Love

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Love

  1. 1. Michael Hoerger What is Love?
  2. 2. Introduction “Work and love, that’s all there is” – Freud Finding love is a key developmental event in early adulthood Psychologists and the public use the word “love,” so it must have some meaning Today’s lecture is intended to challenge your preconceptions and help you to establish a working definition of love
  3. 3. Monogamy Only 5% of species, those where both parents needed for child’s survival Pair-bonding: having an emotional attachment to another  Oxytocin, vasopressin, dopamine release during sex; feels addicting  Good feelings associated with partner (classical conditioning)  Tells you “Gee sex with this person feels great” rather than just “Geez sex feels great”
  4. 4. Montane vole Prairie volePair-bond vs. No pair-bond
  5. 5. Sternberg’s Triangular Theory Love is multifaceted, with up to 3 central components1. Passion: intense longing for another person2. Intimacy: feeling connected, enjoying one’s company and support3. Commitment: obligations and responsibilities to one another
  6. 6. Peck’s Criticisms of “Love” Falling in love (passion) ≠ love  Excitement related to new, attractive person  “We fall in love when we are consciously or unconsciously sexually motivated”  The honeymoon always ends Dependency ≠ love  “I need him” or “I’d die without her”  “What you describe is parasitism, not love”  Love is based on choice, not necessity
  7. 7.  Love ≠ a feeling  Love is an action, characterized by treating someone well  Having strong feelings that someone is important or needed doesn’t mean you love them Myth of Romantic love  Story that two people are “meant to be,” that it is predetermined “in the stars”  If it doesn’t end up working out, people say it wasn’t “true love” after all (hindsight bias)  Realistically, there are many suitable partners
  8. 8.  Love is…  An action, not a feeling  Attention  A risk of rejection  Independence, not dependence  Commitment  Self-disciplined …hard work
  9. 9. Happy Couples Partner’s know each other’s hopes, quirks, likes, dislikes Secret Weapon: ritualized “repair attempts” to prevent increased negativity Shared, deep sense of meaning 5 : 1 ratio
  10. 10. Unhappy Couples Arguments characterized by…  Harsh setup: negative and accusatory  4 types of negative interactions: criticism, contempt, defensiveness, stonewalling  Flooding  Stonewalling  Failed repair attempts  Bad memories
  11. 11. Love Quotes“I define love thus: The will to extend one’s self forthe purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’sspiritual growth” - M. Scott Peck“Love is the subtlest force in the world” - Mahatma Gandhi“By accident of fortune a man may rule the worldfor a time, but by virtue of love he may rule theworld forever” - Lao-tzu“Love is the only force capable of transforming anenemy into a friend” - Martin Luther King Jr.
  12. 12. “It’s a curious thought, but it is only when you seepeople looking ridiculous, that you realize just howmuch you love them” - Agatha Christie“One of the oldest human needs is havingsomeone to wonder where you are when you don’tcome home at night” - Margaret Mead“Love is a condition in which the happiness ofanother person is essential to your own” - Robert Heinlein“Whoso loves… Believes the impossible” - Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  13. 13. “Love doesn’t have to feel dizzying” - Michael Levine“Love is something like the clouds that were in thesky before the sun came out. You cannot touch theclouds, you know; but you feel the rain and knowhow glad the flowers and the thirsty earth are tohave it after a hot day. You cannot touch loveeither; but you feel the sweetness that it pours intoeverything” - Annie Sullivan“Among those whom I like or admire, I can find nocommon denominator, but among those whom Ilove, I can: all of them make me laugh” - W. H. Auden
  14. 14. “Sympathy constitutes friendship; but in love thereis a sort of antipathy, or opposing passion. Eachstrives to be the other, and both together make upone whole” - Samuel Taylor Coleridge“True love comes quietly, without banners orflashing lights. If you hear bells, get your earschecked. - Erich Segal“Love talked about can be easily turned aside, butlove demonstrated is irresistible” - W. Stanley Mooneyham
  15. 15. Michael Hoerger To cite this lecture: Hoerger, M. (2007, March 28). What is Love? Presented at a PSY 220 lecture at Central Michigan University.

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