Murstein (1972) also found evidence that supported the matching hypothesis: photos of dating and engaged couples were rated in terms of attractiveness. A definite tendency was found for couples of similar attractiveness to date or engage.
Walster advertised a "Computer Match Dance". 752 student participants were rated on physical attractiveness by four independent judges, as a measure of social desirability. Participants were told to fill in a questionnaire for the purposes of computer matching based on similarity. Instead, participants were randomly paired, except no man was paired with a taller woman. During an intermission of the dance, participants were asked to assess their date. People with higher ratings were found to have more harsh judgment of their dates. Furthermore, higher levels of attractiveness indicated lower levels of satisfaction with their pairing, even when they were on the same level. It was also found that both men and women were more satisfied with their dates if they had high levels of . Physical attractiveness was found to be the most important factor in enjoying the date. It was more important than intelligence and personality.
What are people looking for in a lasting friendship? Norman (1968) presented students with a list of 555 adjectives and asked them to check off the ones that would be most important in a friendship. Of the top-rated eight adjectives, six formed a recognizable cluster that might be called or . An ideal friend is . A person with these characteristics is predictable in a good way: steadfast and true.
Research shows a consistent advantage for in establishing friendships. Beauty leads to better first impressions. Physically attractive people are also assumed to be superior in intelligence, health, wealth, and personality. These results are found when subjects are asked to give quick impressions of people they do not know. Dion, Berscheid, and Walster (1972) conclude that most subjects are assuming, Walster (1966) randomly assigned couples at a "computer dance" (with partners chosen at random by a computer) and found that men and women rated as more attractive were indeed rated as more likable by their dancing partners.
Berscheid, Dion, Walster, and Walster (1971) tested the , which was that people would seek to date others of the same "social desirability" level. The matching hypothesis is based on the assumption that people make choices in order to avoid rejection and maximize probability of attaining their goal (a romantic relationship). Several studies supported this conclusion. For example, in one study subjects were asked to pick out a date from six photographs of opposite-sexed peers. Subjects tended to select a potential date who matched their own level of attractiveness.
Walster and Walster (1969) ran a follow up to the Computer Dance, but instead allowed participants to meet beforehand in order to give them greater chance to interact and think about their ideal qualities in a partner. The study had greater ecological validity than the original study, and the finding was that partners that were similar in terms of physical attractiveness expressed the most liking for each other – a finding that supports the matching hypothesis.
However, the study lacks : interaction was very brief between participants, hence any judgement was likely to have been of superficial characteristics. The short duration between meeting and rating their partner also reduced the chance of rejection. Finally, because only students were used as participants, the sample is not representative of the whole population. In a follow up study six months after the dance, it was found that partners who were similar in terms of physical attractiveness were more likely to have continued dating: a finding that supports the matching hypothesis.
Walster advertised a “Computer Match Dance”. 752 student participants were rated on physical attractiveness by four independent judges, as a measure of . Participants were asked to fill in a questionnaire, supposedly for the purposes of computer pairing but actually used to rate similarity. Instead, participants were randomly paired, except no man was paired with a taller woman. During the dance, participants were asked to rate their date. It was found that the more attractive students were favoured as dates over the less attractive students, and physical attractiveness was found to be the most important factor, over intelligence and personality. Although it showed that physical attractiveness was a factor, it had no effect on the partner so this study did not support the hypothesis.
Huston (1976) argued that the evidence for the matching hypothesis didn’t come from matching but instead on the tendency of people to avoid rejection hence choose someone similarly attractive to themselves, to avoid being rejected by someone more attractive than themselves. Huston attempted to prove this by showing participants photos of people who had already indicated that they would accept the participant as a partner. The participant usually chose the person rated as most attractive; however, the study has very flawed ecological validity as the relationship was certain, and in real life people wouldn’t be certain hence are still more likely to choose someone of equal attractiveness to avoid possible rejection.
The matching hypothesis is a theory proposed by Walster et al. in 1966, it suggests why people become attracted to their . It claims that people are more likely to form long standing with those who are equally as they are.
Walster and Walster ran a follow up to the Computer Dance, but instead allowed participants to meet beforehand in order to give them greater chance to interact and think about their ideal qualities in a partner. The study had greater ecological validity than the original study, and the finding was that partners that were similar in terms of physical attractiveness expressed the most liking for each other – a finding that supports the matching hypothesis.
Brown (1986) argued for the matching hypothesis, but maintained that it results from a learned sense of what is ‘fitting’ – we adjust our expectation of a partner in line with what we believe we have to offer others, instead of a fear of rejection.