Psychology Miss Rowbotham 22/0/05

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Psychology Miss Rowbotham 22/10/05 Interpersonal relationships – sample essay A. Describe research studies relating to interpersonal attraction (12 marks) Interpersonal attraction is the attraction between people which leads to friendship and romantic relationships. Proximity helps to form interpersonal attraction, as, if two people live closely to each other, then they are more likely to meet and become friends, eventually becoming involved in a relationship together. Festinger Et Al (1950) studied students living on campus. They found that students were most friendly with those next door and least friendly with those at the end of a corridor. Felipe and Sommer (1969) also conducted a study on a proximity, which showed that proximity can be useful, but can also make someone not like you if you come too close to them, making them feel uncomfortable. They did this by sitting “too close” to various types of people and then measuring the amount of time it took them to get uncomfortable with their proximity and leave the area. They did, in fact, find that people do not feel at ease when strangers come within their personal space. Hall’s four zones of personal space backs up this research, suggesting that we can get too close to people; 18 inches being our intimate zone which is reserved for close friends and lovers. The Halo Effect occurs when a person’s positive/negative traits seem to “spill over” from one area of their personality to another, in other peoples’ perceptions of them i.e. when a person is assumed to be smart or nerdy because he/she is wearing glasses. Another example of this was a study by Thorndike, who asked a group of soldiers to rate their commanding officers, he found high cross-correlation between all positive and negative traits. People seem to rarely think of each other in mixed terms; instead we seem to see them as universally roughly good or roughly bad across all categories of measurement. Landy and Sigall (1974) conducted a study in which male student judge

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