There have been several love stories that have been written over the years with some making it to cinemas. The main aim of these classical love stories is to showcase how the two main characters developed and the struggles they faced for their love. Although love story is usually between two people, several other individuals are surrounding the main character that contributes to the love story. Love can be understood as an interpersonal attraction where an individual has a positive feeling about another person. Currently, love flourishes between individuals of the same gender unlike in the past when it was limited to individuals from opposite genders (Swami, 2008). The majority of the existing classical love story entail in them concepts from psychology regarding attraction hence they can be used as materials for psychological studies. As a result, various psychology concepts have been used in showing attraction between characters in love stories.
Effect associated with emotions is a basic response system of an individuals emotional state. It can either be negative or positive depending on the situation in context. The love story between Jack Dawson and Rose DeWitt in Titanic contained two dimensions of emotions. First, there was a direct effect of emotions on their attractions. This direct effect of attraction often happens when an individual does something that makes the other person acquire some sense of direction positively or negatively (Zebrowitz, & Montepare, 2008). In the case of the Titanic Film, Jack found Rose on the edge of the ship with the will to commit suicide so that she could avoid her getting married. Jack was able to calm her down and convinced her not to commit suicide. By so doing Jack had done something unique that made Rose develop some feelings towards Jack.
Proximity between two individuals increases their chance to develop a stronger positive effect and develop a mutual attraction to each other. In situations where the individuals are far apart physically there is a hard opportunity for them to come into repeated contact and exposure to each other. As a result, these individuals may be unable to develop mutual attraction when compared to those within a closer physical distance (Zebrowitz, & Montepare, 2008). Jack and Rose were in the vicinity since they were sailing on the same ship and the physical distance between them had been reduced. The most imperative factor in proximity is repeated exposure which tends to reduce negative effects through increasing familiarity while at the same time reducing uncertainty. This will increases the propensity to like the other person (Swami, 2008). Jack and Rose sailed in the same ship although were in different class quarters. During the escapade, Jack would occasionally sneak into the first class section of the ship where he would meet Rose thereby stimulating a positive effect due to repeated exposure.
When picking a partner in class or life partner, people usually pick individuals who are similar to them in characteristics. For an individual to have the feeling of liking towards another, there have to be several similarities between them such as age, race, religion, personality, attitude, social class, and intelligence. These existing similarities between individuals tend to result in attraction between them because of ease accessibility. An individual can relate easily with another if they have similar characteristics and values. With continued and repeated exposure, these partners tend to develop the same mental state and attitudes (Naumann et al., 2009). In the case of the love story, the two were from different social class. They had similar values and were against the social class segregation in the ship. The similarity in their values and love for the art resulted in the development of attraction between them.
The initial encounter between individuals often determines and influences the ultimate attraction between them. The physical beauty of an individual is the first thing that a partner spots in the other even before knowing their behavior and character. Love and romantic attraction is mostly determined by the physical beauty of the other person. However, physical beauty is usually related to men as men are more likely to value physical beauty than women. For this reason, the early stages of any romantic relation are determined by the physical beauty that attracts both partners in the love (Zebrowitz, & Montepare, 2008). In the case of Jack and Rose, the initial aspect that Jack noticed was her beauty which made him persuade her not to commit suicide. Soon Rose realizes that Jack is a handsome young man and were both attracted to each other developing into friendship. For this reason, the physical beauty plays a key role in determining the level of attraction between individuals, especially in a romantic liking situation.
Familiarity determines attraction between individuals in a romantic situation. It is promoted through repeated exposure between the partners. Through continuous exposure to each other, individuals get to have a constant face to face contacts; hence they become friendlier to each other through the elicited positive stimuli hence a positive interpersonal relationship. Additionally, familiarity enables the individuals to get to know each other characters hence they may find out some similarities that they have hence made them be attracted to each other (Naumann et al., 2009). Jack Dawson and Rose DeWitt were attracted to each other more after several face to face contacts between them. The first face to face contact between them was positive which later established familiarity hence were more attracted leading to love between them.
In conclusion, love stories tend to focus on the attraction between the characters. However, there are several psychological concepts of attractions that are involved in the general attraction leading to love between the two main characters of these stories. Therefore, it can be argued that classical love stories use psychological facts as the base on which they develop the stories hence the stories can be used as material in teaching psychology classes.
Naumann, L. P., Vazire, S., Rentfrow, P. J., & Gosling, S. D. (2009). Personality Judgments Based on Physical Appearance. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35 (12), 1661-1671.
Swami, V. (2008). The Psychology of Physical Attraction. London: Routledge.
Zebrowitz, L. A., & Montepare, J. M. (2008). Social psychological face perception: Why appearance matters. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 2(3), 1497-1517.
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