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Is attractiveness an vital factor in a relationship?

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Is attractiveness an vital factor in a relationship? What is a relationship? Relationship is a state connection between two people. This relationship can be a casual friendship in the workplace to a romantic relationship. However I'm going to concentrate on romantic relationships. There are many factors which a important in a romantic relation e.g. physical appearance, personality, status and background. In addition it has been said that physical appearance is the first thing we seem to observe when meeting a stranger. Walster and Walster created a The Matching Hypothesis (We are attracted to people who are the same level of attractiveness as ourselves). Walster and Walster (1966) carried an experiment to witness whether the matching hypothesis was accurate or wrong. ...read more.


So we can conclude that physical appearance is the most important factor in a relation ship. So does this study support the Matching Hypothesis? No because what the experiment is trying to say that we attracted to people who are attractive, however the matching hypothesis says that we are attracted to people who are the same level of attractiveness as ourselves, so it does not support the Matching Hypothesis. The study had received many criticisms. First criticism was that it lacks ecological validity, it is not normal to select a date from a computer, something we would not do when choosing a date. Also because the interaction between the participants was very brief, so participants were introduced to each other any judgments must have been on superficial characteristics again it is not ...read more.


To improve ecological validity they allowed participants to meet beforehand. Results were clear participants who shared similar attractiveness expressed liking to each other. So does this study support the Matching Hypothesis? Yes it does A study which supported the Matching Hypothesis was Murstein (1972). What he did was, photos of couples or engaged couples were ratted in terms of their attractiveness. A clear connection was found of couples of similar attractiveness. So this study is clearly support the fact that we are attracted so someone with the same level of attractiveness as ourselves. However, social desirability could have been involved, because the participants who were rating the photos may have been kind toward the couples, so that they do not look bad. This was also a lab based experiment and may lack ecological validity, this is because the setting is artificial, so therefore finding cant be generalised to other situations. ...read more.

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Response to the question

The candidate here makes a good effort though the majority the studies are not used accurately enough to sufficiently support their analysis. This is a result of either a poor communication of the study procedures (in the case of Walster ...

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Response to the question

The candidate here makes a good effort though the majority the studies are not used accurately enough to sufficiently support their analysis. This is a result of either a poor communication of the study procedures (in the case of Walster & Walster, 1966) and their relevance to the question at hand, or a poor use of analytical skills (more on this later). The candidate's execution of the study description is fair but to those who are not familiar with studies like Walster & Walster studies I doubt the clarity of the description. Also, don't ask the examiner questions during the essay - there is no need for them; just write in continuous prose-style.

The candidate's answer trails off a bit towards the end as well, without a really well-formed conclusive paragraph to bookend the essay (the introductory paragraph is good). Also, there isn't a very clear depiction of why the Walster & Walster 1969 study supports the Matching Hypothesis. I recommend just being that bit clearer, particularly in your Quality of Written Communication (QWC).

Level of analysis

The Level of Analysis is not very good. It is limited and shows little range in the candidate's inventory of psychological evaluation. The candidate often comments on the studies' ecological validity when in fact there are a great deal more that they could be talking about. For instance, the mechanisation and reductionism of hugely complex human behaviour to simple quantified processes as a result of the use of computer processing or the experimenter bias in grading each participant's physicality being issues with Walster & Walster 1966. A broader range of evaluation points is required here, and without which the candidate cannot hope to score highly as to use the same few evaluation points for each study only shows a limited awareness of how to evaluate psychology effectively.

Quality of writing

The Quality of Written Communication is average. For the majority it is understandable, but some parts of the essay do not adhere to the proper rules of grammar - "Yes it does (sic)" is not a proper sentence, and neither is "First criticism was that it lacks ecological validity (sic)". Small errors like these do not compromise the clarity of the written expression, but it does lower the QWC mark and may also ultimately give the examiner the impression the candidate is careless with their words and is not really investing their full enthusiasm in their answer.

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Reviewed by sydneyhopcroft 24/08/2012

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