What is Love?


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What is Love?

  1. 1. What is Love?
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>“ Work and love, that’s all there is” – Freud </li></ul><ul><li>Finding love is a key developmental event in early adulthood </li></ul><ul><li>Psychologists and the public use the word “love,” so it must have some meaning </li></ul><ul><li>Today’s lecture is intended to challenge your preconceptions and help you to establish a working definition of love </li></ul>
  3. 3. Monogamy <ul><li>Only 5% of species, those where both parents needed for child’s survival </li></ul><ul><li>Pair-bonding: having an emotional attachment to another </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Oxytocin, vasopressin, dopamine release during sex; feels addicting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Good feelings associated with partner (classical conditioning) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tells you “Gee sex with this person feels great” rather than just “Geez sex feels great” </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Montane vole Prairie vole </li></ul><ul><li>Pair-bond vs. No pair-bond </li></ul>
  5. 5. Sternberg’s Triangular Theory <ul><li>Love is multifaceted, with up to 3 central components </li></ul><ul><li>Passion: intense longing for another person </li></ul><ul><li>Intimacy: feeling connected, enjoying one’s company and support </li></ul><ul><li>Commitment: obligations and responsibilities to one another </li></ul>
  6. 7. Peck’s Criticisms of “Love” <ul><li>Falling in love (passion) ≠ love </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Excitement related to new, attractive person </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ We fall in love when we are consciously or unconsciously sexually motivated” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The honeymoon always ends </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Dependency ≠ love </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ I need him” or “I’d die without her” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ What you describe is parasitism, not love” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Love is based on choice, not necessity </li></ul></ul>
  7. 8. <ul><li>Love ≠ a feeling </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Love is an action, characterized by treating someone well </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Having strong feelings that someone is important or needed doesn’t mean you love them </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Myth of Romantic love </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Story that two people are “meant to be,” that it is predetermined “in the stars” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If it doesn’t end up working out, people say it wasn’t “true love” after all (hindsight bias) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Realistically, there are many suitable partners </li></ul></ul>
  8. 9. <ul><li>Love is… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An action, not a feeling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attention </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A risk of rejection </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Independence, not dependence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Commitment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-disciplined </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>… hard work </li></ul></ul>
  9. 10. Happy Couples <ul><li>Partner’s know each other’s hopes, quirks, likes, dislikes </li></ul><ul><li>Secret Weapon: ritualized “repair attempts” to prevent increased negativity </li></ul><ul><li>Shared, deep sense of meaning </li></ul><ul><li>5 : 1 ratio </li></ul>
  10. 11. Unhappy Couples <ul><li>Arguments characterized by… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Harsh setup: negative and accusatory </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>4 types of negative interactions: criticism, contempt, defensiveness, stonewalling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flooding  Stonewalling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Failed repair attempts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bad memories </li></ul></ul>
  11. 13. Love Quotes <ul><li>“ I define love thus: The will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth” - M. Scott Peck </li></ul><ul><li>“ Love is the subtlest force in the world” - Mahatma Gandhi </li></ul><ul><li>“ By accident of fortune a man may rule the world for a time, but by virtue of love he may rule the world forever” </li></ul><ul><li>- Lao-tzu </li></ul><ul><li>“ Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend” </li></ul><ul><li>- Martin Luther King Jr. </li></ul>
  12. 14. <ul><li>“ It’s a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous, that you realize just how much you love them” </li></ul><ul><li>- Agatha Christie </li></ul><ul><li>“ One of the oldest human needs is having someone to wonder where you are when you don’t come home at night” </li></ul><ul><li>- Margaret Mead </li></ul><ul><li>“ Love is a condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own” </li></ul><ul><li>- Robert Heinlein </li></ul><ul><li>“ Whoso loves… Believes the impossible” </li></ul><ul><li>- Elizabeth Barrett Browning </li></ul>
  13. 15. <ul><li>“ Love doesn’t have to feel dizzying” </li></ul><ul><li>- Michael Levine </li></ul><ul><li>“ Love is something like the clouds that were in the sky before the sun came out. You cannot touch the clouds, you know; but you feel the rain and know how glad the flowers and the thirsty earth are to have it after a hot day. You cannot touch love either; but you feel the sweetness that it pours into everything” </li></ul><ul><li>- Annie Sullivan </li></ul><ul><li>“ Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh” </li></ul><ul><li>- W. H. Auden </li></ul>
  14. 16. <ul><li>“ Sympathy constitutes friendship; but in love there is a sort of antipathy, or opposing passion. Each strives to be the other, and both together make up one whole” </li></ul><ul><li>- Samuel Taylor Coleridge </li></ul><ul><li>“ True love comes quietly, without banners or flashing lights. If you hear bells, get your ears checked. </li></ul><ul><li>- Erich Segal </li></ul><ul><li>“ Love talked about can be easily turned aside, but love demonstrated is irresistible” </li></ul><ul><li>- W. Stanley Mooneyham </li></ul>
  15. 17. Thank you