What Does Social Psychology Say About Attraction?


Jane Flores

Attraction is a fundamental aspect of human interaction. We are naturally drawn to certain people and repelled by others.

But have you ever wondered what social psychology has to say about attraction? Let’s delve into the science of attraction and explore some fascinating insights.

The Role of Physical Attractiveness

It’s no secret that physical attractiveness plays a significant role in initial attraction. Research has shown that people tend to be attracted to others who are physically attractive, symmetrical, and have an average facial structure.

This preference for physical attractiveness is known as the “halo effect.” However, physical attractiveness alone is not enough to sustain a long-term relationship.


Another factor that influences attraction is similarity. People tend to be attracted to those who share similar interests, values, and beliefs. This similarity creates a sense of familiarity and comfort that can enhance the bond between two individuals.


Proximity is another key factor in attraction. People are more likely to form relationships with those who are geographically close to them. This is because proximity increases the likelihood of regular interaction, which can lead to greater familiarity and comfort.

The Importance of Non-Verbal Communication

Non-verbal communication plays a crucial role in attraction. Facial expressions, body language, and eye contact can convey interest and attraction without any words being spoken. Research has shown that individuals who display positive non-verbal cues are perceived as more attractive than those who do not.


Reciprocity is another important aspect of non-verbal communication in attraction. When someone displays interest in us, we are more likely to reciprocate that interest. This reciprocal behavior can create a positive feedback loop that enhances the bond between two individuals.

The Impact of Social Norms on Attraction

Social norms can also play a role in attraction. Research has shown that people tend to be attracted to those who conform to societal norms and expectations. This conformity creates a sense of safety and comfort that can enhance the bond between two individuals.

Cultural Differences

It’s important to note that social norms can vary across cultures. What is considered attractive in one culture may not be viewed the same way in another. It’s essential to understand and respect cultural differences when exploring attraction.


Attraction is a complex phenomenon that is influenced by various factors, including physical attractiveness, similarity, proximity, non-verbal communication, and social norms. By understanding these factors, we can gain insight into the science of attraction and how it impacts our relationships.