Alright, so as I said at the end of last lecture it kind of seem to me when I was going over what we've been talking about that, in a way we've been talking about some pretty dark topics in terms of conformity in general and submission to authority and. The way context can make good people do evil things and then of course prejudice, so I thought that's not, I don't want to give you the impression that social psychology is all about understand the negative aspects of humanity. social psychologists are also interested in The more positive aspects of social interaction, and so I thought I would end with one good example of that which is the psychology of attraction. Maybe this will help you find that person in your life that you're looking for or hopefully you already have, so maybe it will make you appreciate the person you did find a little bit more... whatever let's, let's get into it attraction. Alright so week six lecture eight last lecture of the sixth week. Wow time flies doesn't it. Alrigh, I'm going to talk about a few different topics. They're going to seem a little unrelated I mean they're all related to attraction but we're going to bounce around a little bit today but I think that's okay. I want to start with this we often worry about. The first impressions we make. so let's say we've got up the courage to ask somebody out for a date. And we've probably already interacted with them a little bit by then. But imagine a situation where you haven't really had that much interaction with a person. Now you're going to go pick them up for the date. And you worry about things like, you know what do I wear, and do I wash my car and, and what are the first words I want to say to this person? you know, how am I going to behave, et cetera, etcetera. and so we have this impression, that first impressions, the very first things that we do, might set the tone for the rest of the interaction. And there has been, in fact, some psychological research on that which suggests we are right to worry. a lot of this work was also done by Ash, the same guy that did the conformity work. and he did some very simple experiments that still make a pretty powerful point. He would describe people to someone so that he would have these images, not, not images like this but just more like a headshot of somebody where you would see somebody's face and you would be told certain things about them. Now he would control the situation so that... You know? Half the subjects would see this guy in, in one condition. And half the would see him in another condition. So I'm going to call those the positive first versus the positive last conditions. and, and they would see all these people. And then, afterwards, they would be shown the pictures again. And they would be asked, how much do you like this person? Okay, but now when they were originally shown the pictures, they were always shown the same four adjectives. Not always these four adjectives, but across these critical manipulations. So imagine one person saw this individual, just his face again, and they were told this guy is intelligent, friendly, unfashionable, and boring. Now, that's probably why you just want the headshot, because to me, he looks pretty fashionable. but you know, with just a headshot, these are what you're, what you're told about this person. Or, you're told they are boring, unfashionable, friendly, and intelligent. Now, note that these are the same adjectives. But one group is given the positive sounding ones first followed by the not positive ones. The other group is shown the not positives, so boring, unfashionable, followed by the positive, but it's the same adjectives, but sure enough you find that when you later say hey how much do you like this guy, the people who saw the friendly adjectives first liked him better. Okay, so those first little bits of information that you get about somebody, really do set the tone. Really do make us kind of, come on a certain path of, of a conception that we're going to form of that person. So, be worried. [LAUGH] First impressions are important. They're important when you're dating. They're important when you're interviewing for jobs. They're important, you know, really in any of these contexts in life. Where we come into contact with someone who currently has no information about us. And, sure enough, we would like them to hear positive things or, or see positive things first. Okay? One little tidbit. This is another really cool thing, because it's, it's, it's really related to our notion of beauty. So obviously we're more attractive to beautiful people. This is by the way itself a very fascinating point. I could digress a little bit. But many animals in the animal kingdom, the way sexual attraction especially works, which is sort of all there is to the animal kingdom to some extent is that the female of the species tends to go into heat at various times. And when she goes into heat she emits all sorts of odors and other visual cues that tell the male she's in heat. And at that point in time, every male in the vicinity wants to mate with that female. There is no real notion in the animal community that no, she's kind of ugly. I'm not interested in that but oh, she's a hot one over there. Animals don't seem to have that sense of attraction based on beauty. Based on physical characteristics. We do and in fact, some evolutionary psychologists think that the reason we do Is really related to our sort of bipedal nature and the fact that when we are on two feet women can now carry multiple children but then they need a male that's going to be there for them and support the family, which means you need a long term connection between a male and female and you can't just do this animal kingdom, she's in heat, I'll mate with her and then I'll leave. you want something that holds males and females together. And the notion is that our attraction to beauty is part of that story. But then that raises the question, what is beauty? What attracts us to people? Now, at some level you might think It exoticism in somebody whose got something that other people don't have. Something interesting. in fact that tends not to be what is true. there's a website I've got a linked to it at the end that you can play with. Where they give you a bunch of faces of people just as you see here. And then you can select some people. And what this website will do was produce a face that is a morph, an averaging of the features of the people you select. In studies that have done this, the results have showed that humans like averaged faces. That they find them more beautiful. The more faces you average together, the more beautiful the resulting face is judged to be. So, [UNKNOWN] doesn't seem to be what attracts us. It seems to be averageness, of a sort. But what is averageness? What is really going on under here? Well the claim is That we all have these aysymitries in our face. In fact, an interesting thing to do, if you have the ability, is to take a pictuer of your face, cut yourself right down the middle, flip the left so that you have a face made up of 2 of you left faces and another face with 2 of your right faces, and when you look at those two faces, you'll see they're quite different. Most of us are asymmetrical both this way, well, and obviously this way, we have a mouth on the bottom and eyes on the top. but we have, you know, if you think on the mid-line, we have an asymmetry to us. But if you average faces a lot, the result you get is a relatively symmetrical face. so you're still seeing some asymmetry in this face, but the more you average, the more symmetrical it becomes. And it turns out we seem to be really attracted to symmetry. not only in the faces by the way but also in the rest of the body. We like nice symmetrical bodies and faces. They look beautiful to us. They look artistic, I guess you can say. and so you can play with this yourself. And again, I give you the link. In fact if you look at some people like this guy, Brad Pitt, that most people think of as attractive he does have a very symmetrical face, if you actually, so you've seen somebody's overlaid some polygons and stuff on his face, the point they're trying to make is, like even look at his forehead. That if you kind of cut it up you see you know very symmetrical on the left and the right everything seems to be mirrored. every shape you see on one side you see a counter shape on the other side that seems to fit quite well. And this was computer generated this wasn't created to be this way. Its, its just these, these are the lines of maximal information that we've connected to perform to produce these. shapes and so a lot of the people that we view as beautiful show this symmetry. kind of cool. I don't know what that says but it's interesting. All right, so beauty is not exotic, beauty is average. But average is symmetrical, and we like that. Alright. Now, here's another really cool one. I, I like, I like this one for a number of reasons. It's hard to see here but let me give you the study. So studies were done where people see one or the other of an image of, of an individual but they're going to see a whole bunch of individuals. Some of the images they see the individual has larger pupils. Okay? So this, this version of the picture actually has larger pupils than this version. It's not that easy to see on the main one I, I mean you could see it but especially in the blowups underneath where you see we've blown up the eyes. Now, so this one has small pupils but the other one has larger pupils. When people are shown these pictures, they prefer, they find more attractive, the images of people with larger pupils and this is like true of everyone. A male will find even males more attractive if the males have larger pupils, females with females, etc. We like large pupils. Why? In fact there's a famous story of, of Cleopatra. Cleopatra actually seemed to know this at some level. She would put something in her eye called belladonna, a plant. Not a good idea [LAUGH]. It's not a good thing to do long-term. But it makes your pupils bigger. Kind of like when you go to the eye doctor and they put those drops, and it makes your pupils bigger. And of course, Cleopatra was known as the most beautiful woman in the, of the, of the Realm at the time. So she seemed to know that link. What is causing that? Well here's the fascinating story that's, that's usually told. If you find something in your environment fascinating and, and you really. our interest in it. You tend to look at it more closely and your pupils tend to increase. They allow more light into your eyes so you can see whatever it is you are looking at better. So interest increases the size of the pupils. So now, imagine you are speaking with somebody. You are interacting with somebody. You are trying your best to be interesting and engaging and charming and all that kind of stuff. If their pupils open up, if their pupils are large, that suggests they're interested in you, they're interested in what you're saying, they enjoy looking at you, and the reciprocal seems to be we can see that, we see that in their pupils, and we like people who like us. Now of course we're not doing this consciously. A lot of our ability to read non verbal behavior, which, maybe that'll be one of the topics for week eight, I think, but a lot of our ability to do that is not conscious, it's just we kind of feel like hey that person kind of likes us, but we like people do like us... Not surprising so much, and so that seems to be what people think is happening here. That when we see images of people with big pupils we get the feeling that these people like us more and we like them more for that reason. Well. I don't know how you'd use this in everyday life, I would not recommend putting belladonna in your eye, not a real good idea, okay, finally let's get a little more not really controversial but a little more sexual, I guess. There's another kind of interesting result in the literature, which is... If you ask, this is especially true if you're asking men to judge the bodies of women. There is a reciprocal version, and I'll come back to that, but it's not quite as strong. But if you ask men to judge the bodies of women, and to tell you what body shape they find most attractive. And if you do this across cultures. so you're trying not to get to any cultural idea of, of the most beautiful body. But, but some-, something that goes beyond cultures. You find that, by and large, men are attracted to women whose waists. Well, let me say it this way, yeah. Whose waist is 7/10 the size of their hips. Now notice this isn't saying that they're thin or large. Irrespective of their overall body size, men are attracted to women who have hips that are wider than their waist. And specifically this ratio, a waist that's seven tenths as large as their hips. You can all go measure now, yourself now. Find out how close you are to that. Why? You know, we talk about this hourglass figure. but, but why are men attracted to that figure? How did that evolve? Well, the story is, that in fact, when you look at women who have this proportion, they tend to have all sorts of health benefits, lower cholesterol, lower heart problems. lower rates of cancer, I believe. All sorts of health benefits. And, perhaps the most critical one in times when child birth was not done with the aid of hospitals, women with this ratio tended to survive child birth, and their children tended to survive child birth. At a higher rate, so there was something about this body style that supported hold bearing, and so therefore the story you can tell is well maybe there was a time when men were interested in women of all different proportions, but those you liked these women, who liked the seven tenths ratio... They were more likely to end up having healthy children and more healthy children, and those healthy children would inherit that liking of this body style, and so that generation after generation after generation what we would end up with is this just sort of being rooted in our DNA, literally... That, that's the, the body ratio we find attractive. Now, that's again, men especially. there are some similar numbers with respect to women in the sense that women it's, it's sometimes more about the shoulder to the waist and that kind of thing but there's certainly a body style that women find more attractive. As, you know, not surprising it would be more of an athletic style, more of a strength. Kind of body which again has you know, a lot of evolutionary reasons that. if you're going to be bearing children that's a lot of work. I mean I, I've seen firsthand what new mothers go through. It's a lot of work, a lot of time spent caring for the child early in the years and so. It's very advantageous to have a father in the picture, who's strong, able to provide both food, and also security, literally. and so it seems that women have evolved a natural. attraction towards strong men. Now notice that both of these, this is the kind of funny thing, in the modern world, to some extent, both of these are now irrelevant. a weak man can provide just as well as a strong man can nowadays, especially if that weak man is intellectually strong and is successful. If they can produce a lot of money, then they can give you security, they can give you all the food you need. that does no longer depend on their physical stature. And similarly when it comes to childbirth, you know, thanks to, I guess you'd say, modern hospitals, modern medicine Virtually every woman has a very high probability of surviving child birth and so does her child. and so, you know, in a modern world these pressures are no longer there. And yet, that there's this notion of what sometimes called the proximate cause in evolution; the idea that we still carry These left overs of evolution with us. And as long as they aren't causing harm, they don't disappear. and, and the best example I give, I give for that one which I love. Is here's, here's something to mess your head up tonight. Why do men have nipples? Simple question, they're not good for anything, they're kind of useless. >> The evolution story says, yeah they're useless, but they're not a problem either. They don't cause any sort of negative thing. There's no reason why a man, let's say a man was born without nipples, would he suddenly have a survival advantage? Would he be viewed somehow as more attractive? if he was then there could be a chance for that evolution change to kind of float through. But apparently, that hasn't happened. and so sometimes, things that evolved long, long ago, and the assumption would be, you know, this is something about men and women co-evolving, 'cause nipples are by the way, handy for women, so I hear at least. That somehow, when we co-evolved, the men had the nipples as well, and there was no reason to lose them. And they also like women with this ratio. And women also like strong men. And those things hang with us. Okay. kind of cool. Alright, so I've given you a taste of a few things. Let's just do a quick review here. First impressions matter. Symmetry matters. We find symmetrical faces and bodies more attractive. Big eyes matter, and I guess the last point that I want to make about this is it's one thing to just say we like people with big eyes, but it's also if we imagine we're in that, you talk about feeling the chemistry between two people... That's probably a little bit what we mean. We're reading some of this non-verbal stuff, and we're getting the sense that, hey, we're compatible. He likes me. I like him. so that's in the eyes. and waist to hip ratio. Physicality, that's a match, as well. Alright so a little bit more for you to followup on, here's some of those experiments about first impressions. You can check that out. This is a general discussion of why sexy is sexy, so it'll kind of connect some of the things we talked about and maybe bring in some others as well Here's that software with, that you can play around with, you can go through this little project. I think it's made for kids or something, younger age but still, whether, it's cool, it works. that's fine, and then here's a Psychology Today article about attraction as well. a little more pop reading. but again, a nice carry on for this. So. Here we are, the end of week six, three quarters of the way through the course, home stretch yet to come. Week seven will all be about clinical issues so I think you'll find that really interesting, mental disorders, that kind of thing. And week eight, it's just going to be a greatest hits for me. I, I'm going to have eight lectures to talk about things that I think are cool and then I couldn't realy fit anywhere else. And, and I think none verbal communciation will be one of those. I think sleep dreaming will be one of those. and I'll think of a fe-, a, a bunch of other things to, to bring in to. So that's the road map ahead, I hope you stay with me, you've stayed with me this far. I thank you for that. See you next week.