Attraction to Prospective Dyadic Relationships: Effects of Fate Control, Reflexive Control, and Partner’s Trustworthiness
The attractiveness of interpersonal relationships has been investigated by social psychologists for decades. An impressive list of factors accounting for relationship attractiveness can be found in almost any social psychology handbook, including similarity or complementarity of needs, the kind and value of exchanged goods and services, physical attractiveness, similarity of attitudes, respect for privacy, belongingness to the same social group or category, and others. The present chapter is exclusively focused on the attractiveness of prospective dyadic relationships as a function of two general classes of variables. The first is situational and concerns the types of control over outcomes possessed by both parties. Thus, it is a feature of the relationships among the possible outcomes of the relationship, or the relationship’s “structure.” We readily acknowledge that the kinds and amounts of outcomes available in a relationship, the “what,” play an important role in its attractiveness. However, our concern here
will be with “how” the outcomes allocated to self and other (the “whats”) are controlled by each party and how such control relates to relationship attractiveness. The second is more personal, namely, the trustworthiness of the prospective partner.