Similarity Theory

Balinder
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Balinder
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Byrne, Clore + Smeaton
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Similarity Theory
1 AO1
1.1 Attracted to somebody who is similar to us. Emphasis on similarity of personality and attitudes
1.2 First we sort people for dissimilarity and they are avoided
1.2.1 Secondly we pick somebody who is similar to us
1.3 Bercheid + Reis
1.3.1 Found that people with similar personality traits to ourselves were more attractive + likely to form relationship
1.4 Caspi + Herbener
1.4.1 Found that married couples with similar personalities were more happier than couples with less similar personalities
1.5 'Attitude alignment'
1.5.1 Partners modify their attitudes to become more similar
1.5.2 Crucial that one or both partners modify their attitudes for relationships to develop
2 AO2
2.1 Lehr + Geher
2.1.1 Support for the importance of attitude similarity + reciprocal attraction
2.1.2 24 males and 32 females were given a description of a stranger with varying degrees of similarity + whether they liked them or not
2.1.3 Found that similar people were liked + liking was more likely to be reciprocated
2.1.4 Shows that similarity in attitudes is a key factor in relationship formation
2.1.5 However knowing someone likes you is rewarding so similarity if not as important in this case
2.2 Yoshida
2.2.1 Criticises the similarity theory as it only looks at attitudes + personality
2.2.1.1 Represents only a narrow view of factors that are important in relationship formation
2.2.2 Similarity in self-concept, economic level + physical condition are equally important
2.2.3 Speakman et al.
2.2.3.1 Found that people chose partners with a similar level of body fat
2.2.4 Suggests that the similarity theory fails to take into account all the factors that influence the formation of relationships
2.3 Rosenbaum
2.3.1 Argue that similarity is not the most important factor in determining whether a relationship will develop
2.3.2 The dissimilarity repulsion hypothesis states that dissimilarity is more important than similarity
2.3.2.1 Tested in many cultures (e.g. Singh + Tan in Singapore)
2.3.3 Found that individuals are first attracted to each other due to similar attitudes. As they discover more dissimilarities than similarities the individuals becomes less attracted the each other
2.3.4 Suggests that dissimilarities are more significant in determining relationship formation
2.4 Condon + Crano
2.4.1 Supports the importance of similarity
2.4.2 We assume that people similar to us will be more likely to like us
2.4.2.1 By ruling out dissimilar people we lessen out chances of being rejected
2.4.3 Sharing similar attitudes + beliefs is rewarding as it validates them
2.4.4 Suggests that similarity is a key factor in forming relationships
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