The New Science of Intimate Relationships / Edition 1

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This elegantly written and provocative book provides an antidote to the avalanche of pop-psychology books on intimate relationships. Integrating the latest scientific work from social psychology and evolutionary psychology, with contributions from clinical psychology and anthropology, the text analyzes questions such as: how do people know they are in good relationships? does good communication produce successful relationships? where does love come from? do men have stronger sex drives than women? why do people sometimes batter or kill their partners? The answers provided are never less than fascinating and are often surprising. Garth Fletcher, one of the world's leading relationship scientists, dissects the arguments surging around evolutionary and social psychological theories. He also describes the reality of the intimate lives and minds of both men and women, exploding the stereotypes and myths of pop psychology as he goes. Fletcher has written a book that is rigorous and true to the science, but also accessible and engaging.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"With impeccable scholarship, sharp wit, and a beautiful writing style, Garth Fletcher showcases, explores, and debates some of the most important principles, ideas, and assumptions that define the new science of intimate relationships. Both experts and laypersons alike can glean important, new insights from each thought-provoking chapter. This wonderful book is required reading for anyone who wants to understand the multifaceted reasons for how and why sexual relationships are initiated, developed, maintained, and sometimes terminated across the lifespan." Jeffrey Simpson, Professor of Psychology at Texas A&M University, and co-editor of Attachment Theory and Close Relationships and Evolutionary Social Psychology

"This is an important, fascinating, and delightful book. Garth Fletcher offers the reader an up-to-date summary of the most interesting and important work on human sexual relationships, and he pulls these pieces together with a grand and profound understanding of how — and why — people carry on intimate relationships. The book is so beautifully written that one moves easily from chapter to chapter, learning something new on almost every page." Roy Baumeister, Professor of Psychology at Case Western Reserve University, and author of The Social Dimension of Sex and Evil and Inside Human Violence and Cruelty

"In this lively new book, Garth Fletcher has provided a much needed interdisciplinary integration of the diverse scientific fields that study intimate relationships. Researchers will find their work ably presented in a volume that is scholarly, fiercely intelligent, and even-handed. Students and lay readers will also enjoy the many insights and discoveries so engagingly presented in this fascinating book." Letitia Anne Peplau, Professor of Psychology at UCLA, and co-author of Social Psychology (10th. Edition) and co-editor of Gender, Culture, and Ethnicity: Current Research about Men and Women

“Garth Fletcher succeeds brilliantly at reaching just the right balance of rigorous scholarship and great storytelling… What I enjoyed most about this book was not only the fascinating tour of current research and theory, but also the sheer joy of science that underlies each chapter…a delightful and important book.” Associate Professor Nancy Collins, University of California at Santa Barbara, ISSPR Bulletin

A superb book…engagingly written, insightful, richly detailed, and admirably comprehensive. It is a joy to read. Choice

"The New Science of Intimate Relationships is a bold attempt to cover the landscape in a way that will appeal to lay readers, students, and researchers alike. Overall, Fletcher does a good job walking the fine line among these audiences... all readers will gain insights into their intimate relationship minds." Mark R. Leary, Wake Forest University, The Human Nature Review, Volume 3, 2003

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780631220770
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/28/2002
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 3.94 (w) x 9.84 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

Garth Fletcher is Professor of Psychology at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, and is a fellow of The Royal Society of New Zealand, The Society of Personality and Social Psychology and the American Psychological Society. He is the author of The Scientific Credibility of Folk Psychology (1995) and a co-editor of Cognition in Close Relationships (1991), Knowledge Structures in Close Relationships (1996) and the Blackwell Handbook of Social Psychology: Interpersonal Processes (2001).

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Table of Contents

1 The New Science of Intimate Relationships 1
Pt. I Three Theoretical Planks 21
2 The Intimate Relationship Mind: Theories about Theories about Theories 23
3 The Origins of the Intimate Relationship Mind 50
4 Love and Other Emotions in Intimate Relationships 76
Pt. II The Development of Intimate Relationships 103
5 Reading Minds and Personalities in Intimate Relationships 105
6 Communication and Relationship Success 125
7 Attachment and Intimacy 149
8 Selecting Mates and Relationships 169
Pt. III Sex and Violence 195
9 Sex and Passion 197
10 The Strange Case of Aggression in Intimate Relationships 230
Pt. IV Conclusion 255
11 Assembling the Intimate Relationship Mind 257
Notes 272
References 291
Index 316
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