Research Topic

Behavioral Responses Associated with Interpersonal Attraction

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About this Research Topic

Current models of interpersonal attraction are mainly focused on understanding when and why people experience the subjective experience, or "feeling," of liking for another person. Such models fail to consider the full spectrum included in the attraction process.

Attraction is an emotion that motivates physiological, cognitive, and behavioral responses that facilitate the regulation of interdependent relationships. As such, models of attraction must not only explain what generates feelings of attraction, but how people engage in instrumental behavior during an interdependent relationship, how physiological processes affect and change to further one's goals, and how cognitive processes are structured to monitor and influence social exchanges. All types of social exchanges, from the trivial (interacting with the grocery clerk) to the benign (a meeting between a student and faculty member during office hours) to the romantic (during a first or fiftieth date) are all under the purview of the same attraction process. A unified and integrated view of the attraction process spans from exposure to the target person, to the subjective experience of attraction, to the enacted behavioral response, and thus considers attraction as instrumental and critical to the development and maintenance of social relationships.

This Research Topic is open to submissions from researchers who investigate the relation between the antecedents of attraction, the psychological and physiological processes that covary with the attraction response, the subjective experience of attraction, and the behavioral expressions of interpersonal attraction.

We welcome all article types accepted by the journal, addressing, but not limited to, the following issues/questions:

1. Given attraction's instrumental role in regulating social exchanges via its ability to communicate trust, (a) the operationalization of the behavioral expression of attraction must be expanded to include cooperation, compliance, and conformity as measures of affiliative behavior; and (b) the distinction between so-called "initial attraction" and "close relationship" literatures may be eliminated, as the emotion of attraction regulates both "types" of relationships.
2. An integrated view of attraction indicates that various psychological and situational processes may reduce (or heighten) the subjective experience of attraction more than they reduce (or heighten) the affiliative behavioral response (e.g., the elimination of affiliative behavior despite high levels of affective attraction).
3. Investigate the physiological and psychological processes that regulate the relation between subjective experience of attraction and the expression of affiliative behavior
4. Explore further the relation between rejection-based processes and attraction-based processes. Specifically, people instrumentally express affiliative behavior (which communicates trust) when another person is viewed as having something of value to the actor and is viewed as willing to cooperate (such a process is viewed as under the purview of "attraction-based processes"), but people *inhibit* the expression of affiliative behavior when another person does not have something of value and/or is seen as unwilling to cooperate (viewed as under the purview of "rejection-based processes").


Keywords: interpersonal attraction, behavioral responses, emotion, attitude-behavior consistency, relationships


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Current models of interpersonal attraction are mainly focused on understanding when and why people experience the subjective experience, or "feeling," of liking for another person. Such models fail to consider the full spectrum included in the attraction process.

Attraction is an emotion that motivates physiological, cognitive, and behavioral responses that facilitate the regulation of interdependent relationships. As such, models of attraction must not only explain what generates feelings of attraction, but how people engage in instrumental behavior during an interdependent relationship, how physiological processes affect and change to further one's goals, and how cognitive processes are structured to monitor and influence social exchanges. All types of social exchanges, from the trivial (interacting with the grocery clerk) to the benign (a meeting between a student and faculty member during office hours) to the romantic (during a first or fiftieth date) are all under the purview of the same attraction process. A unified and integrated view of the attraction process spans from exposure to the target person, to the subjective experience of attraction, to the enacted behavioral response, and thus considers attraction as instrumental and critical to the development and maintenance of social relationships.

This Research Topic is open to submissions from researchers who investigate the relation between the antecedents of attraction, the psychological and physiological processes that covary with the attraction response, the subjective experience of attraction, and the behavioral expressions of interpersonal attraction.

We welcome all article types accepted by the journal, addressing, but not limited to, the following issues/questions:

1. Given attraction's instrumental role in regulating social exchanges via its ability to communicate trust, (a) the operationalization of the behavioral expression of attraction must be expanded to include cooperation, compliance, and conformity as measures of affiliative behavior; and (b) the distinction between so-called "initial attraction" and "close relationship" literatures may be eliminated, as the emotion of attraction regulates both "types" of relationships.
2. An integrated view of attraction indicates that various psychological and situational processes may reduce (or heighten) the subjective experience of attraction more than they reduce (or heighten) the affiliative behavioral response (e.g., the elimination of affiliative behavior despite high levels of affective attraction).
3. Investigate the physiological and psychological processes that regulate the relation between subjective experience of attraction and the expression of affiliative behavior
4. Explore further the relation between rejection-based processes and attraction-based processes. Specifically, people instrumentally express affiliative behavior (which communicates trust) when another person is viewed as having something of value to the actor and is viewed as willing to cooperate (such a process is viewed as under the purview of "attraction-based processes"), but people *inhibit* the expression of affiliative behavior when another person does not have something of value and/or is seen as unwilling to cooperate (viewed as under the purview of "rejection-based processes").


Keywords: interpersonal attraction, behavioral responses, emotion, attitude-behavior consistency, relationships


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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