Matching Hypothesis - Research - Walster Et Al. - 1966

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The Matching Hypothesis - Walster et al (1966)


Walster et al proposed in The matching hypothesis model that
people who were similar in levels of attraction, intelligence
and social standing were more inclined to form relationships
with each other.
What do our results tell us?


This model also proposes that people who are matched well based on this theory also tend to have happier relationships compared to couples that are mismatched based on such social desirability.

This theory proposes that people pair themselves with others based on their own sense of value and they look for partners with similar qualities.
Therefore the more socially desirable a person is in terms of physical attraction, social standing and intelligence etc, the more desirable they would expect their potential partner to be.

Matching hypothesis - Wikipedia

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Brown (1986) argued for the matching hypothesis, but maintainedthat it results from a learned sense of what is ‘fitting’ – weadjust our expectation of a partner in line with what we believe wehave to offer others, instead of a fear of rejection.

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Huston (1976) argued that the evidence for the matchinghypothesis didn’t come from matching but instead on the tendency ofpeople to avoid rejection hence choose someone similarly attractiveto themselves, to avoid being rejected by someone more attractivethan themselves. Huston attempted to prove this by showingparticipants photos of people who had already indicated that theywould accept the participant as a partner. The participant usuallychose the person rated as most attractive; however, the study hasvery flawed ecological validity as the relationship was certain,and in real life people wouldn’t be certain hence are still morelikely to choose someone of equal attractiveness to avoid possiblerejection.

(1969), 'The matching hypothesis', Journal of personality and Social Psychology, VOL 6, pp.245-55Walster, E.
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Matching Hypothesis - The Student Room

People preferred the mirror image picture more often than the original picture.However, overexposure can also have the opposite effect.Physical Attractiveness:Is a moderately good predictor of how often a female dates.For males, the relationship is not as strong.Men value opposite-sex physical attractiveness more than women (Feingold, 1990, 91)90% of cosmetic surgery patients are women.Elaine Hatfield (1966) Randomly matched 376 couples who were first year students after collecting personality and aptitude tests.

The matching hypothesis seems reasonable, ..

However, the study lacks : interactionwas very brief between participants, hence any judgement was likelyto have been of superficial characteristics. The short durationbetween meeting and rating their partner also reduced the chance ofrejection. Finally, because only students were used asparticipants, the sample is not representative of the wholepopulation. In a follow up study six months after the dance, it wasfound that partners who were similar in terms of physicalattractiveness were more likely to have continued dating: a findingthat supports the matching hypothesis.

Matching Hypothesis | Encyclopedia of Psychology

10 participants were asked to rate the physical attractiveness on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 = highly attractive)
The correlation was significant (p=0.05, critical value = 0.564, observed value= 0.821, alternate hypothesis accepted).

This suggests that, when looking for a partner, people try to match their own physical attractiveness.
Appendix
References
Method
Discussion
Relationships start with interpersonal attraction; this refers to positive feelings about another person.

Matching hypothesis : Wikis (The Full Wiki)

Walster et al found that’s students were most likely to want to see a physically attractive partner again rather than one who was more of a match.
Walster et al (1966) tested this hypothesis in a study called the ‘Computer Dance experiment’.