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Q Describe and evaluate two psychological theories of interpersonal attraction In this consider the extent to which attraction is determined by cultural and social factors rather than an act of choice A Attraction can be considered as a relatively simple process which has a number of different forms such as friendships sexual attraction and romantic love There are various factors and processes which are involved in attraction which will be covered in this essay Interpersonal attraction does have an important function in that it firstly fulfills the basic human need to reproduce Secondly man can be considered as gregarious The effects of social deprivation have been outlined in various studies such as Bexton et al 1954 Schachter 1959 Newcomb 1990 Social interaction is also essential with regard to confidence and self-esteem and provide vital information about a persons competence and worth Social interaction also provides reassurance in situations of fear and uncertainty as shown by Schachter 1959 and Karmarck et al 1990 Research has identified a number of factors such as physical attractiveness similarity complementarity familiarity proximity reciprocal liking and perceived fallibility which influence the process of attraction to varying degrees The first stage of interpersonal attraction is physical attractiveness There are various theories about the importance of physical attraction and the influence of factors such as culture and generation It has been shown in many studies that physical attractiveness has significant bearing in many areas of society from employment desirability to the implementation of justice It has been concluded that if a person is considered as physically attractive then they are likely to be treated more favourably Studies carried out by Dion 1972 concluded that an attractive childs behaviour was considered as less serious than that of an unattractive child even for the exact same act Studies by Sigall and Ostrove 1975 concluded that for all crimes except fraud an attractive person would be given a considerably shorter
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