Psychology of Love 101


"Reflecting the breath of love's myriad effects and possible causes, as well as the relatively recent volume of systematic scientific inquiry into these, the love literature is sprawling and unruly. Sternberg, however, has done an excellent job of selecting representative approaches and findings and presenting them to students in an organized, scholarly, and engaging way."

Ellen Berscheid, PhD

Regents' ...

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Psychology of Love 101

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"Reflecting the breath of love's myriad effects and possible causes, as well as the relatively recent volume of systematic scientific inquiry into these, the love literature is sprawling and unruly. Sternberg, however, has done an excellent job of selecting representative approaches and findings and presenting them to students in an organized, scholarly, and engaging way."

Ellen Berscheid, PhD

Regents' Professor of Psychology Emeritus

University of Minnesota

While many people view love as a nebulous concept that is difficult to study scientifically, there exists a substantial psychological discipline that studies intimate relations. This incisive text provides a comprehensive tour of both classic and contemporary theories and research on the how and why of human love. In addition to presenting the major biological, social, and cultural theories that have been developed on this topic, the book looks at what research has shown us about such essential issues as basic attraction, the life course of relationships, how personality and environment affect love, and how therapeutic interventions can sometimes improve relationships. Both scholarly and practical, the book is unique in also helping readers to understand their own relationships.

Concise and accessible, the text illustrates how a love relationship can be measured and explores the questions posed by psychologists in their quest for understanding: Is love simply a function of human biology? What part do our individual personalities play in attracting and maintaining love relationships? Can people stay in love? How does being in a close relationship affect our mental and physical health? The book not only covers the most relevant research that the discipline of psychology has developed on intimate relationships, but also aims to help readers put this research into a practical context to help them understand their own love relationships. The book concludes with a review of various therapeutic approaches to improving love relationships. Case studies and questionnaires illustrate key points.

Key Features:

  • Offers a brief, accessible, and up-to-date survey of theory and research on the psychology of love
  • Discusses how love relationships can be measured
  • Includes short quizzes that readers can take and self-score to help them understand their own ways of engaging with love
  • Provides concrete and practical suggestions, based on scholarly research, on how readers can improve their own relationships.
  • Written for undergraduate students
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826109354
  • Publisher: Springer Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/28/2013
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 748,360
  • Product dimensions: 5.07 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Meet the Author

Karin Sternberg, PhD is a Research Associate at the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative, a joint program of School of Public Health and J. F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She is also Principal of Sternberg Consulting, which focuses on practical applications of theories of intelligence, wisdom, creativity, and leadership, and has consulted for various industries, businesses, and not-for-profit organizations. Sternberg is coeditor of The New Psychology of Love (2006) and coauthor of The Psychology of Hate (2008). She was also senior author of "The Nature of Love," which appeared in 21st Century Psychology: A Reference Handbook, (2008) and of "Love," which will appear in The Encyclopedia of the Mind. In addition, Sternberg is coauthor of The Psychologist's Companion, 5th ed., Cognitive Psychology, 6th ed., Explorations of the Duplex Theory of Hate (2006), and Psychology as a Profession: Demands, Chances, Perspectives (2006).

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction: The Nature of Love

1.1 Why is love important?

1.2 Approaches to studying love

1.2.1 Philosophical approaches

1.2.2 Literary approaches

1.2.3 Early psychological approaches Reinforcement theories Cognitive-consistency theories Clinical approaches

1.3 When is it love?

1.4 Why is love important anyway?

2 Love from a Biological Perspective

2.1 Evolution of sexual preferences

2.2 Excursion: Sexual orientation

2.3 Love as decision-making biases

2.4 Love from an attachment perspective

2.5 Love and our brain

3 Are There Different Kinds of Love? Taxonomic Approaches

3.1 Lee and the Hendricks' theory of styles of romantic love

3.2 Sternberg's duplex theory of love

3.3 Clark: Communal Responsiveness as love

3.4 Excursion: Friendship

3.5 Berscheid's four kinds of love

4 Cultural Theories of Love

4.1 Is romantic love universal?

4.2 Why do we fall in love with someone?

4.3 What does it mean to be in love with someone?

4.4 Individualism, collectivism, and love

4.5 The impact of culture on our experience of love

4.6 The impact of number of children on marital satisfaction across cultures

5 A Primer on Methods: Constructing a Love Scale

5.1 Steps in constructing and assessing a love scale

5.2 Conclusion

6 Interpersonal Attraction

6.1 Proximity - Liking the ones who are close by

6.2 Familiarity - Liking the ones we know

6.3 Similarity - Liking the ones who are like us

6.4 Reciprocity - Liking the ones who like us back

6.5 Personality - Liking them for who they are

6.6 Physical appearance - Liking someone's looks

7 Stages of Relationships: How Relationships are Formed, Maintained, and Ended

7.1 Different kinds of love and their development

7.2 Excursion: A new way to find a mate: Speed-dating

7.3 Living together

7.4 Relationship maintenance

7.5 Breaking up with premarital partners

7.6 Breaking up in marriage - divorce

8 Online Dating

8.1 How does online dating work?

8.2 How is online dating different from conventional dating?

8.3 Is online dating better than conventional dating?

8.4 Saying "no" online

8.5 Does the internet really level the field?

8.6 The dangers of online dating

9 Love and Personality

9.1 Similarity vs. complementarity

9.2 Big Five personality traits

10 Relationship Challenges: Questions and Answers

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