"The sense of the word "propinquity" as given here is a specialised one. For a more general definition of the word, see in the Wiktionary."

In social psychology, propinquity (from Latin "propinquitas", nearness) is one of the main factors leading to interpersonal attraction. It refers to the physical or psychological proximity between people. Two people living on the same floor of a building, for example, have a higher propinquity than those living on different floors. Propinquity can mean physical proximity, a kinship between people, or a similarity in nature between things. "Propinquity" is also one of the factors, set out by Jeremy Bentham, used to measure the amount of (utilitarian) pleasure in a method known as felicific calculus.

Propinquity effect

The propinquity effect is the tendency for people to form friendships or romantic relationships with those whom they encounter often. In other words, relationships tend to be formed between those who have a high propinquity. It was first theorized by psychologists Leon Festinger, Stanley Schachter, Kurt Lewin and Kurt Back in what came to be called the "Westgate studies" conducted at MIT (1950). The typical Euler diagram used to represent the propinquity effect is shown below where U = universe, A = set A, B = set B, and S = similarity:

The sets are basically any relevant subject matter about a person, persons, or non-persons, depending on the context. Propinquity can be more than just physical distance. Residents of an apartment building living near a stairway, for example, tend to have more friends from other floors than others. The propinquity effect is usually explained by the mere exposure effect, which holds that the more exposure a stimulus gets, the more likeable it becomes.

ee also

*Human bonding
*Westermark effect


* Festinger, L., Schachter, S., Back, K., (1950) "The Spatial Ecology of Group Formation", in L. Festinger, S. Schachter, & K. Back (eds.), Social Pressure in Informal Groups, 1950. Chapter 4.

External links

* [ Propinquity Effect]
* [ Human Mate Selection - An Exploration of Assortive Mating Preferences] - (has two pages of propinquity studies)

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  • propinquity — late 14c., from O.Fr. propinquite (mid 13c.), from L. propinquitatem (nom. propinquitas) nearness, vicinity, from propinquus near, neighboring, from prope near (enlarged from PIE root *pro before; see PRO (Cf. pro )) + suffix inquus. Nothin …   Etymology dictionary

  • Propinquity — Pro*pin qui*ty, n. [L. propinquitas, from propinquus near, neighboring, from prope near.] [1913 Webster] 1. Nearness in place; neighborhood; proximity. [1913 Webster] 2. Nearness in time. Sir T. Browne. [1913 Webster] 3. Nearness of blood;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • propinquity — I (kinship) noun affiliation, affinity, agnation, alliance, association, bond, close association, cognation, common ancestry, connection, consanguinity, family connection, filiation, kindred, link, nearness of blood, nearness of relation,… …   Law dictionary

  • propinquity — *proximity Analogous words: closeness, nearness (see corresponding adjectives at CLOSE): relatedness or relationship, kindredness or kindred (see corresponding adjectives at RELATED) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • propinquity — ► NOUN 1) nearness in time or space. 2) technical close kinship. ORIGIN Latin propinquitas, from propinquus near …   English terms dictionary

  • propinquity — [prō piŋ′kwə tē, prōpin′kwə tē] n. [ME propinquite < MFr < L propinquitas < propinquus, near < prope, near] 1. nearness in time or place 2. nearness of relationship; kinship …   English World dictionary

  • propinquity — noun /prəˈpɪŋkwɪti/ a) Nearness or proximity. Some experimental spirits could not resist the diversion of throwing Varick and his former wife together, and there were those who thought he found a zest in the propinquity. b) Affiliation or… …   Wiktionary

  • propinquity — n. (formal) propinquity to * * * [prə pɪŋkwɪtɪ] (formal) propinquity to …   Combinatory dictionary

  • propinquity effect — propinquity effect. См. эффект близости. (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

  • propinquity — noun Etymology: Middle English propinquite, from Latin propinquitat , propinquitas kinship, proximity, from propinquus near, akin, from prope near more at approach Date: 14th century 1. nearness of blood ; kinship 2. nearness in place or time ;… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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