This post is a take over by my best friend Abi!
So I’m not your usual intelligent, sassy Lucy and I know very little about science, but I do know a lot about blogging. I have my own blog (ramblingsofablonde.co.uk) and know a bit about psychology as I’m currently doing a masters in forensic psychology at the University of Kent. As it’s nearly February (the month of luuurve) single lads and ladies are hunting high and low for that special someone to celebrate the very commercialised valentine’s day with. Often people claim that they’re single because they’re waiting for ‘Mr (Mrs) Right’, but is there really a ‘Mr Right’ out there and what causes us to be attracted to some people, but not to others? This is a topic that has fascinated psychologists for years and often debates in the literature are conflicting, but what is it that attracts us to each other?
Although the saying, ‘opposites attract’ is often branded around, psychological evidence claims that in fact, it’s similarity that draws two people together. Byrne, Clore and Smeaton (1986) created a model that suggested that the similarity of personality and of attitudes is what attracts one individual to another. However, similarities could also lie in age, ethnicity, religion, culture, intelligence, social class etc, all of which can make an individual more attractive to a similar other.
You are more likely to be friends with and be attracted to, those who are physically close to you. This is referred to as the mere exposure effect, in which people like novel stimuli when they encounter them repeatedly. Festinger, Schachter & Back (1950) tested this and found that participants were more likely to be friends with those who lived closer to them compared with those who live further away. Therefore, your potential partner lives/works very close to you – creepy eh?
There’s no escaping it and it’s probably the most obvious, but we are attracted to one another purely on the basis of how we look (what a shallow society we live in!) One of the reasons this is so powerful, is because it’s immediately apparent, it’s the first thing we’re drawn to. Physical attractiveness is evident from birth, Langlois, Ritter, Casey & Sawin (1995) found that good looking babies received more affectionate interactions than less good looking babies, they are also seen as less interfering in later life. With the development of online dating, physical attractiveness can also play a role. The qualities of a profile picture are the strongest predictors of whole profile attractiveness (Fiore, Shaw Taylor, Mendelsohn, Hearst, 2008).
Not only are we attracted to those with whom we share a pleasant experience, but we also like people who are associated with pleasant events. This may be meeting someone whilst in a happy mood or having a favourable memory of the day you met each other, but whatever it is, the individual becomes positively valued because they are associated with that positive event and thus appear more attractive.
So if you’re looking for Mr Right this February, these are the qualities you need to exploit in order to promote your attractiveness. One last thing, if you’re female, wear red! Researchers have found that wearing red, leads men to view women as more attractive and more sexually desirable (Elliot & Niesta, 2008). The best thing is, men don’t even realise this happens, so you’ll be making them more attracted to you without them thinking you’re putting a lot of effort in!
If you get a chance, don’t forget to check out my blog – ramblingsofablonde.co.uk, for fashion, beauty and ramblings.