Relationships and Communication
It is inevitable that we meet a person who agrees with everything someone says, just to be accepted. Though it makes us feel good to have our thoughts validated by someone agreeing with our attitudes, at what point does a person’s unselective agreement begin to do more harm than good?
One major influence to this study is what Walster, Walster, Piliavin and Schmidt termed the elusive phenomenon. The elusive phenomenon refers to the commonly held concept that the more elusive a person of romantic interest is, the more other people will desire that person. What Walster et al. thought would be a simple research investigation turned out to be much more complicated than expected. These researchers believed, as popular culture would have us believe, that because a woman is hard-to-get, this alone makes her more valued, or a more desired prize. In other words, a popular woman has reason, and ability to be more selective in choosing their dating partners. On the other hand, if a woman is easy-to-get this is automatically a signal that the woman is likely desperate for a date, any date and that she is likely to put significant pressure on a dating partner and the relationship to get serious quickly.
Walster et al. continued on this line of thinking for five research studies, and with each one they failed to support their hypothesis, that is they failed to show that a woman who is hard-to-get is valuable simply on the basis that she is hard-to-get. What they soon discovered is that following the logic of popular culture was getting them nowhere. After returning to the drawing board Walster et al. finally hit the jackpot. They considered that there instead were two parts to consider, ‘(a) How hard or easy is she for him to get; (b) how hard or easy she is for other men to get’. (Walster, et al., 1971) This eventually led to the realization that out of four possible combinations (a. easy for him to get, hard for other men to get, b. hard for him to get, hard for other men to get, c. easy for him to get, easy for other men to get, d. hard for him to get, easy for other men to get) that only one combination would come out as being especially elusive and therefore valuable. This especially elusive and valuable combination was found to be when a woman was known for being hard to get, but for one man she was easy to get. Only in this combination would her value and her desirability become greater than all other combinations.
In a similar line of research Wright & Contrada (1986) sought to strengthen the findings of Walster et al. Thus, Wright and Contrada performed three experiments, in the first experiment they found that various degrees of selectivity were a contributing factor to creating a favorable impression of an individual. In the second experiment, Wright & Contrada extend the idea of dating selectivity to examine both men and women. They found that women were harsher raters of selectivity than men were. However the...