What Is Attraction?

Podcast of the Day

Why are we attracted to some people and to not others? Mike Williams explores the factors that lie behind our feelings of attraction. He speaks to the authors Christy and Clare Campbell. Christy fell in love at first sight, but it took Clare six months to feel that strong sense of attraction. After 40 years of marriage they are still attracted to each other.

Beauty, facial symmetry, personality and values all play a role in our attraction to others. Evolution biologist Dr Anna Machin from Oxford University explains the science behind attraction. Dr Machin explains how chemicals released in our brains gives us the confidence to approach someone who we are attracted to and how the smell and taste of a prospective partner can tell us a lot of their genes and whether they will be a compatible mate.

Listen to The Why Factor episode on Attraction

Video of the Day

Short Article of the Day

Some time ago, I found myself single again (shock, horror!) and decided to get back into the world of dating. One thing that struck me very early on in my forays was that everyone had an opinion about “what worked” in terms of dating. But too often those opinions were based on anecdotes, assumptions about human behaviour I knew to be wrong, or – worse – pure misogyny.

As a psychologist who has studied attraction, I felt certain that science could offer a better understanding of romantic attraction than all the self-help experts, pick-up artists and agony aunts in the world. And so I began researching the science of how we form relationships. One thing I learned very quickly was that there are no “laws of attraction”, no guarantees of success in dating, no foolproof methods or strategies for getting someone to date you. Human psychology is too complex to reduce to rules or laws of attraction – but that’s not the same as saying that there’s nothing to be gained from understanding the processes involved in attraction...

Continue reading Viren Swami's article: Psychologist on dating: there are no rules of attraction when it comes to meeting your match

Further Reading

Interpersonal attraction is the attraction between people which leads to a platonic or romantic relationships. Interpersonal attraction as a process is distinct from perceptions of physical attractiveness, which involves views of what is and is not considered beautiful or attractive.

The study of interpersonal attraction is a major area of research in social psychology. Interpersonal attraction is related to how much one likes, dislikes, or hates someone. It can be viewed as a force acting between two people that tends to draw them together and resist their separation. When measuring interpersonal attraction, one must refer to the qualities of the attracted as well as the qualities of the attractor to achieve predictive accuracy. It is suggested that to determine attraction, both the personalities and the situation must be taken into account...

Continue reading the Wikipedia article on Interpersonal Attraction

Bonus Webcomic

Related Topics

If you’re interested in the science of attraction, check out some of the following related topics for more resources:

 ConfidenceDesireEvolutionary Psychology | Friendship | Psychology

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