Event Title

Instant Connections Among Same-Sex Pairs: Why Do We Like Who We Like?

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

College

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Major

Psychology

Session Number

1

Location

RM 208

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Kelly Campbell

Juror Names

Moderator: Dr. Robert Ricco

Start Date

5-18-2017 1:00 PM

End Date

5-18-2017 1:20 PM

Abstract

Friendships are essential for mental and physical wellbeing. Compared to those who have close friendships, people without them have increased risk of mental health problems (Berkman & Glass, 2000; Shankar et al., 2011), greater susceptibility to influenza (Pressman et al., 2005), and higher mortality rates. The importance of friendship has prompted researchers to identify characteristics that promote its development. What is missing from extant work is an identification of the factors that help and hinder instant friendship connections. This information is imperative because judgments about whether to pursue a friendship are made within moments of first meeting (Ambady et al., 2000; Harris & Garris, 2008), which leads to the question: Why are instant connections fostered easily with some people and not others? Guided by principles of evolutionary psychology, we examined factors that underlie instant friendship connections among same sex dyads. In particular, we hypothesized that dissimilar mate preferences would facilitate friendship connections whereas similar mate preferences would hinder them. Participants completed an online survey that assessed their intrapersonal traits including mate preferences. They were presented with a mate preference scale and also rated attractiveness by viewing a series of photos. Next, they attended a 3-hour speed-friending session in which they interacted with same-sex others for 3-minutes each. After each interaction, they completed a 2-minute assessment to rate the interaction. Two sessions were held, one for women and one for men. A social relations model was used to examine our central hypothesis. The results help advance evolutionary psychology theory and underscore the importance of mate preference in friendship selection. Our findings will inform the development of an Instant Friendship Facilitation (IFF) method that can be used to foster instant connections in social and professional settings. Our long-term goal is to help people foster more fulfilling relationships, which will ultimately benefit their health and well-being, and we expect the IFF will facilitate these outcomes.

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May 18th, 1:00 PM May 18th, 1:20 PM

Instant Connections Among Same-Sex Pairs: Why Do We Like Who We Like?

RM 208

Friendships are essential for mental and physical wellbeing. Compared to those who have close friendships, people without them have increased risk of mental health problems (Berkman & Glass, 2000; Shankar et al., 2011), greater susceptibility to influenza (Pressman et al., 2005), and higher mortality rates. The importance of friendship has prompted researchers to identify characteristics that promote its development. What is missing from extant work is an identification of the factors that help and hinder instant friendship connections. This information is imperative because judgments about whether to pursue a friendship are made within moments of first meeting (Ambady et al., 2000; Harris & Garris, 2008), which leads to the question: Why are instant connections fostered easily with some people and not others? Guided by principles of evolutionary psychology, we examined factors that underlie instant friendship connections among same sex dyads. In particular, we hypothesized that dissimilar mate preferences would facilitate friendship connections whereas similar mate preferences would hinder them. Participants completed an online survey that assessed their intrapersonal traits including mate preferences. They were presented with a mate preference scale and also rated attractiveness by viewing a series of photos. Next, they attended a 3-hour speed-friending session in which they interacted with same-sex others for 3-minutes each. After each interaction, they completed a 2-minute assessment to rate the interaction. Two sessions were held, one for women and one for men. A social relations model was used to examine our central hypothesis. The results help advance evolutionary psychology theory and underscore the importance of mate preference in friendship selection. Our findings will inform the development of an Instant Friendship Facilitation (IFF) method that can be used to foster instant connections in social and professional settings. Our long-term goal is to help people foster more fulfilling relationships, which will ultimately benefit their health and well-being, and we expect the IFF will facilitate these outcomes.