SAGE Reference - Similarity-Attraction Effect
The Similarity-Attraction Relationship Revisited: Divergence between the affective and behavioral facets of attraction. Article (PDF Available) in. Principles of similarity and complementarity seem to be may depend on the stage of the relationship. Similarity. Actual points of similarity made a potential partner more attractive before a first meeting, but had less of an impact on attraction as relationships.
Clearly, a solely affective measure of attraction seems inadequate for understanding the similarity—attraction relationship. While this similarity— attraction relationship has been observed repeatedly for a review, see Byrne, the limiting conditions were rather rare.
Rosenbaum came up with an altogether new view on the similarity— attraction link: Ever sincethe repulsion hypothesis, the relationship between attitude similarity and attraction has been an important issue in the contemporary literature e.
This relationship implies equal and opposite effects of similar and dissimilar attitudes, which corresponds to the similarity— dissimilarity symmetry hypothesis. It has therefore been suggested that researchers should explore the similarity—attraction relationship using multiple measures of interpersonal attraction. Because the relationship between the three components of attitude affective, cognitive, and behavioral had hardly been studied in the similarity-and-attraction literature for a review, see Berscheid,the problem was solved by simply focusing on the affective facet of attraction.
Accordingly, researchers have examined interpersonal attraction, either by using a single measure of liking, or by combining several measures into one score e. Although these two scales exhibit a high level of internal consistency and reliability, the potential confusion between the affective and behavioral components cannot be ruled out. Multiple measures have long been in use in studies that combine, for example, affection and admiration Heider,affection and respect Rubin,friendship, liking, and respect Newcomb, ; Segal,or social and intellectual attraction e.
Such a multidimensional approach to attraction led attraction theorists to reconsider the usual linear relationship between attitude similarity and attraction. In this line, research based on the rewards-of-interaction model e.
Examining The Similarity-Attraction Theory: Do Similarities Attract?
As Davis suggested, attitudes toward sports, for example, may be manifested in behavior in informal contexts and thus affect attraction, but may be unrelated to behavior in work settings and thus unrelated to attraction. If behavioral or intentional action measures of attraction are used, it may turn out that the linear similarity—attraction relationship is not so clear-cut. The aim of the present study was to develop a new method for examining interpersonal attraction based on both affective and behavioral attraction responses, and to demonstrate the divergence between the different facets of attraction.
Here, the social setting and the interaction goals of the participants are included. The participants were told they would be taking part in a computer-driven survey about room arrangement in the schools so they would not know they were performing an impression formation task. This makes the attraction decisions relative to each other, as in real life see Drigotas, However, a strictly linear distance does not take into account the opportunity for interaction and visual exchange, which are crucial to the development of relationships in the classroom e.
Spatial relationships in classrooms are dictated by implicit and explicit rules regarding communication among pupils. During class, it is prohibited for pupils to talk with classmates seated near them, or to get up and walk around among the desks. The innovative aspect of the present study was the use of functional distance relationships Functional distance instead of the simple adjacency of individuals Euclidian distance.
Because functional distance takes the opportunity to communicate into account, it may constitute a more valid index of the behavioral facet of attraction.
Then a diagram depicting a classroom Experiment 1 or a writing workshop Experiment 2 appeared on the computer screen. Method Participants and Experimental Design The participants were 30 pupils 15 girls and 15 boys between the ages of 12 and All were randomly selected volunteers attending the same school.
The experimental design was a 2 Attitudes: For these reasons, we chose to examine intentional action in a simulated social environment i.
Apparatus and Procedure The experiment was conducted on Macintosh personal computers. For example some scholars have suggested that people may be more likely to be attracted to partners who complement rather than replicate certain attributes.
This complementarity view of attraction explains, for example, why attractive younger women may form successful marital unions with much older, wealthier men. Along similar lines people may not like others who share negative personality traits with them. Additionally some researchers, such as Milton Rosenbaum in a study, have suggested that attitudinal dissimilarity, rather than attitudinal similarity, drives the similarity-liking link. Indeed a study by Ramadhar Singh and Soo Yan Ho revealed that, under certain circumstances, the influence of attitudinal similarity and dissimilarity may exert equivalent and opposite effects on liking.
Further in some cases, dissimilar attitudes may have a stronger influence on interpersonal attraction than similar attitudes Singh and Ho In summary similarity-attraction theory attempts to explain and predict interpersonal liking by asserting that people are attracted to others who are similar to themselves.
Consistent with this view, research has revealed that people prefer to affiliate with those who share similar attitudes, personalities, physical attributes, and a host of other characteristics compared to others who do not. In some cases complementarity or avoidance of dissimilar others may better explain certain patterns of human liking.
In Interpersonal Attraction, On the Nondevelopment of Relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 51 6: Singh, Ramadhar, and Soo Yan Ho. British Journal of Social Psychology 39 2: