Prosocial Behavior

Critical Thinking Questions

Describe what influences whether relationships will be formed.


Proximity is a major situational factor in relationship formation; people who have frequent contact are more likely to form relationships. Whether or not individuals will form a relationship is based on non-situational factors such as similarity, reciprocity, self-disclosure, and physical attractiveness. In relationships, people seek reciprocity (i.e., a give and take in costs and benefits), self-disclosure of intimate information, and physically attractive partners.

The evolutionary theory argues that humans are motivated to perpetuate their genes and reproduce. Using an evolutionary perspective, describe traits in men and women that humans find attractive.


Traits that promote reproduction in females warmth, affection, and social skills; women with these traits are presumably better able to care for children. Traits that are desired in males include achievement, leadership qualities, and job skills; men with these traits are thought to be better able to financially provide for their families.