Social psychology is a remarkably diverse field. It covers topics that range from altruistic generosity to homicidal aggression, from interpersonal attraction to inter group conflict, from obedience and conformity to group pressure to minority dissent, from the way people persuade others to the way they avoid being persuaded, and from how people perceive and think about others to what they actually do in myriad social situations. Ideas are like organisms in evolutionary theory. Both are typically in the process of adaptation and development ( 1997). At any given point in time, ideas seem to be perfectly embedded in a tangled bank of other contemporary concepts and ideas, as well as an immediate intellectual context. If people take a longer time frame, however, they can see that ideas often develop from more primal concepts. In the process of adapting to marauding criticisms and other ideas, they are transformed from their ancestral shape. Like contemporary organisms, contemporary ideas are hardly the final word. Efforts to hold ideas constant, to retain a pristine orthodoxy, are probably doomed to failure, just as are efforts to keep organisms from changing in response to changing environments ( 1997).
Interpersonal attraction is a topical apple that is not as far from the evolutionary tree as are other aspects of human sociality. Evolutionary theory has been concerned with factors affecting mating choice. There seems to be no shortage of critical commentaries on evolutionary approaches to interpersonal attraction, but most of these are opinion pieces un encumbered by data. Empirical work that directly evaluates evolutionary hypotheses about interpersonal attraction is now emerging. People build on the new evolutionary psychology work, but they confront several conceptual ambiguities and deploy some ideas and methodological tools from social, personality, and developmental psychology that might suggest new lines of research in evolutionary psychology (1997). A great deal hinges on the way people conceptualize evolved mechanisms, especially for psychological theory and research on interpersonal attraction. Several writers argued that a major difference between sociobiology and evolutionary psychology lies in the nature of the mechanisms presumed to underlie behavior. In socio biological analyses, mechanisms that mediate behavior are distal and appear not to require psychological processes, at least as we conventionally conceptualize them. If there is psychological mediation in socio biological explanation, it is akin to the idea of innate releasing mechanisms. The socio biological approach may be a reasonable approach for dealing with Formicinae, but it is limiting in dealing with complex human social behavior such as interpersonal attraction ( 1997). Interpersonal attraction has 5 five factors that include proximity, physical attraction, similarity in personality, Attitude similarity and general description. Proximity occurs because there is closeness in the space they are in. Physical attraction involves liking someone due to the physical superiority of the other person. Similarity and attitude similarity occurs after both people find compatibility in attitudes and they have similar likes and dislikes. The paper will discuss about the factors physical attraction and similarity in personality.
The immense amount of research devoted to determining the antecedents and consequences of interpersonal attraction and liking attests to the central role that affective responses to others play in developing and deteriorating relationships. In general, people tend to interact with those to whom they are attracted and to avoid interaction if possible with those they dislike. There are, of course, exceptions to this seemingly obvious generalization, but even such apparent counterexamples may not necessarily provide contrary evidence. Some individuals in abusive relationships may not only harbor extremely negative affect toward their abusive partner; they may also want very much to escape the relationship. However, the problem of exactly how to exit the relationship in a way that will forestall severe retaliation from the abuser may stand in the way (2002). A dyadic process evident in judgments of interpersonal attraction involves uncertainty reduction. Uncertainty reduction theory (URT) is based on the assumption that as the amount of verbal or nonverbal affiliative communication increases, the level of uncertainty decreases. Researchers posit that high levels of uncertainty increase information-seeking behaviors and reciprocity rates, as participants learn about and predict their partner's behavior ( 2002).
If uncertainty reduction results in perceived attractiveness, verbal and nonverbal affiliative communication, intimacy levels, and liking tend increase. Personality and attitude similarities tend to reduce uncertainty, whereas differences tend to increase uncertainty. Uncertainty reduction is an important motive for communicating during three phases of initial interactions. In the entry phase, individuals exchange information on trivial topics and maintain low involvement. During the personal phase, individuals discuss their feelings, attitudes, and judgments and lay the foundation for a future relationship. In the exit phase, relational partners negotiate ways to allow the relationship to grow or they decide to stabilize or withdraw from the relationship. Physical attraction transpires between two people that have (2002). As individuals seek to establish deeper levels of relational intimacy, they must increase their knowledge about the partner. This requires individuals to move from a descriptive knowledge that accounts for others' current behavior; to predictive knowledge of the other's beliefs, attitudes, and feelings; to explanatory knowledge, where the individual can articulate the partner's behavior and motives. Individuals are thought to construct messages that facilitate uncertainty reduction, using passive strategies to unobtrusively observe the other, active strategies to seek information, and interactive strategies to obtain information through direct exchanges (2002). Physical attraction depends on the level of attraction a person has toward another person. This kind of attraction transpires when a person sees something physically attractive to the other person. This kind of attraction can also happen in a friendship between people. Some people prefer to be friends with good looking people and thus they tend to communicate with people that pass their physical qualification.
Similarity in personality
It seems that while similarity in attitudes serves as an important screening variable in the early stages of a love relationship, similarity in personality becomes important as the relationship develops. Indeed, a number of studies indicate that spouses who have similar personalities report higher levels of happiness and satisfaction from their marriages than do spouses who have different personalities. Why are people likely to be attracted to a personality similar to their own? For the same reasons that operated with similar appearance and attitudes. Similarity in personality validates and reinforces their self-perceptions ( 2000).In addition, a relationship with someone of similar personality helps people to maintain the stability of their own personality. They surround themselves with people similar to themselves in an effort to keep their personalities stable in the face of the many situations, changes, and transitions that characterize their lives. In a longitudinal study at the University of California at Berkeley, an analysis of the criteria for mate selection showed that homogeneity, which is to say, similarity, is a basic norm in marriage. In other words, people choose to love and marry people who are similar to them because the choice helps them maintain a stable personality (2000).
Interpersonal similarity promotes friendship formation and then enhances the continuity of the relationship. Moreover, due to the process of mutual influence, friends become increasingly similar to each other as the friendship relation continues. Considering the attention that has been devoted to the phenomenon of interpersonal similarity in adult friendship relations and to children's peer relations during the past two decades, it is surprising that these interpersonal processes have been largely ignored with children. In spite of researcher's compelling findings regarding the association between patterns of adolescent friendship and drug use, very little is known about the extent of interpersonal similarity in childhood and early adolescent friendship relations (1999). Specifically, it is not known if interpersonal similarity in personality and social behavior is related to the development of friendship and to the stability of children's relationships with friends and, more importantly, if increased levels of interpersonal similarity result from the sustained interaction of friends ( 1999).
If interpersonal similarity facilitates friendship, then higher levels of similarity would be expected between friends than between non friends. Overall, early adolescents were generally more similar to their mutual friend than to a randomly selected peer on the behavioral characteristics of aggression, class competence, and immaturity. Similarity between friends is a robust phenomenon that is evident across different social contexts. In contrast, mutual friends were no more similar in their observable prominence than were random peers in fifth and sixth grade (1999). Similarity in personality is used by people to find a partner or friends. They use such interpersonal attraction because they believe that in being a friend or lover to someone he/she must have the same personality as the other person.
Interpersonal attraction has 5 five factors that include proximity, physical attraction, similarity in personality, Attitude similarity and general description. Physical attraction involves liking someone due to the physical superiority of the other person. Physical attraction depends on the level of attraction a person has toward another person. This kind of attraction transpires when a person sees something physically attractive to the other person. Similarity and attitude similarity occurs after both people find compatibility in attitudes and they have similar likes and dislikes. They use such interpersonal attraction because they believe that in being a friend or lover to someone he/she must have the same personality as the other person.
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