Essay about What Are the Social Factors That Influence Interpersonal Attraction? Discuss in Relation to Relevant Psychological Theories and Studies

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What are the social factors that influence interpersonal attraction? Discuss in relation to relevant psychological theories and studies

Interpersonal relationships are the close relationships we form with others around us. They range from close romantic relationships up to more casual relationships such as acquaintances or university peers. There are numerous numbers of social factors that may lead to interpersonal attraction such as proximity, physical attractiveness, similarity and reciprocity. There are also numerous theories into attraction and how humans form interpersonal relationships.

Proximity or being close to a person has a big influence on our choice of friends or romantic partners, previous research suggests that the
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Walster et al.’s findings show that humans are initially attracted to people who are perceived as being ‘beautiful or handsome’, after we realise that the person is not on the same level as attractiveness as us we tend to look for someone on our own level. Hence the name ‘Matching Hypothesis’ as we try to form interpersonal relationships with people who match our own level of physical attractiveness.
However this theory does not account for other social factors that can also influence our decision in forming an interpersonal relationship. Relationships do tend to occur between people of different levels of attractiveness, they may have got to know each other through proximity or similarity or other social factors.

Theories into reinforcement also provide a great insight into the formation if interpersonal relationships. The reinforcement-effect model by Byrne & Clore (1970), this model is heavily influenced by Pavlovian conditioning. This model states that we are attracted to people that invoke positive feelings in us through offering us rewards or praise. This is seen as positive reinforcement and we are more likely to want to gain this positive reinforcement throughout the relationship. We identify the stimuli as either being a reward or a punishment and try to seek the rewarding behaviour and try to avoid the punishing behaviour. These positive