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The Psychology of Love

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The Psychology of Love

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  1. The Psychology of Love

  2. Love versus Liking • There are many different theories of love • Love is a basic human emotion, but understanding how and why it happens is not easy • For a long time scientists and psychologists said this was a concept that simply could not be explained

  3. Four Major Psychological Theories of Love

  4. Directions • Rate the following questions inserting the name of a love interest into the sentences. • 1 is not true • 9 is definitely true

  5. 1. Zick Rubin; Liking Versus Love • LOVE is made up of three elements: attachment, caring, and intimacy • Attachment is the need to receive care, approval, and physical contact with another person • Caring involves valuing the other person’s needs and happiness as much as your own • Intimacy involves the sharing of thoughts, desires, and feelings with another person.

  6. Rubin Love Survey • Based on his view of (romantic) love, Rubin developed two surveys which measured love versus liking • The results of the survey provided his support for his love theory (good friends scored high on the liking scale, significant other scored high of the love scale)

  7. What does this research tell us? • Love is not a concrete concept and is therefore difficult to measure • Rubin’s scales of liking and love offer a way to measure the complex feeling of love .

  8. 2. Compassionate vs. Passionate Love • Psychologist Elaine Hatfield and her research team state that there are two types of love; compassionate and passionate

  9. Compassionate Love • is characterized by mutual respect, attachment, affection and trust • Compassionate love usually develops out of feelings of mutual understanding and shared respect for one another.

  10. Passionate Love • is characterized by intense emotions, sexual attraction, anxiety and affection • It is transitory, usually lasting between 6 and 30 months • When these intense emotions are reciprocated, people feel elated and fulfilled.

  11. Passionate Love • arises when cultural expectations encourage falling in love, when the person meets your preconceived ideas of an ideal love, and when you experience heightened physiological arousal in the presence of the other person. • Ideally, passionate love then leads to compassionate love, which is far more enduring.

  12. Guiding Point of C/P Love Theory • While most people desire relationships that combine the security and stability of compassionate with the intensity of passionate love, Hatfield believes that this is rare.

  13. 3. The Color Wheel Model of Love • In his 1973 book The Colors of Love, John Lee compared styles of love to the color wheel. • Just as there are three primary colors, Lee suggested that there are three primary styles of love.

  14. Primary Styles of Love 1. Eros – Loving an ideal person 2. Ludos – Love as a game 3. Storge – Love as friendship

  15. Eros: Loving the Ideal Person • This is the stereotypical romantic love • Choose their lovers by intuition or "chemistry" • More likely to say they fell in love at first sight or because they are what they expected out of a significant other • Tend to address their significant other with pet names • Often perceived as a hopeless romantic • Advantage: sentimentality, very relaxing to the person doing it • Disadvantage: is the inevitability of the decay in attraction, and the danger of living in a fantasy world.

  16. Ludos: Love as a Game • More interested in quantity than quality of relationships • Want to have as much fun as possible • Choose their partners by playing the field, and quickly recover from break-ups • View marriage as a trap • Most likely of the love styles to commit infidelity • Often regard sex as a conquest or a sport, and they engage in relationships because they see them as a challenge. • In its most extreme form, ludic love can become sexual addiction.

  17. Storge: Love as a Friendship • Develops gradually out of friendship, and the friendship can endure beyond the breakup of the relationship. • Sometimes cannot pinpoint the moment that friendship turned to love • Storgic lovers want their significant others to also be their best friends • A disadvantage can be a lack of passion

  18. Comparison PRIMARY SECONDARY 1. Mania (Eros + Ludos) – Obsessive love 2. Pragma(Ludos + Storge) – Realistic and practical love 3. Agape (Eros + Storge) – Selfless love 1. Eros – Loving an ideal person 2. Ludos – Love as a game 3. Storge – Love as friendship

  19. Secondary Styles of Love 1. Mania (Eros + Ludos) – Obsessive love 2. Pragma(Ludos + Storge) – Realistic and practical love 3. Agape (Eros + Storge) – Selfless love

  20. Mania: Obsessive Love • Many have low self-esteem • Place much importance on their relationship • Feel they "need" their partners • See love is a means of rescue, or a reinforcement of value • Often view marriage as ownership • Sex is a reassurance of love • Manic lovers are often anxious or insecure, and can be extremely jealous

  21. Pragma: Realistic and Practical Love • Think rationally and realistically about their expectations in a partner, and select them via comparison shopping or shopping-list love • Want to find value in their partners, and ultimately want to work with their partner to reach a common goal • Carefully weigh the costs and rewards of a relationship • Pragmatic lovers view sex as a reward or a means of procreation, and view marriage and children as potential liabilities and assets

  22. Agape: Selfless Love • Self-sacrificing, all-encompassing love • Often spiritual or religious people • View their partners as blessings, and wish to take care of them • Will remain faithful to their partners to avoid causing them pain, and will often wait patiently for their partners after a break-up • Marriage and children are sacred trusts, and sex is a gift between two people • Risk suffering from inattention to their own needs

  23. Summary of Theory • The are advantages and disadvantages to each type of relationship • An individual can have several types of relationships throughout his or her lifetime • Those who grow from relationships tend to not repeat a relationship type that was unsuccessful • Those who do not learn from unsuccessful relationships tend to repeat them

  24. 4. Triangular Theory of Love • Psychologist Robert Sternberg proposed a triangular theory of love that suggests that there are three components of love. • Triangular Theory Survey

  25. Survey results • Set 1: Intimacy 1-45 (low) 46-90 ( average) 91-135 (high) • Set 2: Passion 1-39 (low) 40-78 (average) 79-117 (high) • Set 3: Commitment 1-45 (low) 46-90 ( average) 91-135 (high)

  26. Theory Definitions • Intimacy feelings of closeness, connectedness, and bondedness in loving relationships • Passion: lead to romance, physical attraction, sexual consummation, and related phenomena • Commitment the decision that one loves someone else and the commitment to maintain that love

  27. Theory • Different combinations of these three components result in different types of love • A relationship based on a single element is less likely to survive than one based on two or more.

  28. Theory • Different stages and types of love can be explained as different combinations of these three elements. • For example, the relative emphasis of each component changes over time as an adult romantic relationship develops.

  29. These components may be combined to characterise eight kinds of love.

  30. Liking (Intimacy) • Liking in this case is not used in a trivial sense. Sternberg says that this intimate liking characterizes true friendships, in which a person feels a bondedness, a warmth, and a closeness with another but not intense passion or long-term commitment.

  31. Infatuation (Passion) • Infatuated love is often what is felt as "love at first sight." • But without the intimacy and the commitment components of love, infatuated love may disappear suddenly.

  32. Empty Love (Commitment) • Sometimes, a stronger love deteriorates into empty love, in which the commitment remains, but the intimacy and passion have died. • In cultures in which arranged marriages are common, relationships often begin as empty love.

  33. Romantic Love (Passion + Intimacy) • Romantic lovers are bonded emotionally (as in liking) and physically through passionate arousal

  34. Companionate Love (Intimacy + Commitment) • Often found in marriages in which the passion has gone out of the relationship, but a deep affection and commitment remain. • Is generally a personal relation you build with somebody you share your life with, but with little to no sexual or physical desire. • It is stronger than friendship because of the extra element of commitment. • Love for family and close friends

  35. Fatuous Love (Passion + Commitment) • Fatuous love can be exemplified by a whirlwind courtship and marriage in which a commitment is motivated largely by passion, without the stabilizing influence of intimacy.

  36. Consummate Love (Passion +Intimacy+ Commitment) • Consummate love is the complete form of love, representing the ideal relationship toward which many people strive but which apparently few achieve. • Sternberg cautions that maintaining a consummate love may be even harder than achieving it. • He stresses the importance of translating the components of love into action. "Without expression," he warns, "even the greatest of loves can die“ • Consummate love may not be permanent. • For example, if passion is lost over time, it may change into companionate love.

  37. Theory Suggestions • The balance among Sternberg’s three aspects of love is likely to shift through the course of a relationship. • A strong dose of all three components-found in consummate love-typifies, for many of us, an ideal relationship. • However time alone does not cause intimacy, passion, and commitment to occur and grow. • Knowing about these components of love may help couples avoid pitfalls in their relationship, work on the areas that need improvement or help them recognize when it might be time for a relationship to come to an end.

  38. Theories of Love Personal Ads

  39. Dating Today • The 20 million Internet users visit dating sites once in a month. • In the US, 31% of the population either uses online dating service or at least knows the people who are using it. • In the year 2008, 120,000 marriages that took place were attributed to online dating services. • The number of people who try to find their love online is increasing day-by-day.

  40. Your assignment