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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: Maths
  • Word count: 2377

The general aim of the experiment was to research into whether people of a 'similar attractiveness' are attracted to others who are of a 'similar attractiveness' to themselves.

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Matching Hypothesis Abstract The general aim of the experiment was to research into whether people of a 'similar attractiveness' are attracted to others who are of a 'similar attractiveness' to themselves. This was done by showing photographs of couples that had been cut and asking the participant to rate each person. The scale was from one to ten with one being the highest score possible. The participant did not know who was matched with whom or that they were couples at all. The sampling frame was opportunity sampling. The results were significant and this indicated that people are attracted to people who are of a 'similar attractiveness' to themselves. Introduction When we see a person for the first time we make a judgement of their appearance/attractiveness. We then make a decision of whether we are physically attracted to them. The matching hypothesis theory presents the idea of how we are not necessarily seeking to find the most physically attractive person, but an individual who match us in terms of how attractive we consider ourselves to be. The matching hypothesis theory states that we do this as individuals as we fear rejection and negative emotions. Also by doing this there is a balance between partners, neither is 'more attractive' or 'less attractive' than the other. ...read more.


The participant was reassured that their data would be treated in confidentiality. I then thanked the participant for their co-operation and time. Controls * Each person received the standardised instructions. * When carrying out experiment there was only my self and the participant to avoid distractions from others. Standardised Instructions Hi my name is Claire. I am doing Psychology coursework into perception and attraction. I would like you to look at these photographs of men and women and rate them out of ten. Do you wish to take part? There are ten males and ten females to be rated. Your answers will be treated as confidential and you have the right to with draw at any time if you decide to take part. Debrief The individual photographs of the men and women that you have just rated are couples that have been separated. I am doing research into whether people are attracted to other people who are of a similar attractiveness to them selves. By you rating them individually I can now look at the data and see if the couples have similar scores and are or are not attracted to people similar to them selves. Thank you for your time and taking part, the results will now be pooled together with other people's results and then analysed. ...read more.


As photographs are only two dimensional this limits the way we see them. Some people look better two dimensional than in real life and this works the opposite way around also, some people appear to be more attractive in real life than on photographs. If video clips were to be used then the participant would have a more realistic three dimensional view of the person. This may make the results more significant. Peer pressure is also an issue to consider. There is much pressure within teenagers to do and say what is thought as 'acceptable'. This may influence the results they give as the participant may be rating someone with a high score as they think they should. Demand characteristics must also be taken into consideration when looking at the results. If the investigation was carried out again it would be interesting to do further research into homosexual and lesbian couples. By researching this area you could see if the same theory fits their relationships and if they perceived any differently. Also doing research cross culturally could be beneficial as different cultures find different features of people attractive. For example some cultures find the 'fuller' more rounded woman to be more attractive than a slim woman which the Western world believes to be attractive. Another alteration could be to make the sample number larger as the results only represent the opinions of a limited amount of people. However the results agree with the matching hypothesis theory. ...read more.

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