Free «Filter Model of Attraction» UK Essay Sample

Filter Model of Attraction

Kerckhoff & Davis (1962) proposed interpersonal attraction between humans is developed through a selection of filters from social and personal factors, each of which is essential for the relationship to begin or to continue. Different measures are used at successive stages commencing with social variables, such as religion and race and progressing onto more internal values before finally moving onto personality traits. It is generally believed that people seek similarity in social factors and complementary traits in personality factors (Dijkstra, 2008). The essential criteria during this process are as follows:


Possibly the most obvious and important factor in attraction is proximity (Crooks & Baur, 2008). This refers not only to physical proximity but convenience of interaction as well (Batool & Malik, 2010). By closely sharing a space one is able to get to know a person thoroughly. However, sometimes getting to know a person better can result in a dislike or hate of the other individual. Nevertheless, more often than not, proximity leads to a deeper interaction with an individual resulting in attraction (Berscheid & Walster, 1978). This means that, those people who are in close contact for a long time without any prior negative feelings towards one another will more likely to become attracted to each other when their degree of social familiarity advances and as a result gaining more comfort. (Duck, 1977) The contest of their meeting also plays an important role in determining the level of attraction and it has been proved that one is more likely to become friendly when their first encounter is in a pleasant, comfortable and likable place.


Attraction is heightened when individuals feel that that the other person is similar to them (Lucas et al, 2004; Neimeyer & Mitchell, 1988). Individuals tend to associate with people who have similar characteristics and share similar interests (Brehm, 1992; Klohnen & Luo, 2003). Therefore, people who are considered to be similar to one another are believed to be attractive as they endorse views pertaining to the world thus diminishes the chances of discord (Morry & Gaines, 2005).


It has been known that mere exposure to some phenomenon may affect interpersonal attraction when people are able to know of those things which they are familiar and that have positive attitudes towards than into those that are unfamiliar. A study has proved that after some repeated exposure to some faces, folks regarded familiar faces to be just similar to them. This suggests that, there is a direct link between familiarity and some perceived similarity.

Physical attractiveness

Another influencing factor to attractions is the physical attractiveness. This could be the reason that people tend to be attracted to those that have good looks physically. From some conducted research, people tend to believe that, there is more in a person than just the physical beauty. Though physical beauty is unrelated with the qualities of internal beauty such as personality and intelligence, but still the physical attractiveness has its share of influence when it come to attraction. This nevertheless varies from the different social societies that do exist (Losier, 2010).

Interpersonal attraction could also be termed as a multidimensional concept through the different attributes that individuals carry into a relationship which may include the mixed feelings about a person. There are though different dimension which contribute to the liking or disliking of a person (Frank, 2007). This attraction between individuals can therefore be termed to exist within various levels of liking or of disliking. Interpersonal attraction has various roots that lead into its existence. The various roots of interpersonal attraction include:

The need for affiliation

There are basically two social aspects or motives that lead to interpersonal attraction one of them being the need for affiliation. Since human beings are social creatures, they are known to enjoy the company of others. Human beings therefore develop the need to feel affiliated with someone or with a certain group. (Pepitone, 2006) This affiliation with our family members and friends provides us with the emotional support, a basis for social comparison, a place where one feels that he or she is being given the attention they need. The levels of affiliation varies from individuals where some look for just a low need for it while others strive to have a greater level of affiliation. Its believed that women usually have a higher need for affiliation than men do. Factors that lead to the development of the need for affiliation could include; (Burton, 2009)

Proximity effect, where one is more likely to become friends with a person who is geographically close than those who are far off. (MacLeod, 2008) This proximity effect also means that, there is a high frequency of meeting the person one feels attracted to. It also increases the opportunities of a person getting to know more about the person one is feeling attracted and as a result one can evaluate if the kind of behaviours inhabited by the other person is in line with what one looks forward into having. This again means that one is able to benefit from the positive rewards of a relationship. (Michael, 1999)


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