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Ingratiation and Affinity Seeking

John Daly

Subject Psychology
Communication Studies » Interpersonal Communication

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


People often try to get others to like them when initiating and intensifying romances, friendships, and even brief encounters. When they do this they are engaging in affinity seeking (→  Interpersonal Communication ). For decades, scholars interested in relationships focused primarily on static variables associated with liking. For instance, research has long demonstrated that people who share similar attitudes and values like each other more than those who do not (→  Interpersonal Attraction ). Studies also demonstrate that people are attracted to better-looking individuals. (Of course, there are exceptions to this focus on static variables – ingratiation comes to mind immediately.) The affinity-seeking construct ( Bell & Daly 1984 ) highlighted a more dynamic and strategic notion suggesting that people intentionally engage in certain behaviors in hopes of engendering liking. For instance, people might systematically highlight their similarity on some attitudes with someone to make the other person see them positively. Or, they might dress up, fix their hair, and even exercise hoping to get another person's attention ( Daly et al. 1983 ). The key move made in the affinity-seeking construct was emphasizing the strategic intentionality of behaviors that people use to ingratiate themselves to others. Affinity seeking falls under the broader rubric of →  impression management ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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