The following Essay will aim to explain in terms of psychological study why familiarity is attractive.

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Attraction is a very important part of people’s social lives. This includes all kinds of relationships with individuals, such as intimate relationships, friendships and working companionships.

People are more likely to prefer the company of someone they like, than to the company of somebody they dislike. But before any of this, people need access to other people get to know them. Research has shown that one of the main predictors of two people becoming friends is how close they live to each other. This is because it is much easier to get to know them as you will see them regularly. This then leads to the exposure effect. So therefore the regularity of contact increases the liking or disliking of someone. Some cynics would say,‘Familiarity breeds contempt’. (Cullis etal, 1999, pg296)But many social psychologists would disagree and say the more familiar people become with someone, the more they tend to like them.

In Saegert etal’s (1973) study, females were told they were taking part in an experiment on the sense of taste. They were paired up and had to enter a room together to taste different drinks. After the experiment they were asked to comment on how much they liked other participants. The results showed that the more interaction with someone the more they took a liking to them, than to those whom they met only once. This is because they were more familiar with the other person. This study shows that familiarity can influence liking. (Cullis etal, 1999, pg296)Social psychological explanations have suggested that familiarity leads to similarity. It is no doubt that people like those who are most like themselves, as they will have similar attitudes, ideas and opinions as them also. In one study carried out by Byrne (1971) participants were asked to fill in questionnaires, which...