• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month


Extracts from this document...


Q: How significantly is similarity important in relationship formation and how is reciprocity, complimentary and competence influence liking? Much of the psychological research into social and interpersonal relationships has been focused on romantic ones. A number of specific factors in attraction have been investigated by researchers as possibly important in the formation of relationships. These can be reciprocity, proximity: familiarity and availability, similarity, competence and complimentary. There is evidence to support that 'alikes' rather than 'opposites' attract ( Byrne, 1971). It would appear that similarity of beliefs, attitudes, values, ways of thinking are common indicators of strong relationships and attraction (Lea and Duck,1982). This was seen in a survey in which a similar husband and wife, the more satisfied they tended to be with their relationship. Rubin(1973), said that we are attracted to those who are similar to us as we 'draw' to the possibility of engaging in the same activities, we seek social validation of our beliefs, we like ourselves and logically would like people similar to us, communication of certain fundamentals that are shared are facilitated and people who are similar to us are presumably will like us. ...read more.


Those with demographic variables (e.g. age, sex, social class) and those who possess these characteristics are more likely to be become friends ( Kendel, 1978). Similarity in physical attractiveness, attitudes and demographics variables is found in friends, engaged and married couples. One possibility is that similar personalities are more likely to become involved in one another. However, in some situations it is seen that dissimilar personalities ('opposites attract') are likely to marry or to become friends (Winch, 1958). He claimed that married couples will be happy if the had complimentary needs. Also Kerckoff and Davis's filter theory of mate selection takes a longitudinal view of relationships and suggests that in the early stages of a relationship, similarity in values maybe important. Reciprocity, complimentary and competence are inter linked in influencing liking. Reciprocity is when we like people who like us e.g. returning a compliment, ' you look beautiful today'. This can be connected with complimentary in which we are attracted to people who satisfy our needs e.g. ...read more.


It is seen that we like those who have competency than those who are incompetent. These are those may show confidence, bravery, ability and efficiency in what they do e.g. a more confident person maybe preferred than a shy quiet peron who hardly speaks or expresses their views. In conclusion, there is considerable evidence to support that the view that 'alikes' rather than 'opposites' attract ( Byrne, 1971). Similarity is an important factor if whether attitude based, demographic or personality and to a large extent depends on several types of similarity (Rubin, 1973). Establishing a law of attraction important in forming linear relationship exits between attraction and commonality between attitudes. Winch's concept that 'opposites ' attract has no evidence that they attract in personality (Burgess and Wallin,1953). This together with other factors such as reciprocity,complimentary and competence influence liking by positive comments and efficiency and ability to satisfy ones needs which will attract one to another with the similarities of demographic variables, attitudes etc to a liking and will onset a relationship whether just friendship, or a romantic one. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Social Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work