MATCHING HYPOTHESIS

The Matching Hypothesis, proposed by social psychologist Ellen Berscheid in 1979, is an idea that claims that people are more likely to form and maintain romantic relationships with those who are similar to them in terms of physical attractiveness (Berscheid, 1979). This hypothesis is based on the notion that people tend to be attracted to those who are similar to them in terms of physical appearance, and that this similarity increases the likelihood of a successful relationship.

The Matching Hypothesis has been supported by a variety of studies. In a study by Dion, Berscheid, and Walster (1972), participants were asked to rate the physical attractiveness of a potential partner. The results showed that those who rated their partner as being more attractive than themselves were more likely to form a successful relationship than those who rated their partner as being less attractive than themselves.

In another study, Walster, Aronson, Abrahams, and Rottman (1966) asked participants to rate the physical attractiveness of potential partners. Once again, the results showed that those who rated their potential partner as being more attractive than themselves were more likely to form a successful relationship than those who rated their potential partner as being less attractive than themselves.

In a third study, Hatfield and Walster (1978) compared the levels of physical attractiveness of married couples. The results showed that married couples were more likely to be of similar physical attractiveness than couples who were not married. This finding lends further support to the Matching Hypothesis.

Overall, the research evidence supports the Matching Hypothesis, which suggests that people are more likely to form and maintain romantic relationships with those who are similar to them in terms of physical attractiveness. This finding has implications for the formation and maintenance of successful relationships as well as for the study of interpersonal attraction.

References

Berscheid, E. (1979). The matching hypothesis revisited. Human Relations, 32(10), 987-993.

Dion, K., Berscheid, E., & Walster, E. (1972). What is beautiful is good. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 24(3), 285-290.

Hatfield, E., & Walster, G. (1978). A new look at love. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Walster, E., Aronson, V., Abrahams, D., & Rottman, L. (1966). Importance of physical attractiveness in dating behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 4(5), 508-516.

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