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Attraction and Close Relationships

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What is attraction? What factors affect attraction? Which one of these factors do you think has the greatest influence on attraction? 300 words

What is the definition of close relationships? What is the role of interdependence in close relationships? 300 words

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Attraction and close relationships are examined.

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Definitions of interpersonal attraction generally describe it as anything that draws individuals together and usually refer to it within the larger context of the close relationships that often follow. A classic example of such definitions is those of Huston and Levinger (1978). They conceptualized close relationships in terms of three integral elements, the first of which being interpersonal attraction, which itself was defined as a favorable attitude or attitudinal positivity toward someone. The other two elements were defined as behavior involvement (i.e., affiliation) and joint belongingness (i.e., perceived mutual identity). These latter two elements satisfy what have been proposed as two basic human needs, the need for affiliation (Schachter, 1959) and the need to belong (Baumeister & Leary, 1995).

One way to think about the factors that affect attraction is by dividing them into categories such as situational influences, psychological influences of others, and physical characteristics of others. I included a bibliography from the course I teach on interpersonal attraction and close relationships at the end of this response that provides examples from each category. Regarding which factor has the greatest influence on attraction, multiple arguments could be made depending on the stage of relationships, but situational influences such as proximity and familiarity are generally considered to be the most influential overall or at least for initial attraction. The basis for this argument is that they have the greatest influence because other factors will not matter if two people never even have the opportunity to meet and get to know each other. Examples of sources in the bibliography relevant to this argument are Bossard (1932), Mita, Dermer, and Knight (1977), and Ebbesen, Kjos, and Konecni (1976). Upon meeting, however, physical characteristics such as beauty tend to be the most influential at first and psychological influences such as attitude similarity tend to take over as relationships progress. Most of the sources in the bibliography pertain to this argument, but Singh (1993) and McCarthy and Duck (1976) are especially good examples. One could also argue that beauty remains ...

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