Interpersonal Attraction and Relationships
This chapter illustrates the importance of similarity in the early stages of a relationship. It notes that people evaluate potential and actual relationships in terms of the outcomes they expect to receive. Dan initiated contact with Mia because he anticipated that he would experience positive outcomes. Interpersonal attraction is a positive attitude held by one person toward another person. It is the basis for the development, maintenance, and dissolution of close personal relationships. The chapter discusses the importance of outcomes in establishing and maintaining relationships. It explores two factors: personal characteristics and institutional structure. With regard to the first, people who are in relationships perceive opposite-sex persons of the same age as less physically attractive than do people who are not in relationships. With regard to institutional structures, the sex ratio in a community determines the number of eligible partners.