birds of a feather, flock together

Classified in Psychology and Sociology

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But why do we form them? Why do we choose to have X as a friend and Not be friends with Y? This essay will explore the common saying ‘birds of a Feather, flock together’ which states that similar people stay together. Past Research about how relationships start will be explored andfactors like attraction, similarity and complementary And why those factors are crucial to form relationships.The first stage of a relationship takes place when attraction appears; Attraction is a key factor when it comes to socializing with people around us. Attraction factors to start relationships are proximity, familiarity, physical attractiveness and similarity or complementary. Proximity is shown to be a Factor of attractiveness, studies have shown that our circle of friends live Very close to us. Familiarity also plays an important role, as we tend to like More when we are more familiar with them, however, this also showed that if we Don’t like them at first, familiarity could even increase our dislike towards Them. Physical attractiveness also showed our preferences: we tend to like Symmetric faces and faces with feminine traits as they convey signs of positive Feelings like warmth. The fourth factor is similarity, similar backgrounds and Demographic characteristics (physical health, age, religion, level of Education, etc.), and also similar cognitive abilities, attitudes, values, Personality traits, etc. These have been demonstratedto be one of the best predictors of longevity In friendship and marriage,and its role In attractiveness is well established (Berscheid and Reis, 1998). The matching Hypothesis supports the idea that we are attracted to people with similar Physical attractiveness to our own.But What are the actual reasons? One of the reasons of similarities being a good Predictor of a relationships success is the fact that similar people are more Accessible to us; we tend to live near, be educated with and work alongside People who are similar to us in terms of their backgrounds, socio-economic Status, levels of intelligence, interests and so on. Another reason is because Similarity is easier to obtain and maintain, i.E.: pursuing a partner who is More attractive or younger could imply risks of being rejected. Many theories State that relationships exist most comfortably in a balanced or equitable State (Homans, 1974, p.243). Another factor that helps to form relationships Amongst people is music. Music also helps to form personal relationships. Rentfrow and Gosling (2006) examined conversations of university students who Exchanged messages over 6 weeks, they found out that main topic was music and That people used music as a tool to describe themselves, their preferences, Attitudes and lifestyle. This supports the idea that similar musical Preferences are necessary for social bonding and attraction. Although many Theories have so far supported that idea that similarity is necessary for Forming relationships, is it indispensable? Is it possible then to form Relationships between people that are not similar? Can we be attracted by Different peopleus?

 Those ideas clearly support the Strong implication of similarity in the process of attraction, however, some Theories have also shown that dissimilarity also attracts people. Studies have Shown that dissimilarity is actually our preferred option provided we know in Advance that the “different” person likes us. Aron et al., 2006 pointed out That general preference for similiratity is an evaluation of risks and costs. This suggests that we may choose to relate with similar people to us because It’s more likely that we are accepted by them than by those who are different from Us. In other words, we fear rejection and therefore we approach people that we Think they will accept us better. I.E.: as mentioned in the example above; There are some risks in pursuing a younger partner as they may prefer a younger Partner. The theory beauty-money trade off supports the idea that affluent People tend to marry partners who are more attractive. I.E.: a famous singer, Marries a young beautiful women. Winch et al., spoke about the term Complementarity, which is our potentially being attracted to people who possess Many of the key characteristics that we lack. According to this theory we do Feel attracted by people who are different to us, as we can find a balance Between what we lack and the other person has, and the opposite. Complementary behaviour Has also shown a positive influence in measures of satisfaction but also seems To reinforce the perception that we and our partner are very similar (Dryer &Horowitz, 1997). This last idea is better explained by the Attraction-similarity hypothesis which explains that levels of attraction can Also influence our perceptions of similarity, meaning that when we feel Attracted by other person we try to find the similar points between the two.

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