MetaTOC stay on top of your field, easily

Interpersonal Attraction in Dyads and Groups: Effects of the Hearts of the Beholder and the Beheld

European Journal of Social Psychology

Published online on


Dyadic interpersonal attraction (IA) was studied within groups of very highly acquainted family members, friends and co‐workers. IA was determined by the perceiver (i.e., the heart of the beholder), the target (i.e., the heart of the beheld), and in specific dyads, by the unique combination of the two. The consistency of one‘s attraction to others and others‘ attraction to the person across groups were addressed using the key person design. Attraction to a person in one group was independent of attraction to that person in another, although people predicted that members of different groups were similarly attracted to them. A new model (ARRMA) was specified to simultaneously study assumed reciprocity, actual reciprocity, and metaperception accuracy of attraction (i.e., accurate predictions of others‘ attraction to oneself). Assumed reciprocity of IA was substantial at the individual and dyadic levels. Reciprocity of attraction at the individual level, a heretofore unconfirmed “plausible hypothesis” (Newcomb, 1979), was supported; dyadic reciprocity was weak. Meta‐accuracy of IA was observed among individuals but was weak in dyads. Perceived interpersonal similarity predicted IA among individuals and in specific dyads. Considering dyadic attraction within and between groups, and the use of componential analysis permitted the specification of new IA phenomena and resolved a long standing theoretical problem regarding the reciprocity of attraction.