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Social psychology

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Introduction Social psychology is the study of the individual and the way they behave according to those around them. Social psychology affects nearly every aspect of our everyday lives such as the way in which we form, develop and maintain our relationships with people ranging from our parents to our friends, family and co workers. There has been much research into social psychology, Such as the factors that contribute to the formation of a relationship. According to Rubin (1973) one of these factors is proximity. Rubin stated that the closer we are to somebody physically the more likely we are to form a relationship with him or her. This relates to situations where we are often in close proximity with the same person on people such as work or school. ...read more.


The first of these is the social-biological approach, which states that our primary motivation in forming a relationship is to ensure the ongoing survival of our genes by promoting them to others. Basically this approach suggests that any behaviour we carry out I selfish because the main reason it is being carried out is to protect and promote our genes. This theory of why we form a relationship relates to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution that states that creatures will adapt their behaviour in a way that will best protect and promote their genes. This is known as Adaptive Behaviour. A criticism of the socio-biological approach is that it does not explain homosexual behaviour because such behaviour will not enable an individual to spread their genes. ...read more.


This can be explained by a person's physical attractiveness, however there are different views as to what makes one person appear attractive to another. Cunningham (1986) stated that we all unconsciously agree on what is attractive and that men and women need certain physical characteristics in order to be attractive E.g. men should have broad shoulders. These attributes often promote health and fertility, which supports the idea that we need to protect and promote our genes. Another theory of attractiveness is the Matching Hypothesis suggested by Goffman. The idea behind the Matching Hypothesis is that instead of searching for the most attractive partner we will seek a partner that has a similar level of physical attractiveness to ourselves because it reduces the fear of rejection. This supports the idea that similarity plays a key role in the formation of a relationship and it is this theory I will base my coursework on. ...read more.

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