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Descibe and discuss 2 psychological factors that influence the developement of interpersonal relationships

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´╗┐Access to HE (Science) Psychology (SCIFT/SCIPT) 2: Applied Social Psychology Describe and discuss 2 psychological factors that influence the development of the interpersonal relationships using empirical evidence According to (Berschield, 1985), relationships make life meaningful whether they are good or bad. When a person is asked ?what is necessary for your happiness?? most would reply the close relationships they have with their partners, friends and family. She noted that human beings are the most social of social animals. The reason for our survival as a species is the ability to know whether another creature or human being is good for us. She argues ?The matters of interpersonal attraction are quite literally of life and death importance?. In determining our future relationships psychologists believe there are 5 different factors that should be taken into consideration proximity, exposure and familiarity, physical attractiveness, similarity and reciprocal liking, with research we can determine whether there is any truth behind these theories. Physical attractiveness is a subject that has been extensively researched in its own right and as an aspect of similarity. In society we tend to attribute good looks to someone?s being more intelligent or more successful therefore we attribute a person?s success in life, not to their personality but to their physical attractiveness. ...read more.


From a young age we value physical attraction, as beautiful people tend to receive more social attention. Images in the media also confirm this, by using more attractive people as actors or actresses therefore we use them as role models. To hypothesise this we can refer to the self-fulfilling prophecy. The way we treat people affects how they behave and ultimately how they perceive themselves but can a normal person behave like an attractive one through the self-fulfilling prophecy?. An important determinant of interpersonal attraction is similarity. We are attracted to people with whom we share the same point of view. And research has shown that the more we have in common with someone the more successful our relationships with people will be. If we show any dissimilarity it can cause conflict within that relationship, the dissimilar-repulsion effect (Rosenbaum, 1986). This could also be common with reciprocal liking Aronson (1980) stated that attraction is based on similarities or a shared interest or beliefs. This is attributed to the belief that when a person is in agreement with us, they are providing us with the reward of reinforcement, therefore leading to self-confidence, vanity and reciprocal liking. ...read more.


Fiore and Donarth (2005) examined data from 65,000 online daters, the found that people were choosing based on similarities to themselves. That includes ethnicity and religion. Of all the data analysed 80% of the contacts initiated by white members were to other white members, and only 3% were made to black members. Online dating agencies have taken advantage of this fact by setting up dating websites to caterer to this for example JustChristian.com, or Afrointrodution.com. Although researching internet dating is a good way of examining interpersonal relationships, there is only limited data on how well it works. Most of the research is based on heterosexual daters therefore ignores the comparison with homosexual daters. Most people think of it in consumerist terms (Heino et al, .2010) users are ?Relation shopping?, looking at other people?s features weighing them up, then choosing potential partners, as though from a catalogue, its human relationships reduced to check boxes. Social psychological studies have not so much influenced our opinion on interpersonal attraction, but reinforced the reasons why we find people attractive for example; physical attraction, proximity, familiarity or reciprocal liking. Most of the research is potentially artificial focusing on forced social settings or attitude surveys. It can ignore ecological or cultural relationship criteria. What is prevalent though is the need to form relationships with other people maybe for romantic reasons or friendship. ...read more.

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