Provides a unique interdisciplinary approach to the science of intimate human relationships This newly updated edition of a popular text is the first to present a full-blooded interdisciplinary and theoretically coherent approach to the latest scientific findings relating to human sexual relationships. Written by recognized leaders in the field in a style that is rigorous yet accessible, it looks beyond the core knowledge in social and evolutionary psychology to incorporate material and perspectives from cognitive science (including brain-imaging studies), developmental psychology, anthropology, comparative psychology, clinical psychology, genetic research, sociology, and biology.
Written by an international team of acclaimed experts in the field, The Science of Intimate Relationships offers a wealth of thought-provoking ideas and insights into the science behind the initiation, maintenance, and termination of romantic relationships. The 2nd Edition features two new chapters on health and relationships, and friends and family, both of which shed new light on the complex links among human nature, culture, and romantic love. It covers key topics such as mate selection, attachment theory, love, communication, sex, relationship dissolution, violence, mind-reading, and the relationship brain.
Provides a coherent and theoretically integrative approach to the subject of intimate relationships Offers an interdisciplinary perspective that looks beyond social and evolutionary psychology to many other scientific fields of study Includes two new chapters on 'Relationships and Health' and 'Friends and Family', added in response to feedback from professors who have used the textbook with their classes Presented by recognized leaders in the field of relationships Features PowerPoint slides and an online Teaching Handbook The Science of Intimate Relationships, 2nd Edition is designed for upper-level undergraduate students of human sexuality, psychology, anthropology, and other related fields.
Garth J. O. Fletcher
, Jeffry A. Simpson
, Lorne Campbell
, Nickola C. Overall
Country of Publication:
16 August 2019
Further / Higher Education
About the Authors xi Preface xiii 1 Introduction: The Science of Intimate Relationships 1 The Science of Intimate Relationships: A Brief History and Analysis 2 Domains of Study 2 An Example 4 Interdisciplinary Links 4 The Relation Between Mind and Body 5 Common Sense and Pop Psychology 5 Research Methods 7 Contents of the Book 8 Summary and Conclusions 9 2 Intimate Relationships in Context: Key Theories, Concepts, and Human Nature 11 Social Psychology 12 A Brief History 12 Interdependence Theory 13 Evolutionary Psychology 15 Darwin 15 Darwinian Evolutionary Theory 16 Selection for Survival 16 Sexual Selection 17 Parental Investment Theory 18 Key Features of Evolutionary Psychology 19 Human Nature and Genes 20 What is Human Nature? 21 Life History Theory 22 Goals of Life History Theory 22 Life History Mysteries and the Critical Role of Tradeoffs 22 The Strange Nature of Human Development 24 Of Human Bondage 24 Humans are Cultural Animals 26 Summary and Conclusions 28 3 The Intimate Relationship Mind 31 Relationship Goals 32 Lay Relationship Theories 33 General Lay Theories 34 A Case Study: Attribution Theory 34 Self?Esteem 36 General Relationship Lay Theories 37 Local Relationship Theories 38 Self Theories 39 Relationship Evaluations 39 The Functions of Lay Relationship Theories: Back to the Goals 40 On?Line Cognitive Processing: Unconscious and Automatic Versus Conscious and Controlled 42 When Do People Think Consciously About Relationships? 43 Evidence for This Distinction 44 Role of Stored Relationship Theories 44 Self?Regulation 45 Interlude and a Caveat 46 Emotions in Relationships 47 Functions of Emotions 47 Lay Emotion Theories and Scripts 47 Basic Emotions 48 Do Emotions Get in the Way of Rational Thought? 50 The Distal Origins of the Intimate Relationship Mind: Evolution and Culture 51 Summary and Conclusions 53 4 The Intimate Relationship Body 55 Why Sexual Reproduction? 56 Human Genitalia and Their Origins 57 The Human Body and Behavior are Windows into Our Mating Past 59 Orgasms, Nipples, Adaptations, and By?Products 61 Hormones, Sex, and Relationships 62 Sex Hormones 63 Cuddle Hormones 66 Fight or Flight Hormones 67 The Relationship Brain 67 Social Cognition and the Brain 69 The Prefrontal Cortex 69 Emotions and Cognitions Work Together 69 Controlled Versus Automatic Processing 71 Bonding and Love 71 The Cuddle Hormones as Neurotransmitters 71 The Dopamine System 73 Summary 73 Summary and Conclusions 74 5 Intimate Relationships and Health 77 The Impact of Divorce on Children 78 The Path from an Unstable Family Life in Childhood to Health Problems in Adulthood 78 Are Long?Term Relationships Good for You? 80 A Crucial Caveat: It Depends on Relationship Quality 81 Protective Relationship Factors and Health Outcomes 85 Divorce, Partner Loss, and Health Outcomes 86 Summary and Conclusions 89 6 Born to Bond: From Infancy to Adulthood 91 Attachment Theory 92 Brief Historical Overview 92 Normative Features of Attachment 94 Mother-Infant Synchrony 94 Keeping Close 95 Four Phases of Development 95 Individual Differences in Attachment 96 Attachment in Adolescence and Adulthood 98 Normative Processes and Outcomes in Adulthood 102 Individual Differences and Outcomes in Adulthood 103 Life History Models of Social Development 105 The Development of Individual Differences in Attachment and Mating Strategies 106 Variations on a Theme 108 Controversies 110 Summary and Conclusions 111 7 Selecting Mates 113 Searching for a Mate: What Do People Want? 114 The Nature of Mating Standards 116 Personality Traits, Status, and Resources 116 Physical Attractiveness 117 Summary 119 The Origins of Mate Standards 119 Good Investment 119 Good Genes 120 Within?Gender Differences in Mating Strategies 121 Sociosexuality and Mating Strategies 121 The Menstrual Cycle and Mate Preferences 122 Gender Differences, Mating Strategies, and Short?Term Versus Long?Term Liaisons 124 Physical Attractiveness, Age, Status, Resources, and Personality Traits 124 Sexual Variety 126 Explaining Gender Differences in Mate Selection Strategies 128 Parental Investment Theory 128 Sexual Strategies Theory 129 Social Structural Model 129 Resolution 129 Mate Preferences, Self?Presentation, and the Self?Concept 130 How the Mating Game (and the Media) Shape the Self?Concept 131 Explaining Within?Gender Differences in Mating Strategies and Preferences 132 Do Mate Preferences Predict Actual Mate Choices? 134 The New Social Media World of Dating and Mate Selection 136 Summary and Conclusions 137 8 Family and Friends 139 Alloparenting: The Central Role of the Family 140 Grandparents 141 Mothers and Fathers 142 Romantic and Platonic Love 143 The Incest Taboo 144 Friends and Romance 147 Meet the Parents 149 Summary and Conclusions 152 9 Love, Sweet Love 155 Love as a Commitment Device: Pair Bonding in Humans 156 Romantic Love Is Universal 156 Romantic Love Has Distinctive Emotional and Biological Signatures 157 Romantic Love Suppresses the Search for Mates 158 Monogamy, Polygyny, Polyandry, and Polyamory 161 Infidelity and Divorce: Is Love Meant to Last? 163 Summary 164 The Nature of Love 164 Passionate Love 165 Self?Expansion 165 Physical Arousal and Stress 166 The Slow Slide in Passion 166 Companionate Love 167 Links Between Passionate and Companionate Love 167 Sternberg's Triangular Model of Love 169 Nonlove 169 Liking 169 Infatuation 170 Empty Love 170 Romantic Love 170 Companionate Love 170 Fatuous Love 170 Consummate Love 171 The Maintenance of Love and Intimacy 172 Summary and Conclusions 174 10 Reading Minds, Partners, and Relationships 177 Looking Through the Eyes of Love: Reality Versus Illusion in Intimate Relationships 178 Can Bias Be Rational? 179 Research Case Study 179 Projection 180 Can Judgments Be Biased and Accurate at the Same Time? 180 Two Kinds of Accuracy 180 Research Case Study 182 Are People Aware of Bias and Accuracy in Their Relationship Judgments? 182 A puzzle and an Explanation 182 Causes and Consequences of Accuracy and Bias in Partner and Relationship Judgments 184 Links Between Accuracy and Relationship Quality 184 Relationship Stage 185 First Meetings 185 Ongoing Relationships 188 Individual Differences and Context 189 Self?esteem and Stress 189 Security and Stress 190 Summary 191 Back to Reading Minds 191 Methods 191 Research Findings 192 Individual Differences in Mind?Reading 193 Summary and Conclusions 196 11 Communication and Interaction 197 Couple Communication During Conflict 199 What Do Communication Behaviors Predict? 199 Toxic Patterns: Negative Reciprocity and Demand?Withdrawal 201 Moving beyond Conflict 202 Communication Behavior and Cognition 202 Responding to Relationship Threats: Accommodation and Risk Regulation 203 Regulating Risk 204 Regulating Partners 206 Summary 207 Good Negative Behaviors and Bad Negative Behaviors 207 When Honest Communication Is Healthy and Good Management Fails 208 Stress Is ... Well, Stressful 208 Why Adopting One Default Strategy Is Not a Good Idea 209 Providing and Communicating Support 211 Relationship Satisfaction and Support 212 What Recipients of Support Do, Think, and Feel Counts 213 Can Partners Be Too Supportive? 214 Summary 216 Summary and Conclusions 216 12 Sex and Passion 219 The Biology of Sex 220 Sexual Orientation 221 The Origins of Sexual Orientation 221 Hormones, Brain Development, and Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia 222 Genes and Homosexuality in Men 223 Sexual Plasticity in Women 224 Sexual Desire and Relationships 225 Gender Differences in Sex and Sexuality 227 Gender Differences in Sex Drive 227 Gender Differences in Desire for Multiple Sex Partners 229 Gender Differences in Negotiating Sex in Relationships 230 Sexual Jealousy 230 Sex and Relationship Satisfaction 232 Does Better Sex Lead to Better Relationships? 232 Do Better Relationships Lead to Better Sex? 233 Communication May Be Critical 233 Individual Differences in Sociosexuality 234 Summary and Conclusions 237 13 Relationship Violence 239 Gender Differences in Intimate Violence 240 Research Using the Conflict Tactics Scale 240 The Research Bombshell 241 Is the Conflict Tactics Scale Reliable and Valid? 242 What do the Results from the Conflict Tactics Scale Really Mean? 245 Resolving the Paradox 245 All Men are Not Created Equal 246 Severity and Consequences of Physical Violence 247 Summary 248 Till Death Us Do Part 248 Explaining Relationship Violence 249 An Evolutionary Approach 249 A Feminist Perspective 252 A Social Psychological Approach 253 Explaining Variability in Intimate Violence Within and Between Cultures 255 Can Relationship Violence be Prevented, and, if so, How? 257 Summary and Conclusions 258 14 Relationship Dissolution 261 Predicting Relationship Dissolution: What Drives Couples Apart? 263 Socio?Demographic Variables, Relationship History, and Individual Differences 263 Are the Fates of Relationships Sealed Before they Begin? 265 Relationship?Level Factors 266 Love and Investment 268 Satisfaction Level 269 Quality of Alternatives 269 Investment Size 269 The Power and Limitations of Relationship Maintenance Strategies 270 Consequences of Relationship Dissolution 273 Moving On and Letting Go 273 Relationship Therapy 275 Traditional Behavioral Couples Therapy 276 Cognitive Behavioral Couples Therapy 276 Integrative Behavioral Couples Therapy 277 Emotion Focused Couple Therapy 277 Does Relationship Therapy Work? 278 Summary and Conclusions 279 15 Assembling the Relationship Elephant 281 The Power of Culture and Evolution 282 How Pair?Bonding and Romantic Love Played Pivotal Roles in the Evolution of Modern Humans 283 Gender Differences 286 Within?Gender Differences 288 Science and Intimate Relationships 290 Conclusion 290 Glossary 291 References 303 Index 353
GARTH FLETCHER, PHD, is Professor of Psychology at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. JEFFRY A. SIMPSON, PHD, is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Doctoral Minor in Interpersonal Relationships at the University of Minnesota, USA. LORNE CAMPBELL, PHD, is Professor of Psychology at the University of Western Ontario, Canada. NICKOLA C. OVERALL, PHD, is Professor of Psychology at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.