Solved IGNOU Assignment >> MPC004 >> Q11

11. Explain evolutionary theory of interpersonal attraction.

Cooperating with other people almost certainly increased our ancestors’ success in obtaining food and surviving danger. As a result, a strong desire to affiliate with others seems to be a basic characteristic of our species. Human infants, for instance, are apparently born with the motivation and ability to seek contact with their interpersonal world (Baldwin, 2000), and even newborns tend to look toward faces in preference to other stimuli (Mondloch et al., 1999).

Also, from the perspective of evolutionary determinants, it would be expected that youth and beauty (physical aspects of interpersonal attraction) would weigh heavily in the balance because these characteristics are associated with reproductive potential: young people and ones we find attractive are generally healthier and more fit than older people or ones who are not attractive, so both women and men might well be expected to prefer romantic partners who show these characteristics. In general, that’s true, however existing evidence indicates that even today, these qualities count more heavily for men than for women. For women, the tendency is to prefer mates who can take care of them and their offspring.

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Sources:
Social Psychology, 12th Edition by Robert A. Baron, Nyla R. Branscombe, Donn R. Byrne, Gopa Bhardwaj (Click for eBook)

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MPC001: Cognitive Psychology
MPC002: LifeSpan Psychology
MPC003: Personality: Theories and Assessment
MPC004: Advanced Social Psychology
MPC005: Research Methods in Psychology
MPC006: Statistics in Psychology

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