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Propinquity - Theory

Propinquity - Theory

Some psychologists believe that physical approximation is a reliable index for whether romantic physical attraction will occur between people.

 

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M. Junaid Alam

M. Junaid Alam

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I wonder where The Bachelor like reality shows are getting their dating advice? Why do they keep matching people based on superficial factors such as weight and height (i.e. the dwarf version)? Does it make good TV? What really underlies attraction? So many factors play into it. For example, the Propinquity Effect states that repeated exposure to someone increases their level of attractiveness (falling for a co-worker after you get to know them despite not having an initial attraction).

Article: More to Love? Sex, Body I...
Source: Psychology Today

Over the past several decades, sociologists and psychologists have developed numerous theories to explain sexual behavior, mating patterns and sex partner selection. Most early theories describe motivations for "mate" selection and characteristics that people tend to look for in a lifetime romantic partner in the context of marriage. For example, one theory is that people seek mates who are similar to themselves in characteristics as diverse as height, weight, personality, intelligence and values; (10) another suggests that people seek mates who they believe will provide equity in the exchange of valuable resources in the relationship. (11) Distance or propinquity theories suggest that people simply mate with others with whom they tend to come in contact. (12) Critics of these theories contend that their descriptions of the qualities that determine mate selection are vague, and that they fail to differentiate between selection strategies for women and men and selection of partnerships of varying duration (for example, nonmarital sex partnerships). (13)

Article:   Understanding sex partner…
Source:  Offline Book/Journal

Homans, working from the perspective of exchange theory, states that people consider the rewards versus the costs of any potential relationship (Lindzay and Aronson 1969) and are attracted to those people who provide the most reward at the least cost. From this perspective, the ideal relationship is one in which both participants have equal costs and rewards, so that neither feels cheated or exploited. Newcomb asserts that frequency of interaction is an important determinant of attraction, a view known as the propinquity perspective.

Article:   Interpersonal Attraction
Source:  Offline Book/Journal

Availability is closely related to how we live. Our communities are organized into neighborhoods according to social class, and in America this generally means by economic level. So the people who live nearby will be socially and economically like us. In fact, we very often marry someone living quite close geographically. This marital choice variable is called propinquity. Actually, the phenomenon is broader than just residential propinquity. Institutional propinquity exists as well; people meet in the workplace, in social organizations, and at school and church.

Article:   Human Intimacy Research U…
Source:  Offline Book/Journal

Essentially the proposition of propinquity says: Other things equal, people are most likely to be attracted toward those in closest contact with them. In general, as frequency of interaction between 2 or more persons increases, the degree of their liking for one another increases.

Article:   The prediction of interpe…
Source:  Offline Book/Journal
M. Junaid Alam

M. Junaid Alam

25 Knowledge Cards 

It should be noted that advocates of propinquity are, by proxy, proponents of the similarity theory as well: if you live close to someone, you will develop (or you already share) similar beliefs, values, and status, and will therefore be more likely to form a strong connection.

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