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Textbook Site for:
Social Psychology , Sixth Edition
Sharon S. Brehm - Indiana University
Saul Kassin - Williams College
Steven Fein - Williams College
Chapter Outlines - Attraction and Close Relationships

I. Being with Others: A Fundamental Human Motive
A. The Thrill of Affiliation
1. Need for affiliation: a desire to establish contact with others
2. Stress leads to desire to affiliate
B. The Agony of Loneliness – To feel deprived about the nature of one’s existing social relations
II. The Initial Attraction
A. Familiarity: Being There
1. The proximity effect
2. The mere exposure effect
B. Physical Attractiveness: Getting Drawn In
1. What is beauty?
a) some faces are seen as more attractive than others
b) composite averages of faces are seen as more attractive
c) even babies show preference for certain faces
d) beauty is also influenced by culture, time, and circumstance
e) viewing attractive models lowers people’s evaluations of themselves and others
2. Why are we blinded by beauty?
a) it is inherently rewarding to be with beautiful people
b) what-is-beautiful-is-good stereotype
c) physical attractiveness stereotype is only accurate to a limited extent
d) the self-fulfilling prophecy probably maintains the physical attractiveness stereotype
3. The benefits and costs of beauty
a) attractive people gain benefits from the physical attractiveness stereotype
b) attractive people also have difficulty interpreting feedback: is it due to my looks or my performance?
c) attractive people might face more pressure to maintain their appearance
C. First Encounters: Getting Acquainted
1. Liking others who are similar
a) we associate with those who are similar
b) the matching hypothesis seems true; people tend to date and marry people with a similar level of attractiveness
2. Liking others who like us
a) balance theory predicts that we will like someone if they share our views of others
b) we like others when there is reciprocity: mutual give and take
3. Pursuing those who are hard to get
D. Mate Selection: The Evolution of Desire?
1. The evolutionary perspective
a) women are attracted to older men who are financially secure
b) men are attracted to women who are young, and physically attractive
c) women are jealous of emotional infidelity – intimacy with another partner
d) men are jealous of sexual infidelity
2. Sociocultural perspectives
a) women trade youth and beauty to gain economic power
b) men fear sexual infidelity because of what it implies about intimacy
c) sex differences are small compared to similarities
III. Close Relationships
A. The Intimate Marketplace: Tracking the Gains and Losses
1. Social exchange theory – relationships that provide more rewards and fewer costs will be more satisfying and endure longer
a) comparison level – average expected outcome of a relationship
b) comparison level for alternatives – expected outcome of other possible relationships
c) investment – something a person puts into a relationship that he or she cannot recover
2. Equity theory – people are most content when the ratio between what they get out of the relationship and what they put into it is similar for both partners
a) overbenefitted partner – receives more benefits that his or her contributions warrant
b) underbenefitted partner – receives fewer benefits than his or her contributions warrant
c) both types of partners are likely to be unhappy and want to leave the relationship
B. Types of Relationships
1. Exchange and communal relationships
a) exchange relationships are characterized by immediate tit-for-tat repayment of benefits
b) communal relationships are characterized by partners responding to each other’s needs without regard to benefits they have received
2. Secure and insecure attachment styles
a) based on models of infant attachment – three types: secure, avoidant, anxious
b) people’s rating of their attachment style predicts to some extent their adult relationships – securely attached people seem to have happier relationships
C. How Do I Love Thee? Counting the Ways
1. Triangular theory of love – love combines intimacy, passion, and commitment
2. Passionate love: The thrill of it – two key ingredients
a) heightened physiological arousal
b) belief that the arousal was triggered by the beloved person
3. Companionate love: The self-disclosure in it
a) deep bond of trust and friendship
b) characterized by self-disclosure – a willingness to open up and share intimate facts and feelings
c) social penetration theory – proposes that as relationships develop self-disclosure becomes broader and deeper
D. Relationship Issues: The Male-Female “Connection”
1. Sexuality
2. Sexual orientation
3. The marital trajectory
4. Communication and conflict
a) negative affect reciprocity – a tit-for-tat exchange of expressions of negative affect – signals a troubled relationship
b) demand/withdrawal interaction pattern – where one partner demands to discuss things only to be met by withdrawal from the situation by the other partner – signal trouble
c) in healthy relationships partners deal with conflict in similar ways
d) increasing rewards of the relationship and seeing the other’s point of view can reduce conflict
e) attributions that partners make for each other’s behavior matter
3. Breaking up
a) almost all relationships exhibit a decline in satisfaction over time – the steeper this decline, the more likely they are to break up
b) people who are most committed to a relationship and who define themselves in terms of the other are most affected by a break up


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