Week 2: Lecture 2 - Maintaining The Pair Bond - Love And Lust Flashcards Preview

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Why maintain a pair bond?

- A better bet for men to invest one or women and their (his) offspring
- In Western culture, bigamy and polygamy has been replaced by serial monogamy; men need to be able to guarantee paternity of offspring to make monogamy worthwhile


What drives mating behavior?

- Typically, lust - or 'sexual desire' noted the role of lust or sexual desire as a potent bodily drive
- for humans, involves both imagination and pleasurable physical sensations
- Freud: libido - an innate, motivational force
- shaped by environmental factors


Influences on sexual desire

- biological drive to have sex may be affected by drugs and illness
- motivation to have sex may be affected by various relationship factors (e.g. previous sexual history with partner)
- cognitive (decision) to have sex may be affected by proximal factors e.g. Fear of preg.


Emotional support & desire

- Very important link for women
- decrease in sexual desire over time, associated with lack of confiding relationship and insufficient emotional support from partner


Models of love

- Sternberg's triangular model of love
- intimacy (emotional closeness)
- passion (sexual desire)
- commitment (the 'cognitive' aspect of love)



- without intimacy or passion, may be 'empty' love
- consummate love = passion, intimacy, and commitment


Combinations of factors

- passion & commitment w/o intimacy = fatuous (foolish) love
- passion & intimacy with or w/o commitment = romantic love
- involves arousal and obsessive thoughts of beloved
- Limerance - love madness
*romantic love lights up the anterior cingulate in the brain
*hormones associated with life
*produces an amphetamine-like 'high'


End of Limerant phase

- global divorce rates; commonly 4th yr of marriage, esp. In marriage w/o children
- end of Limerant phase not necessarily the end of deep as enduring pair bond, especially if intimacy and attachment have developed


Companionate love

- the affection we feel for those with whom our lives are deeply intertwined (intimacy & commitment) - the love of "settled, domestic people"
- associated with production of endorphins and oxytocin (the cuddle hormone)


Propagating the species

- lust and passion are clearly functional; they motivate mating
- it takes a long time to bring up human offspring; parents need to love children
- companionate love keeps parents together long enough to do it


Harlow's monkey experiment

- testing the 'cupboard love' theory, cloth mother vs wire mother
- baby monkeys craved comfort, not just milk
- needed a secure base in times of danger


Babies mechanism for maintaining the pair bond

- large forehead and eyes
- round face elicit warm
- fuzzy feelings in human adults


Separation distress

- key to the function of love - the pain of losing it
- we can't survive along
- abandoned babies respond in predictable ways (angry, protest, despair)


The attachment bond (4)

- Is powerful
- ensures safety and security
- feels good
- enables children to explore the world and trust others - to develop full potential


Romantic love

- strong parallels b/w parent-child attachment and romantic love and behaviors
- lots of physical contact, sharing, baby talk, mutual grooming, feeding each other
- also separation distress (can even lead to suicide)


Attachment styles

- secure attachment; emotional security, trust, confidence
- avoidant attachment; emotional shut-down, low trust, cynicism
- anxious-ambivalent attachment; emotional roller-coaster, low trust but high hope, dependence and despair