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The Science of Intimate Relationships

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.

Taschenbuch 08/2019
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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.


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


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


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


EAN / 13-stellige ISBN 978-1119430049
10-stellige ISBN 1119430046
Verlag John Wiley and Sons Ltd
Sprache Englisch
Anmerkungen zur Auflage 2nd Edition
Editionsform Taschenbuch
Einbandart Taschenbuch
Erscheinungsdatum 16. August 2019
Seitenzahl 368
Format (L×B×H) 17,8cm × 25,4cm × 1,5cm
Gewicht 712g
Warengruppe des Lieferanten Geisteswissenschaften - Psychologie
Mehrwertsteuer 7% (im angegebenen Preis enthalten)
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