Saturday, October 6, 2007

Attractiveness- A rough draft. Why are some people attractive?

Ok.. I thought i might give myself some direction and port a rough draft of what I am thinking of writing for my blog 2--- and some issues that have arisen.

ISSUE 1) What sort of attraction am I talking about. Is it just 'sexual' attraction, 'interpersonal' attraction, 'relationship' attraction, 'friendship' attraction...

I am thinking of stating that it will be 'interpersonal' attraction with a predominance towards intimate relationship attraction (as that is what most of the research is about).


Introduction- Introduce what attractiveness is, give direction for the essay.

* Nearness or proximity in physical or psychological space which creates the opportunity to meet another person'.
* The likelihood of meeting, spatial ecology and functional distance. 'Westgate and Westgate West experiment- where it was found that proximity and physical closeness somewhat predicted relationships and friendships.
* Familiarity/Mere Exposure- Proximity generally leards to increased exposure and greater familiarity.
* Availability- People who live close by are accessible- and interaction requires little effort and rewards of interacting are low cost.
* Expectation of continued interaction- (Balance Theory)- It would be an uncomfortable experience not to get along with neighbours- greater interaction is anticipated. Berscheid experiment (1976) where university students rated higher attraction to someone who they perceived as a greater accessibility and continued interaction.

Attitude similarity effect- the idea that peope find others more attractive and likeable the more similar they are in attitudes, beliefs and preferences.
* Compatible attitudes
* Self disclosure
* Matching Hypothesis
* Birds of a feather flock together v opposites attract
* Similar beliefs, morals, SES, status, edication, intelligence, personality- (Research)

* Liking begets reciprocal liking.
* If someone likes you, it is hard to resist liking that person in return.
* Mimicking (Confederate research study Chartrant & Bargh, 1999)
* Unrequited love

The are attracted to someone who brings about favourable rewards for us.
* Reinforcement-affect model
*Social Exchange Theory
* Exchange or rewards including: goods, information, love, money, services, status.
* Equity Theory

* Facial Symmetry
* Facial Features (eyes, nose, cheekbones, jawline, facial fat)
* Bodily features (Waist hip ratio; Body mass index; height)
* Body Odour (Pheremones, perfumes, foul odour)

* Hopefully I will be able to incorperate some cross cultural and 'over generations or centuries' theories and research to highlight that 'why some people are considered attractive; is a plastic concept- a malleable construct that is ever evolving and being influenced by a multitude of variables.

At present I have some Britain v Greece male attractiveness study and Britain v Japan female sttractiveness study. I will also try to touch on the attractiveness of various ethnicities.
I also hope to incoperate an evolutionary social psychology flavour- indicating that many of the 'attractiveness' facets are believed to have an evolutionary heritage.

Thats all for now... Let me know if there is anything else that anyone thinks or wants me to discuss, please let me know. xxxx


Mike said...

Hey Beck,

Looks like a solid essay plan.

The only other thing that I can think of is 'fashion sense.'

cheers, mike

James Neill said...

This looks very substantial Beck. Space will be a challenge, so I'd suggest considering including a figure/concept map which summarises the key factors. You may also need to be selective about what to include. Perhaps appendices can be used for additional, adjunct material which is not central to the essay.

It's also good to see that you're hunting out some research studies. You've already got a solid framework, so the challenge will be putting substance and critique around that framework, which is were identifying relevant studies can help.

You might also search for any recent major literature reviews in this area in peer-reviewed journals, e.g., Annual Review of Psychology.

Emma said...

Hi Beck,

Thanks for the comment on my blog.

Wow, our blog postings are really similar!! You have gone into a lot of depth with your ideas and theory and they sound really good so far. I can't think of anything that you haven't covered at this stage, but if i came across anything i'll be sure to leave you a comment.

Good luck xx