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

Attraction is the force that drives bodies or people together, in social psychology the definition of interpersonal attraction is an attitude of liking or disliking.

Extracts from this document...


Anna Moore                 Psychology coursework


Attraction is the force that drives bodies or people together, in social psychology the definition of  interpersonal attraction is an attitude of liking or disliking (negative attraction) (Bersheid, 1976) Many factors; proximity, similarity, reciprocity and physical appearance contribute to interpersonal attraction.

Proximity; If we come into contact with someone either socially or at work frequently we are more likely to form an attraction with them rather than someone who we rarely see. Adults reported an increased liking for a photo of a stranger simply as a result of being exposed to a photo many times (Moreland and Zajonc, 1982)

Reciprocity; The tendency to return feelings and attitudes that are expressed about us. We tend to like those who like us and reject those who reject us. When we are admired and complimented we are inclined to return those feelings and behaviours. Walster (1965) did a study about reciprocity, women in a waiting room were approached by a good looking male (confederate) who asked them for a date. They then entered the experiment room where they were made to feel either positive about themselves or negative about themselves. He found that the women who had been led to feel negatively about themselves felt considerably more attracted to their male admirer than those who had been led to feel positively about themselves.

...read more.


Aim: We aim to recreate Murstein’s “similarity of attractiveness between newly married couples” study, thus investigating his matching hypothesis theory

Alternative hypothesis:There is a positive correlation between the perceived attractiveness of the female and the perceived attractiveness of the male that she marries

Null hypothesis: There is no significant correlation between the perceived attractiveness of the male and female and the perceived attractiveness of the male that she marries. Any significant correlation will be due to chance factors

We are going to use  a directional hypothesis as we can predict the out come of the study due to similar studies to this having been done before.

We will use a significance level of 5% (P ≤ 0.05) As this is the standard level for psychological research to be tested at. This means that out of every 100 pieces of data collected 5 will be due to chance.

We are going to test the significance of our results using ‘Spearman’s Rho’ as we require correlational analysis and because our data will be ordinal



We are going to use a non experimental method due to the nature of the research. There will be no IV or DV because we are not doing a true experiment we will be using a correlational design to complete our study. There are advantages to conducting the study in this way:

  • There is greater ecological validity
  • It is possible to compare to variables where it is not possible to conduct an experiment.

As well as disadvantages:

  • There is a lack of internal validity due to a lack of control
  • It is not possible to deduce cause and effect as you cannot say that it is purely someone’s attractiveness that makes them get married; there may be many other variables that are not possible to control.

The two variables we will be comparing are the perceived attractiveness of the female and the perceived attractiveness of the male in a couple.

Control of confounding variables:

Participant variability:

  • Standardised instructions will be used to make sure that the participants in the study are all given exactly them same instructions and are not given any extra information than others.
  • Participants will all be chosen from a similar catchment area so that there won’t be any regional difference in the perception of attractiveness
  • We will use participants aged between 15-50 because any one younger than 15 may have a different view of attractiveness as may someone over 50
  • We will have to make sure that none of our participants have taken part in a similar study before because this may bias their results
  • We will make sure that there is an equal spread of gender between the participants. Half male and half female.
  • None of the couples should be recognisable by participants in the study as this could result in biases. To deal with this non of the photos will be taken from local newspapers, nor will they be famous people
  • The photos will all be the same size and quality and will all be black and white photocopies of the originals so that no photos appear more attractive or different from the rest based on photo quality.
...read more.


They were then read a set of standardised instructions (see participant variability) telling them how to do the experiment: ‘could you please rate these photographs in order of attractiveness starting with the most attractive first’ They were shown the male photos and asked to rank them in order of attractiveness, by sorting the photos which had been cut so that they are separated and can be lined up on a table. We recorded them in our table 1-10 in rank order, 10 being the most attractive, giving us ordinal data. Once they had completed this they were shown the female photos and asked to rank them in order of attractiveness (or vice versa if they are in group B. We are using counter balancing to balance the effects of practice and fatigue)We will then show them the actual couples and tell them who they said were the most and least attractive and who they were married to. They will be told what their results indicate. We will also explain to them the true nature of the experiment and what the results are that we are looking for.The participants will then be thanked for helping us with our study.

...read more.

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Height and Weight of Pupils and other Mayfield High School investigations 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

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Height and Weight of Pupils and other Mayfield High School investigations essays

  1. Emotional Intelligence

    Goleman states that his results demonstrate that children with good emotional habits more conducive to studying, stick with tasks, and think that it would eventually pay off, are more 'successful' than ones that go off and are distracted by something else.

  2. Investigation on the shape and size of limpets on a sheltered rocky shore called ...

    Metre ruler- this will be used when finding the vertical height up the sea shore. Optical level - this is a wooden block with a hole on the base where you look, to find the vertical heights of 3m and 6m.

  1. The purpose of this research paper is to present our findings on how the ...

    The humanities, on the other hand, are more concerned with the exploration of emotions where attributes such as empathy and intuition are important. Given the link between traits perceived as 'masculine' and 'feminine' and certain subject areas, formal education has therefore been used as the means of equipping males and

  2. Examine the intersection of psychology and the media

    He identifies in the picture "Man in a Polyester suit"3 (which shows a black male's penis hanging out of the trousers of his polyester suit) that the black man as subject has been reduced to an image of sexuality and nothing else.

  1. I have conducted a questionnaire, a primary research method to assist with my critical ...

    Majority of the males and females said that they prefer a Hero which is 82% of the total number of respondents. This is contrasted with my original opinion where males would prefer a Heroine to satisfy the male gaze, therefore heroines are represented as objects of desire.

  2. I am conducting an experiment to show the relationship between the rate of reaction ...

    28 2 8 F 85 42 3 8 F 80 52 4 8 F 30 39 5 8 F 41 23 6 8 F 30 29 7 8 F 52 47 8 8 F 57 47 9 8 F 39 22 10 8 F 30 27 11 8 F 52

  1. Multiple Personality Disorder

    15. Phobia or panic attacks. 16. Substance abuse. 17. Daytime enuresis or encopresis. 18. History of psychophysiological symptoms. 19. Seizure-like episodes. 20. History of nightmare and sleep disorders. 21. History of sleepwalking. 22. School problems. 23. Reports psychic experiences. 24. Anorexia or Bulimia. 25. Sexual difficulties.

  2. Is race and intelligence a justifiable area of research in psychology?

    There is however no complete concurrence on the nature of 'g'. Alternately, Thomson (1939) describes it as a statistical constancy, while Reed & Jensen (1992) believe it is a measure of neural processing speed. It must be noted that critics believe 'g' is a manufactured statistic standing for the concept of intelligence (Kohn, 1995)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work