Scientific Perspective on Attraction

918 Words4 Pages
According to the Random House Dictionary (n.d.), attraction is referred to as allurement or enticement, or in physics terms, a magnetic force between oppositely charged bodies that draws them together. But in a field that is not tangible, such as social psychology, defining attraction is a bit more complex, as there is no magnetic force between humans. There are often no words to explain why one becomes attracted to a specific individual. Psychologists have proposed five factors that best determine attractions. These factors can be apparent in exchange and communal approaches, intimacy levels determined by attachment styles, and how relationships are maintained or ended through different theories. The five factors associated with attraction are proximity, similarity, reciprocal liking, physical attractiveness, and evolution (Aronson, Wilson, & Akert, 2013). With proximity, people are more likely to become attracted to those they see and interact with regularly. The second factor, similarity, is based upon two individuals having a general match in interests, attitudes, values, etc. In reciprocal liking, an interested in someone is often sparked when they know the other is interested, despite being dissimilar in other aspects. Physical attraction plays a role in that it is the factor that has the greatest impact on sexual desire. With physical attraction, there is also the assumption that what is beautiful is good, and therefore possessing all other positive qualities, as well. Lastly, evolution is believed to play a role in attraction because men and women seek certain characteristics in order to maximize their reproductive success (Aronson et al., 2013). Each of these factors plays a role in determining attraction but... ... middle of paper ... ...e other person is still disclosing more and more information. In conclusion, how one measures the quality of his or her relationship, shows intimacy through attachment styles, and uses exchange or communal approaches in a relationship can help determine the success of the relationship as demonstrated through the factors associated with attraction. References Aronson, E., Wilson, T.D., & Akert, R.M, (2013). Social Psychology (8th ed.). New Jersey: Pearson Education Inc. Attraction. (n.d.). Random House Dictionary. Retrieved January 14, 2014, from website: Byers, E. S., & MacNeil, S. (1997). The relationships between sexual problems, communication, and sexual satisfaction. The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, 6(4), 277. Retrieved from
Open Document