Attractiveness and cost as mediating variables in the performer-judge relation: An extension of the reward-cost model



An attempt was made to extend social exchange theory to a situation in which the outcomes available for exchanges were of qualitatively different sorts. Male Ss judged the creativity of sentences constructed by female accomplices under conditions of high versus low ‘attractiveness’ (presence or absence of smiling and eye contact) of the accomplice and high versus low cost of judgemental accuracy to the S. An interaction between Attractiveness × Cost was predicted and found in experiment 1. Experiment 2 replicated that finding and added two control conditions. The results indicated that for the high attractiveness manipulation the positive reciprocity tendency which occurred under low cost was not found under higher cost. In addition, both studies showed a non-significant negative reciprocity tendency under high attractiveness and high cost. Jones' theory of ingratiation was examined for its relevancy, but it does not appear to be more appropriate in this situation than the reward-cost model.