Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
The majority of the research supports the hypothesis that agreement is a major variable in attraction, but several recent studies have shown other conditions may also be important. Following Wright's (1969a) friendship model, Wright and Crawford (1969) have shown that males are oriented toward both "task" and "social-emotional" situations, while females are oriented primarily toward "social- emotional" situations. The present study was designed to investigate the role of agreement within these two situational variables. It was hypothesized that, for males in a task situation, agreement would yield greater attraction than disagreement. For females, greater attraction was predicted for agreeing pairs than for disagreeing pairs in a social-emotional situation. No prediction was made for females in a task situation.
Subjects were same-sex pairs who were initially strangers. Each subject completed a value questionnaire and received feedback regarding the amount of agreement with his partner. The pair then participated in either a project oriented "task" condition or a discussion oriented "social-emotional" condition without task involvement. At the conclusion of the session, each subject described his partner with a person-perception questionnaire.
An analysis of variance was performed on the data. The results showed that males find it difficult to get along with new acquaintances no matter what the situation. Females find it relatively difficult to get along in a task situation and relatively easy to get along in a social-emotional situation. The only significant effect for agreement was found for females in the task situation. None of the specific hypotheses of the study were confirmed.
The findings were discussed in terms of cultural sex differences between men and women. Implications for other models of attraction were discussed. It was concluded that agreement may not be as general a determinant of attraction as previous research had indicated. Sex and situational variables must also be considered in predicting attraction.
Wittman, William D., "Task and Socioemotional Interaction as Contexts Affecting the Agreement-Attraction Relationship" (1971). Theses and Dissertations. 3662.