Psychology of Love Essay Example:
Looks in Relationships: The Computer Dance Experiment
The article raises the questions of the role of appearance in the relationships. The author refers to several experiments that were established in the sphere of human relations with different age groups. The aim of the experiments was to determine the influence of the person’s appearance on its relations with another person and the whole group. The fact of being pretty or handsome is taken as a basis for establishing a correlation between person looks and how successful this person is.
Assumptions and correlations in the experiment
In order to establish that correlation “The computer dance experiment” was held in 1966. Taking a lard group of university students, experimenter randomly matched them for the dates. After the date every participant was given a rating form to fill out in order to find out which of the factors were significant to the student’s satisfaction with the date. The hypnotizes that was needed to be proved was that in case the personality, intelligence and other features are important then there won’t be any significant correlation between physical attractiveness and satisfaction from the date.
The results of the experiment showed that there are and extremely high correlation (0.78 for men and 0.69 for women) between date appearance and satisfaction from the date. The factors like intelligence, introversion and even attitude similarities do not meter much in a brief dating. It also showed that most of people are likely to assume that physically attractive people are more similar to them in attitudes and personality them the less attractive ones.1
Further researches prove that the correlation is no necessarily applicable for all age groups. For example, more mature couples are unlikely to pay a lot of attention on the physical attractiveness. For married men the correlation is very low and there is no correlation at all for married women. There is also a significant difference in the attitude of the different genders toward the appearance: for men physical attractiveness is more importance then for women. The results were achieved by means of different tests and direct questions.
However, the physical attractiveness cannot be regarded as a separate factor that has a great influence of the relations alone. It can be viewed only together with all of the other features of personality since in most of cases the impression of physical attractiveness may be strongly reinforced by intelligence or wit of the person.
Strong and weak sides of the study
The study is strong in giving different points of view on the subject. It includes the results of several experiments that cover different groups of people and prove the ideas expressed. Providing readers with the direct results of the experiments it points out to the foundations of the thoughts expressed.
However, because of being written in a very free stile the study caries an imprint of subjective opinion of the writer. It also lacks depth and broader view on the problem. The development of the role of the physical attractiveness should also be describes as well as deeper study of the age and features of character. Being too brief, the study is unable to provide a reader with the large amount of the new information but only to state a more or less obvious assumption and provide it with the perfunctory evidences. That was the case with myself, because I didn’t really learned something new but only got another proof of the facts that I was familiar with.
Physical appearance and attraction
The article deals with the correlation between physical appearance and attraction in people’s attitude towards each other. The problem is described on the bases of two experiments. The experiments were established to prove the influence of physical appearance on the attitude of one person towards another. The article also deals with an influence of similarity of people on positive or negative attitude.
Bogus Stranger Technique
It is an experiment conducted for determination of importance of similarity of people for their relations. According to the procedure the participants were supposed to rate the importance of important and unimportant topics and then were told that there is another person who will rate the same topics. It fact the experimenter rated the topics himself making the rating similar or opposite to the participant’s. Then the participants were asked whether they were willing to work with that “other” person and whether they liked or disliked that person.
The results proved that people were more willing to work and communicate with the people who are similar to them more then with those who had opposite opinions. Further experiments showed that the similarity is not always welcomed it can cause envy and competition. Under some circumstances people would rather prefer to deal with the dissimilar person then with the similar one. Furthermore, the attitude of one person towards another is more important that similarity. In most of cases people will like other people if those other people seem to like them without regard to common interests.
The impact of beauty and its self-fulfilling nature
The experiment was conducted to find out an influence of appearance on the intuitive attitude towards people. The participants were given the pictures of women and were told to make an acquaintance through the telephone conversation. Part of them was given pictures of very attractive woman and the other part of relatively unattractive one. Another group was given records of those telephone conversations only with the woman’s part without seeing any pictures. After the conversation all of them were asked to rate the woman.
The results of rating showed that those who believed that the woman was beautiful had better opinion then those who believed that she wasn’t attractive. At the same time, the group that wasn’t aware of her appearance was rating her higher then the group that though that she wasn’t attractive.
From the experiments described above it may be concluded that the appearance has a significant influence on attitude towards the person. Beautiful people are believed to be beautiful inside and are more likely to be treated better then unattractive ones. The conclusion can also be applied to the children’s psychology:
It is quite possible that a beautiful child, having been treated as «good» and lovable from a very young age, will grow up viewing him- or herself the same way, and behave accordingly.
Strength and weaknesses
The study is positively strong in its consistent structure and problem’s exposure. The structure allows to have a look at the development of thinking in the field and to gather new information. At the same time all the conclusions are well confirmed by the experiments’ results and logically follow from them. The study gives the prospect of the problem that is wide enough to be regarded as informational useful and important. It is also important that the study has a substantial approach towards the issue and exposes it sufficiently.
From the other hand the study’s main shortage is its conclusions. They need to be developed deeply and cover a broader influence of the established results. More attention should be devoted to the spheres that are not obviously related to the experiment but have a tight connection with its results.
As for me, I can say that I’ve learned interesting and useful thing from the article. It explains why people behave one way or another in response for other peoples actions. It also gives an idea of the role of beauty in the society and culture.
Attraction and Relationships: Who Wants What?
The experiment described in the article is aimed for the establishment of the role of the appearance in long-term relations. It also tries to establish the rate of importance of these or those features for each gender since they differ a lot.
The core of experiment
978 heterosexuals aged from 18 to 24 were participating in the experiment. It was conducted by the means of questionnaire with 10 items each for one characteristic of the person. The participants were supposed to rate an importance of each from 1 to 9. After that they were supposed to rate each of the characteristics regarding themselves.
The results showed that features, which participants were rating high for their partners, were also rated high by themselves, which means that they were willing to find the person with the features that are much alike their owns.
At the same time physical attraction proved to be not of a great importance for long term relations. Mostly, only people who were very attractive demanded the high rate of physical attraction. Dr Elmen commented that fact in fallowing way:
It is those so-called «family values» characteristics – good parenting qualities, devotion and sexual fidelity – that’s what people say they’re looking for in a long-term relationship.
The difference in gender was reflected by greater importance of appearance for men then for women. From the other hand women found material and social status of the long-term partner more important then men did.
Advantages and disadvantages of the study
The experiment managed to establish correlation between people’s own characteristic and their expectations from the partner. It also managed to point out the gender differences in those expectations.
However, it was aimed only at the narrow age group and was dealing only with supposition and expectations. It would have been logical to include studies of the adult couples in order to find out whether the expectations of youth mach the practice. In other words it should be checked whether theory will really much practice and the couples with mutual interests are more likely to maintain long-term relations longer then those who have significant differences.
The article provided me with limited but valuable information explaining basic rules of long-term relations. It was also interesting from the point of view of the gender differences and the nature of people’s expectations.
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