Interpersonal Attraction Argumentative
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What is interpersonal attraction? “Interpersonal attraction refers to the positive feelings toward one another” (Weiten, 463). Most people choose a companion based on interpersonal attractions. It is no news that there are many different factors that influence attraction but author Weiten believes that that “the interpersonal dynamics at work in each case are surprisingly similar. Each is influenced by physical attractiveness” (463). When someone decides to date another person they tend to go off by the initial attraction they feel for that person. Interpersonal attraction is what allows someone to be attracted to another person and once they are attracted to this person they will want to feel a connection with them. This sense of connection will lead to a much stronger feeling which will make one want to learn more about this other person. This stage is referred to as the learning stage. When in the stages of learning about another person, you build a bond with this person.
Physical attractiveness is one of the main factors of interpersonal attraction. A physical attraction with someone is the strongest feeling that anyone in a relationship could ever feel. “…the key determinant of romantic attraction for both sexes was the physical attractiveness of the other person” (463). Once in the course of dating, people start to sense an attraction, which leads to a relationship that eventually ends leads to a commitment if both parties involved share the same attraction and sense of companionship. Although communication is an essential key, the attraction plays a bigger role in a relationship. Communication can build a friendship which leads to a strong bond between the two individuals.
“The matching hypothesis” (463) is something that both men and women follow. This hypothesis states that men and women with an equivalent level of physical attraction are more likely to pick each other. In a closer view, if a woman that is attracted to a man with pretty eyes, that man will also be attracted to that woman because of her pretty eyes. According to researchers, Garcia and Khersonsky, individuals who are similar in level of attractiveness will be more satisfied as a couple and less likely to break up. This ‘matching hypothesis’ still exists in today’s generation. If one were to examine a couple today, they would see that they both seem to have the same physical attractions for one another and one could conclude that this is how they are able to keep a stable relationship.
In interpersonal attraction there is also the factor of the reciprocity effect. “…reciprocity involves liking those who show that they like you” (464). The effect is basically the way someone flatters people with appealing words. If someone uses words to flatter someone then they start to think that the person likes him or her or has some kind of emotional feeling towards them. Researchers found that people tend to like others who show flatter them with kind and appraising words. The reciprocity effect can also be viewed as a ‘self-enhancement’ (464) that is when a person flatters one or gives a compliment; they start to feel good about themselves which helps them build their self confidence. Reciprocity effect is also viewed as a ‘self-verification’ (464) that is when one seeks a response that correspond and help them with their self-concepts.
Some people are also attracted to other people through romantic ideals. Romantic ideals are the qualities that one looks for in their partner. For example, if someone has a romantic ideal of good looks and a sense of humor then they will try to look for these qualities in their partner. When they find that someone that they can match up to their ideals or qualifications then they determine how the relationship will move to the next level. When someone has really high ideals, they usually do not find what they are looking for and when this person’s qualifications are not met than then he/she tends to be unhappy in any other relationships that lead to a lot of problems in the current relationship.
All things considered, the different forms of interpersonal attraction are the main factors that contribute to a strong and healthy relationship between two individuals. It is this attraction that initiates two people to start up a conversation that later may turn out to be a life long journey of companionship. These same interpersonal attraction concepts help maintain that relationship. Having that connection and knowing in your heart that another soul feels the same way you do can be a very good sensation. Physical attractiveness, reciprocity effects and romantic ideals are all the factors in interpersonal attraction. Although these concepts are different approaches of thinking, they all lead to the same final result. They all affect how we approach to build a connection with another human being.
Weiten, Wayne. Psychology: Themes and Variations. Thomson Wadsworth. Las Vegas:2006.