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Propinquity Effect

 

Explanations > Theories > Propinquity Effect

Description | Research | Example | So What? | See also | References 

 

Description

The more we meet and interact with people, the more likely we are to become friends with them.

As we meet people we become familiar and find things we like about them.

It is not so much 'birds of a feather flock together' as 'birds who just happen to be near each other grow similar feathers'.

Research

Festinger, Schachter and Back (1950) followed friendships in a small two-floor apartment building. Neighbors were mostly likely to be friends. Least likely were people on separate floors. Those near ground-floor staircases and mailboxes had friends on both floors.

Example

Friendships appear in neighborhoods, workplaces, college classes and other places where people get together.

So what?

Using it

To build trust, make friends. To make friends, ensure you meet up with the target people often. To ensure you meet up, arrange your life so you repeatedly ‘bump into’ them.

Resisting

When you keep bumping into a friendly person, be aware of the potential for them to have ulterior motives.

See also

Contact Hypothesis, Mere Exposure Theory, Friendship, Law of Attraction

References

Festinger (1954), Schachter and Back (1950), Zajonc (1968)

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