extent that the partners share values and beliefs. Research has found that people tend to like and associate with others who share their age, education, race, religion, level of intelligence, and socioeconomic status. Jones, J. How do I love thee?
Let me count the Js: Implicit egotism and interpersonal attraction. Seeing I to I: A pathway to interpersonal connectedness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90 2 , — One classic study Newcomb, Newcomb, T. The acquaintance process. The men whose attitudes were similar during the first week ended up being friends, whereas those who did not initially share attitudes were significantly less likely to become friends. Similarity leads to attraction for a variety of reasons. For one, similarity makes things easier.
You can imagine that if you only liked to go to action movies but your girlfriend or boyfriend only liked to go to foreign films, this would create difficulties in choosing an evening activity. Things would be even more problematic if the dissimilarity involved something even more important, such as your attitudes toward the relationship itself. These dissimilarities are going to create real problems. Romantic relationships in which the partners hold different religious and political orientations or different attitudes toward important issues such as premarital sex, marriage, and child rearing are of course not impossible—but they are more complicated and take more effort to maintain.
In addition to being easier, relationships with those who are similar to us are also reinforcing. Imagine you are going to a movie with your very best friend. The movie begins, and you realize that you are starting to like it a lot. At this point, you might look over at your friend and wonder how she is reacting to it. One of the great benefits of sharing beliefs and values with others is that those others tend to react the same way to events as you do.
Odds are that if you like the movie, your friend will too, and because she does, you can feel good about yourself and about your opinions of what makes a good movie. Sharing our values with others and having others share their values with us help us validate the worthiness of our self-concepts. Singh, R. Multiple mediators of the attitude similarity-attraction relationship: Dominance of inferred attraction and subtlety of affect. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 29 1 , 61— We all naturally want to have friends and form relationships with people who have high status.
We prefer to be with people who are healthy, attractive, wealthy, fun, and friendly. But our ability to attract such high-status partners is limited by the principles of social exchange. It is no accident that attractive people are more able to get dates with other attractive people, or that men with more money can attract more attractive women. Kalick, S. The matching hypothesis reexamined. Psychological Science, 19 7 , — You can do the test for yourself. Go to a movie or a concert, and watch the couples who are together. It seems surprising to us when one partner appears much more attractive than the other, and we may well assume that the less attractive partner is offering some type of perhaps less visible social status in return.
There is still one other type of similarity that is important in determining whether a relationship will grow and continue, and it is also based on the principles of social exchange and equity. The finding is rather simple—we tend to prefer people who seem to like us about as much as we like them. Imagine, for instance, that you have met someone and you are hoping to pursue a relationship with them.
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