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Social Attraction Theory

Social attraction may take several forms including love, liking, lust, admiration, and friendship. There exist many factors which play a fundamental role in dictating whom to be attracted to. Such factors revolve around physical attractiveness, proximity reciprocity, and similarity of an individual. These factors significantly influence our desire and interests to establish as well as maintain a close relationship with other people. In regard to Sharon Thiessen’s findings, individuals perceive attractiveness and attraction with relation to cultural and physical stereotypes of good health, socioeconomic status, beauty, and fertility. In social attraction theory, it explains that persons tend to be attracted to other people who are similar regarding attitude, physical appearance, values and behaviors and rather not dissimilar. Depending on the level of attractiveness, it will dictate the type of treatment a person receives from the surrounding environment. In regard to Sharon’s findings, it notes that better treatment is given to more attractive people than to less attractive persons (Myers & Twenge, 2013).

In addition, Sharon Thiessen points out that in any social setting, humans become more affiliated to other humans who exhibit similar physical attributes, personalities, attitudes or any other characteristic that is of interest to the other party. Just like Sharon’s finding, Social attraction theory denote that social interaction and attraction tend to be minimal in between individuals who are dissimilar since they become incapable of connecting with each other. Contrary this aspect; like-minded people manifest much attraction between themselves since they share common tastes and interests. In conclusion, social attraction theory holds that person’s preference and tastes in any social environment is not limited to the aforementioned factors. However, other aspects such as religious beliefs, ethnicity, intelligence, language, and social habits such as attending parties play a role in attraction between individuals (Myers & Twenge, 2013).


Myers, D. G., & Twenge, J. M. (2013). Social Psychology. New York, NY: McGraw- Hill.

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