4 Factors Of Attraction

We would all like to believe that we have some sort of criteria that determines what we deem acceptable for a partner. This could range between anything from a well-paying job to neatly-trimmed toenails, and on some degree, we do have a say in the people we date.

However, as a psychology student, I once studied about the factors that cause attraction, and some of the things I read and realized were rather contradicting to what we currently believe.

According to the likes of Eagly (1991), Feingold (1992), Moreland and Beach (1992), Hartfield and Rapson (1992), and Berscheid and Reis (1998), we are more in control of the level of attraction we have for someone than we might think.

The four factors that cause attraction are as follows (but while I list them down, consider how differently we perceive things)…

1.      Physical Attractiveness

While the professionals say that physical beauty is a main factor in influencing our selection of people, how many times have you heard someone say that beauty doesn’t matter? These days, nobody wants to admit that we consider good-looks to be an issue. We’d rather be a part of the noble few that really sees beyond the outside, and therefore would never own up to the possibility that we want both inner and outer beauty.

The ‘truth’ of the matter is that we actually do size people up according to looks, among the first few things, and we might be doing this on an unconscious level – that we are unaware of it.

2.      Proximity

The more we see them, the more likely we are to be attracted – that’s what they tell us, anyway. Now, on some level, this may be blatantly true, because consider how much time we spend around someone we want to get to know, and eventually it’s just bound to happen, but consider that on the grounds of virtual reality and you’ll find that it’s even more astounding!

People can now generate relationships over a computer screen, but how would they have known that back then when cyberspace wasn’t as big a deal as it is now? This might mean that it isn’t the physical factor that attracts us, but the inside that counts for a little more, which holds up a pretty good argument against Factor 1. How DO they fall in love in cyberspace, if not for what’s inside? Oh, and this is assuming we’re back in the days when webcam was a luxury.

3.      Similarity

This then breaks down to four smaller categories – demographic similarity, attitudinal similarity, similarity in physical attractiveness, and similarity in interests and experiences. Whatever happened to ‘opposites attract’? How would we then go on to explain the phenomenon of one ToDieFor partner when the other looks like SomethingTheCatDraggedIn? How we go about the story of the handsome prince falling in love with a sweet little peasant girls from the suburbs? And what about those couples like Dharma and Greg?

Do we really want to be with someone who is a lot like ourselves? To what degree until it becomes narcissistic?

4.      Reciprocity of Liking

We like those who like us, and say nice things about us‘ (Berscheid & Reis, 1998)

When we were kids in the playground, the fairer sex might have adhered to that theory, hurling all the possible admiration, affection, and attention we could muster to the boys that gave us butterflies, but they, however, pulled on our pigtails and trampled our sweet little faces into the mud when they had an inkling of a feeling. Complete, utter self-denial, and they acted out in the worst possible manner to prove that so.

These days, even, we make things so frustratingly complicated when we come to terms with an attraction, and more often than not, it’s a lot of mixed signals out there before the message finally gets across. We think excessive compliments are a reason to run for the hills, so where’s the fine line between courting and creepy?

Personally, I think there’s some truth to what the scientists say, but when put into account for the current day, it doesn’t add up and therefore we should all collectively work on a whole new list of factors that are a little more up-to-date. I, for one, don’t think trimmed toenails are too much to ask for…

What do you think should make ‘the list’?

Attraction may come in many forms, enjoy the clip from Laws of Attraction…

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  1. Physical Attractiveness is the one that i gonna comment about it.
    There are some times i saw big size guys date a super cute or hot girls. Well, i don’t really know the story behind of them and i really do not have any offence. Sometimes just sometimes, physical attraction doesnt mean alot when it comes to true love i guess.
    Anyway, it had been a while since i last stop by here.
    Maybe is because i do not have much love problems anymore or because i am just busy with work.
    Currently i am working out alot in gym to get better figure.
    I wish cupid good luck in future and i will be back again. =)


    ShinChan’s last blog post..Learning Korean Language

    • @Shin Chan,

      It is great to see you back to Cupid Blogger and commenting here again.. :)

      Yup, i share the same thoughts with you as well…maybe these super cute and pretty girls loves fat guy…comparing to normal guy rite??

      Oh common, Cupid Blogger is for everyone no matter you have in love or single or having relationship woes…

      Good luck on your commitment on fitness..since you have no relationship problems, why not guest post on cupid blogger?

      Do contact me if u are interested…take care :)

      • Hello cupid, what do you mean (since you have no relationship problems, why not guest post on cupid blogger?)
        <— i dont really understand. mind to explain abit more? =)

        ShinChan’s last blog post..Weather Report

        • @Shin Chan,

          What i mean is, since you don’t have much love problem in your life as you mentioned in your comment, why not write a guest post on cupid blogger dot com to share your experience with us? :)

    • Yeah.. I see couples like that all the time – one where one half is obviously better looking than the other (that sounded really mean, but I hope we’ve all come to terms with physical factors) – and it really does seem that for some people, what’s on the outside is hardly as important as what’s on the inside. Or, as Jamie put it, that some people are just more appealing to some than others are, and it depends on a person’s taste.

      Suppose there’s an exception to every rule… :D

      Anya’s last blog post..Top 10 Break-up Songs

  2. Physical attractiveness depends on the eye of beholder. Whatever that is attractive to you may not be to others. This is where I believe pheromones is in control. However I’m pretty sure there’s a general guideline defining the ratio/proportion of face & body that is beautiful.
    Personally I read an article which mentioned that we tend to pick partners that generally looks similar to us. Also we do choose the personality and behavior that reflects our opposite sex parent subconsciously. Guess thatz how the phrase “Bagai pinang dibelah dua” comes about ;)

    • @Suenz

      It is great to see you commenting on Cupid Blogger finally…i think we tends to pick people who have similar attitude, personality or interest. If not, the “click” in relationship is not there…rite? :)

      Besides that, feeling is also important…without feeling, it is like dull or seems like nothing is happening…

    • Yeah.. I heard about the one where we date people who are similar to our opposite-sex parent. I was a little unnerved by it… seemed pretty incestuous. LOL. But I think there’s a certain degree of truth..

      Anya’s last blog post..Top 10 Break-up Songs

  3. Very true, Anya… sometimes we’ve been s accustomed to it that we don’t even realise we’re most times “contradicting” what we say…

    jamie’s last blog post..huh?!

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