Is Interpersonal Attraction an Evolutionary Phenomena? Essay

Is Interpersonal Attraction an Evolutionary Phenomena? Essay

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Interpersonal attraction is an inherent element of social interaction. The definition says that attraction is the 'mutual interest and liking between two or more individuals.' (Psychology Dictionary, 2013). This essay will provide consideration whether or not attraction is an evolutionary phenomena. The first part critically introduces the evolutionary approach towards attraction in accordance to methods used to support it. The second part describes alternative, social theories to the phenomena with taking into account research done in this field. In this part similarity and complementarity theories will be supported.
The first assumption of evolutionary theory is that human behaviour has been developed throughout million years from the behaviour of our ancestors. Evolutionary psychologists suggest that basics of behaviour, in this case reasons of attraction towards others did not change at all from that time. Buss (2009) suggests that prehistoric people selected mates according to specific social scheme. He emphasizes on the fact that women preferred industrious and brave mates that bring support for them and their children. He uses the phrase 'imagine living as our ancestors did long ago’ (Buss, 2009:106). The point is that it is impossible to carry out a research about mate preferences of prehistoric humans because none of them can be a whiteness anymore. The only methods that modern person can use to 'examine' the behaviour of his ancestors is imagining and comparing to well-known self-experiences. There is no assurance that people millions years ago used the same way of thinking as they do now. That leads to a paradox: when people try to explain behaviour of their ancestors they use their own experience to do that. As well ...

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...tance process. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

Psychology Dictionary (2013). What is interpersonal attraction? Retrieved from

Sprecher, S., (1998). Insider's perspectives on reasons for attraction to close other. Social Psychology Quartely, 61, 287-300.

Stroebe, W., Insko, A., Thompson, D., & Layton, D. (1971). Effects of physical attractiveness, attitude similarity, and sex on various aspects of interpersonal attraction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 18, 79-91.

Werner, C, & Parmelee, P. (1979). Similarity of activity preferences among friends: Those who play together stay together. Social Psychology Quarterly, 42, 62-66.

Wiggins, J. S. (1979). A psychological taxonomy of trait-descriptive terms: The interpersonal domain. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37(3), 395–412.

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