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evolutionary love

Course Code
Elizabeth Page- Gould

of 2
Evolutionary Love Explanations
-males/females have diff roles in offspring production, therefore diff agendas in
choosing mates. Males would do best pairing frequently w/ many females, females
do best w/ carefully chosen male.
-women will look for most resources man, income/career. Men look for
youth/beauty-reproductive fitness. However both genders prefer
honesty/trustworthiness/pleasantness. Difference in short/long-term traits.
Attachment Styles and Relationships
-our adult behavior in relationships based on infant experiences w/ caregivers.
Based on Bowlby/Ainsworth.
-secure attachment: trust caregivers, not worried abt abandonment. In
conflicts, use active task-centred coping strategies
-avoidant: infants desire closeness but learn to suppress, ppl find it hard to be
close to others. In conflict, use passive avoidant strategy
-fearful avoidant: desire intimacy but afraid to trust others, worry being
hurt if they allow closeness with another
-dismissive avoidant: claim they don’t need closeness, prefer
-anxious/ambivalent: inconsistent/overbearing affection, desperately seek
closeness, conflicted feelings in loving relationship. In conflict se passive emotion-
focused coping strategy.
-based on their attachment styles, ppl also develop expectations abt relationships
Multiple Attachment Representations
-instead of single attachment style applying to all our relationships we can have diff
attachments to diff ppl in our lives.
-ppl’s overall attachment style correlated w/ attachment in specific relationships
-attachment to specific ppl changed in direction of your global overall attachment
style eg u are overall secure, avoidant to romantic partner->secure eventually.
Overall style less likely to change
-attachment styles may be like schemas, not fixed but malleable.
Maintaining Close Relationships
Social Exchange/Equity Theory
-relationships operate on economic model of cost/benefits
-depend on perception of rewards they get, costs of the relationship, what kind of
relationship they deserve, and probability of better relationship w/ someone else.
We try to get most value for our emotional dollar. Reward, cost, outcome,
comparison level, comparison lvl for alternatives.
-but we observe dissatisfied ppl in relationships who have better alternatives stay in
a bad relationship
-must consider investment lvl in relationship. Anything put in that will be lost if they
leave it.
Equity Theory
-criticize social exchange theory for ignoring fairness. Ppl are concerned about
equity, whether their rewards/costs/contributions are comparable with those of their
partner(s). equitable relationships as happiest/stable, inequitable relationships are
-long term intimate relationships governed by loose give-take equity notions rather
than rigid tit-tat strategy.
-interactions btwn new acquaintances/casual friends governed by equity concerns;
exchange relationships, u keep track of everything.
-interactions w/ close friends, family, SO’s governed by communal relationships,
more desire to help w/ needs. In communal relationships, partners more relaxed abt
wat counts as equity, believe things will balance out over time.
Commitment in Maintaining Relationships
-whether adversity is positive/negative in relationship depends on lvl of adversity
and lvl of commitment to relationship.
-commitment calibration hypothesis: adversity<commitment, no threat.
Adversity>commitment then threat.
-when adversity=commitment, they try to preserve relationship.
-more committed=likelier to forgive transgressions, rate wrongdoings as less
Role of Positive Illusions
-fantasy where we convince ourselves our partner is wonderful regardless of fact.
Find redeeming features in faults.
-research validates that ppl view their partner in highly positive ways in order to
maintain relationship. The more we idealize our partners, the greater satisfaction w/
relationship. Also likelier to endure. Ppl also live up to the ideals partners create for
them. Tends to hold truer for women than men, men only engage in positive
illusions if highly committed.
Ending Close Relationships
-common reasons: income, unemployment, alcoholism, adultery, low religiosity, pre-
marital pregnancy.
-if spouses/friends become dissimilar, ur in trouble.
-“fatal attractions”: qualities initially attractive became reasons of breaking up.
-social exchange and equity theory
-boredom: less to learn about partner.
Breaking Up Process
-pain is greatest for dumpee.
-strategies in dumping: withdrawal/avoidance (mostly w/ friends), positive tone
(prevent hard feelings), manipulative (third party), open confrontation (mostly w/
-mutual conclusion to love can be more stressful than a unilateral decision, more
stress than dumpee but less than dumper.