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  • Please ensure that your essays provide critical evaluation and demonstrate a clear understanding of the theoretical and conceptual arguments presented.

Using your knowledge and understanding of psychological theory and research evidence describe the different determinants of interpersonal attraction.

Using your knowledge and understanding of psychological theory and research evidence identify what attitudes are, how attitudes can be measured and provide a critical description of at least two psychological theories of attitude change.

Physical Attractiveness

Interpersonal attraction can be defined as the positive feelings about another individual. Interpersonal attraction can take many forms and this can include liking, lust, love, friendship and that of admiration (Anders et al., 2016). The following assignment will mainly be shedding more light on the different determinants that influence, whom the individuals would feel attracted to. There are four main determinants and detailed description would be done on them.

The first determinant of interpersonal attraction is physical attractiveness. Evidences suggest that romantic attraction is primarily determined by physical attractiveness. Many of the interviewees in the studies have been stated saying that in the early stages of the phase of dating, they remain more attracted to their partners whom they consider to be physically attractive (Montowa, Kershaw & Prosser, 2018). Men are seen to be providing more significance to that of the physical attractiveness than that of the women. Many researchers are also of the opinion that perception of the individuals regarding their own physical attractiveness also plays an important role in determining the level of interpersonal attraction or in romantic love. The matching hypothesis is of the opinion that people tend to be picking partners whom they found to be equal in level of attractiveness just like them.

Proximity is another important determinant of interpersonal attraction. People are more likely to become friends with other individuals whom they found to be geographically closer. Researchers have mainly explained this determinant as the result of the exposure effect. In this discussion, they have given an idea about mere exposure effect (Bekiari & Spyropoulou, 2016). This refers to the tendency of the people in liking novel stimuli more when they get the chances of encountering them repeatedly.

Another important determinant is the similarity level. Individuals are seen to be picking up more partners who are similar to themselves in different of the characteristics like age, religion, race, social class, education, attitude as well as intelligence. Personality type also acts as one of the most important determinants of interpersonal attraction. It has been seen that in specific areas that include control like that of dominance, competition as well as self-confidence, people tend to pair with individuals who are their exact opposites (Montoya & Horton, 2014). There are often instances that show complementary pairing of a dominant person with that of the submissive one. Again, on the other hand, people are seen to feel attracted towards each other that are like themselves in the terms of characteristics that are related to affiliation. This might include friendliness, sociability and warmth.

Reciprocity can be defined as the situation where people tend to like others who reciprocate their liking. This can be described as the tendency where people tend to be attracted to people who like them and they tend to be less attracted to those individuals who dislike them. One of the studies has shown that the participants conformed more when they were told that the other group members liked them (Singh et al., 2015). It has been seen that people who have the tendency of having lower self-esteem or those who are highly insecure concerning their interpersonal relations feel that they are of the greater need for positive feedbacks from other people around them so that they can form interpersonal relationships.

Proximity

Many of the researchers have been seen to focus on one type of interpersonal attraction that is the romantic love. Two types of love seen in this form of interpersonal attraction are the passionate love and the other the compassionate love. The passionate love is mainly seen to focus on complete absorption in another individual depending upon sexual desires, intense emotions as well as tenderness. Another is the compassionate love that is mainly seen to involve warmth, tolerance, love as well as trust of another person. Commitment is again seen to be having two important components that are the intimacy as well as the commitment. Researchers describe intimacy as the warm, close and sharing aspect of the different relationships. Commitment can be described as the intent for continuing the relationship even in the faces of different difficulties (Hasanagas & Bekiari, 2015).

Theories into reinforcement are also seen to provide an in-depth amount of information in the formation of the interpersonal relationships. Byrne and Clore (1970) proposed this model and this was mainly found to be influenced by Pavlovian conditioning. This model is said to provide an idea that individuals feel attracted to different individuals who invoke positive influences on them through offering them praise as well as rewards this is seen to be considered as the positive reinforcement   and individuals are seen to more likely to want to gain positive reinforcements through the harboring of the successful relationships. Individuals are seen to identify the stimuli in two ways – this stimuli can be either rewarding and the individuals try to seek the rewarding behavior where on the other hand the stimuli can be punishable  where the individuals try to avoid the punishing behaviors (Singh, Tay & Sankaran, 2017). Therefore, individuals tend to lead to these positive rewards by being associated with that person and when they are in the presence of the person, such positive rewards are attributed to the feeling of being with them.  

Another important theory that also plays an important role in describing the formation of interpersonal relationship is the social exchange theory and this model is founded by the Homans in the year 1961. This theory states that in an interpersonal relationships, negotiations should always be done and individuals are more likely for engaging in a relationships with another person of the relationship helps in maximization of the benefits and minimization of the costs. Whether an individual is attracted to another person can be determined solely by how much effort the individuals must put into the relationship acting as the cost in comparison to how much one can gain from that relationship acting as the benefit (Kretschmar, Ozel & Krestchmer, 2015). It has been seen that if a relationship is high in the cost but low in reward, individuals are seen to be less likely for forming a close interpersonal relations with that person.

From the above discussion, it becomes clear that certain theories like social exchange theory, theories of reinforcement, matching hypothesis and many others help in shaping the interpersonal attraction that will arise. Different important determinants of interpersonal attraction are the reciprocity, similarity, personality, physical attractiveness as well as proximity. This acts as important factors and the quality of interpersonal attraction depend on these factors.

Similarity

References:

Anders, S., de Jong, R., Beck, C., Haynes, J. D., & Ethofer, T. (2016). A neural link between affective understanding and interpersonal attraction. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113(16), E2248-E2257.

Bekiari, A., & Spyropoulou, S. (2016). Exploration of Verbal Aggressiveness and Interpersonal Attraction through Social Network Analysis: Using University Physical Education Class as an Illustration. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 4(06), 145.

Hasanagas, N., & Bekiari, A. (2015). Depicting Determinants and Effects of Intimacy and Verbal Aggressiveness Target through Social Network Analysis. Sociology Mind, 5(03), 162.

Kretschmer, H., Ozel, B., & Kretschmer, T. (2015). Who is collaborating with whom? Part I. Mathematical model and methods for empirical testing. Journal of Informetrics, 9(2), 359-372.

Montoya, R. M., & Horton, R. S. (2014). A two-dimensional model for the study of interpersonal attraction. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 18(1), 59-86.

Montoya, R. M., Kershaw, C., & Prosser, J. L. (2018). A meta-analytic investigation of the relation between interpersonal attraction and enacted behavior. Psychological bulletin.

Singh, R., Tay, Y. Y., & Sankaran, K. (2017). Causal role of trust in interpersonal attraction from attitude similarity. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 34(5), 717-731.

Singh, R., Wegener, D. T., Sankaran, K., Singh, S., Lin, P. K., Seow, M. X., ... & Shuli, S. (2015). On the importance of trust in interpersonal attraction from attitude similarity. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 32(6), 829-850.

Attitude can be defined as the predisposition as well as a tendency that help in responding either positively or negatively towards a certain idea  or about person, objects as well as situations. This attitude can influence the choice of action of the individuals and also helps in responding to the different challenges, incentives or that of the rewards that are called the stimuli (Vogel & Wanke, 2016). This assignment will enlighten the concept of attitude as well as the ways by which it can be measured. This assignment will also help in enlightening two important theories of behavior change also.

The subject of psychology mainly refers to the set of emotions, behaviors as well as beliefs toward a particular object, things, events as well as persons. Researchers are of the opinion that attitudes are often the outcome of upbringing or experiences or they might have a powerful influence over the behaviors. Although attitudes are enduring, they can also change over time. Psychologists are of the opinion that attitudes have several different components that are referred to as the ABC components (Kelman, 2017). These are the affective component. This component mainly involves considering how an event, issues, object or persons make the individuals feel. The second one is the behavioral component where it comprises how the attitude influences the behavior of the individual. Then, there is the third component called the cognitive components that depict the thoughts and beliefs of the individuals about the subject.

Attitudes can be both explicit as well as implicit. Explicit attitudes are those forms of attitudes that the individuals are consciously aware of and that is clearly responsible for the influencing of the behaviors and the beliefs (Zazonc, 2017). Again, the implicit attitudes are those attitudes which are unconscious but they have effects on the behaviors and the beliefs of the individuals.

Reciprocity

Attitudes are highly important as they have the capability of guiding thought, feelings as well as behaviors. Attitude change occurs at that particular time when an attitude is modified. Change of attitude might occur when the individuals might go from being positive to negative or from slightly positive to that of highly positive or from having no attitude to having one. Researchers are of the opinion that because of the functional values of the attitudes, the procedures that modifies them have been a major focus throughout the history of social psychology (Albaccarin & Shavitt, 2018).

Attitudes can be measured by two approaches. The first one is the direct measurement that involves the Likert scale and the semantic differential. The indirect measurement mainly includes the projective techniques. In the likert scale, a large number of propositions and statements are first collected reading an issue and then these statements are presented to the individuals so hat they can rate from a value of one to five in the sequence of strongly approve, approve, undecided, disapprove and strongly disapprove (Kok et al., 2016). After this, the scores need to be correlated and the most discriminating items are the selected and eliminated. These items, which have the highest correlations are retained for the final scale. On the other hand, the semantic differential technique is mainly seen to ask individuals to rate an issue or any topics based on the standard set of the bipolar adjectives which is with opposite meanings an each represents the seven point scale. To avoid the problem of social desirability, various indirect measures or attitudes are used of which one of it is the projective test. A projective test is mainly seen to involve presentation of the person with an ambiguous or incomplete stimulus and then the individuals are given the scope for interpretation from the person (Wegener et al., 2014). The attitude of the person is then inferred from their interpretation of the ambiguous or that of the incomplete stimulus.

The functional theory is mainly seen to consider how different of the attitudes as well as the efforts are related to the motivational structure of the individuals. This theory is mainly seen to consider two important things that are considering the meaning of the influence situation in terms of both the kinds of motives that it results in arousing and the method adopted by the individuals in coping and achieving the goals. Researchers are of the opinion that an understanding of the functions that are served by the attitudes is extremely important for the attitude change procedures (Ng & Lucianetti, 2016). This is mainly because the a particular method may result in occurrence of changes in one individual  whose attitudes are seen to serve one particular function but it might not produce any changes in the individuals for which the attitudes serve a different function. Katz has been the main researcher who had put forward the concept and had prepared four functions of the attitudes but he failed to work on changing of the ego defensive attitudes. Kelman had given forward three important processes for attitude formation and change. One of them is the compliance that occurs when an attitude is formed or change s so that the individuals gains a favorable impressions from other persons or the groups. The other is the identification where changes of the attitudes help the individuals to maintain a positive self-defining relationship with the influencing agent (Zazonc, 2017). The last is the internalization that involves adopting an attitude, as it is congruent with the overall value system of the individual.

Another theory of the attitude change is the learning theory of the attitude change that involves classical conditioning, observational learning as well as operant learning. These are used for bringing out in attitude changes. Classical conditioning can be utilized for creating positive emotional reactions to an object, event or that of the person by associating positive feelings with the target. Again, individuals should be using operant conditioning for strengthening desirable attitudes and weaken undesirable attitudes. Others are also seen to change the attitudes after observing the different behaviors (Batel & Devine-wright, 2015).

From the above discussion, it becomes clear that attitudes are the set of emotions, beliefs and behaviors about objects, events and any other situations. There are different ways of measuring attitudes like the using of the direct methods like likert scale and the semantic differential as well as indirect methods like projective techniques. Different theories are proposed over the years for attitude change like the functional theory or the learning theory of attitude change. These theories help in understanding the patterns of changes of attitudes and the ways individuals achieve them.

References:

Albarracin, D., & Shavitt, S. (2018). Attitudes and attitude change. Annual review of psychology, 69.

Batel, S., & Devine-Wright, P. (2015). Towards a better understanding of people’s responses to renewable energy technologies: Insights from Social Representations Theory. Public Understanding of Science, 24(3), 311-325.

Kelman, H. C. (2017). Processes of opinion change. In Attitude Change (pp. 205-233). Routledge.

Kok, G., Gottlieb, N. H., Peters, G. J. Y., Mullen, P. D., Parcel, G. S., Ruiter, R. A., ... & Bartholomew, L. K. (2016). A taxonomy of behaviour change methods: an Intervention Mapping approach. Health psychology review, 10(3), 297-312.

Ng, T. W., & Lucianetti, L. (2016). Within-individual increases in innovative behavior and creative, persuasion, and change self-efficacy over time: A social–cognitive theory perspective. Journal of Applied Psychology, 101(1), 14.

Vogel, T., & Wanke, M. (2016). Attitudes and attitude change. Psychology Press.

Wegener, D. T., Priester, J. R., & Petty, R. E. (2014). Cognitive processes in attitude change. In Handbook of Social Cognition, Second Edition (pp. 85-158). Psychology Press.

Zajonc, R. B. (2017). The concepts of balance, congruity, and dissonance. In Attitude Change (pp. 63-85). Routledge.

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