Motivational Behavior

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The matching hypothesis states that people chose partners that have similar levels of physical attractiveness. Levels of interpersonal attraction are similar in couples that are in long-term romantic relationships. The researcher sought to test the matching hypothesis in this study.


A weak positive correlation was found to be significant (P=0.05, observed rho value=0.44, critical rho value=0.36, null hypothesis denied). The outcome of the study showed that people seek a partner that has a similar level of physical attractiveness as themselves.
Interpersonal attraction is a fundamental component of human relationships. Psychologists and researchers have proposed many different theories in order to explain the role of physical attractiveness in intimate relationships. One view is the genetic similarity theory proposed by Rushton, Russell and Wells (1984). They posited that a person is more attracted to strangers that resemble themselves than those who are dissimilar in appearance. This would lead to offspring with not only the individual's genes but also genes like themselves (Rushton, Russell & Wells, 1984). Their research suggested that individuals are more attracted to genetically similar people.
The matching hypothesis also proposed that people don't seek the most attractive mate, but instead are attracted to individuals that match themselves in terms of physical attractiveness. This compromise is necessary due to a fear of rejection from a more desirable partner and in order to achieve a balance between partners.
Walster et al. (1966) tested this hypothesis with the "computer dance experiment". ...
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