Is Attraction Part of Social Psychology?


Diego Sanchez

Social psychology is a fascinating field that delves into the study of human behavior in the context of social interaction. It encompasses a wide range of topics, from group dynamics and communication to social influence and persuasion.

But is attraction also part of social psychology? The answer is yes! In this article, we will explore the role of attraction in social psychology and how it influences our behavior.

What is attraction?

Attraction refers to the feeling of being drawn towards someone or something. It can be based on a variety of factors, such as physical appearance, personality traits, shared interests or experiences, or even proximity. Attraction can be both positive and negative, depending on the situation and the individual’s preferences.

Types of attraction

There are several types of attraction that are recognized in social psychology:

  • Physical attraction: This is based on one’s physical appearance and can be influenced by factors like body shape, facial features, and grooming habits.
  • Social attraction: This is based on one’s personality traits such as humor, kindness, intelligence etc.
  • Situational attraction: This can be based on shared experiences or circumstances such as being a part of same college or workplace etc.
  • Cultural attraction: This is based on shared values or cultural background.

Attraction in Social Psychology

Attraction plays an important role in social psychology. It can influence our behavior towards others and even affect our decision-making processes. According to research conducted by psychologists Elaine Hatfield and Richard L. Rapson in their book ‘Love, Sex & Intimacy’, there are two main theories that explain why people are attracted to each other:

The Similarity Theory

This theory suggests that people are attracted to those who share similar characteristics or interests. This is because we tend to feel more comfortable and at ease with people who are like us. For example, if two people both enjoy playing sports, they are likely to feel a stronger connection than if one person is into sports and the other person is not.

The Complementarity Theory

This theory suggests that people are attracted to those who have complementary traits or qualities. This means that we look for qualities in others that we lack ourselves. For example, an introverted person may be attracted to an extroverted person because they complement each other’s personalities.

Attraction and Relationships

Attraction is a key factor in the formation of romantic relationships. In fact, research has shown that physical attraction is often the first thing that draws people together.

However, attraction alone is not enough to sustain a relationship in the long term. Other factors such as shared values, communication skills, and emotional compatibility also play important roles in maintaining a healthy relationship.


In conclusion, attraction is definitely part of social psychology. It influences our behavior towards others and can play a significant role in the formation of relationships. Understanding the different types of attraction and how they work can help us navigate our social interactions more effectively and build stronger connections with others.