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Power of Love and Relationships - Assignment Example

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The fact is that with attraction there are a huge number of variables that interact in the question of who is attracted to who: everything from wealth and physical…
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Power of Love and Relationships
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Prof’s Love and Relationships Attraction has been a widely studied feature of human life, but it is still relativelypoorly understood. The fact is that with attraction there are a huge number of variables that interact in the question of who is attracted to who: everything from wealth and physical attraction to humor and body chemistry. While much of attraction is still poorly understood, there are several things that have been relatively well fleshed out.
There are six widely identified factors of attraction: proximity, association, similarity, reciprocal thinking, and physical attractiveness (Johnson 2002). The fact is that people are more likely to be attracted other people that are similar to them in a wide variety of factors, including race, socio-economic class, imagined culture and so forth. There are reasons you see very few punk/disco couples walking around. This has several roots: firstly, it is simply harder to relate to someone who is different from one in serious ways. Secondly, people tend to congregate with people who are like them, so people who share similar notions are likely to have more contact with each other. Finally, everyone lives by a set of social norms, and people from other cultures or backgrounds might have different norms. Getting over that fact can cause friction and problems in a relationship, and make people less attractive.
Humans seem to have an innate need to bond and build relationships. People with greater relationships around them tend to score higher on many metrics of success and happiness than people with little or no support network (). Humans innate need to belong might be biological and evolutionary in nature: we are pack animals that have found success and protection in large groups, and being solitary exposes us to more harm, making us want to congregate. This means that, for lack of a better word, desperation is a factor in attraction: we want to belong, and might pick less than ideal mates rather than being alone.
There are there widely accepted forms of love: companionate, passionate, and compassionate. Each shares some but not all of the characteristics of the other. The triangular theory can be described as having a few components: passion, intimacy and commitment (Sternberg 1987). Companionate love has two of these factors: intimacy and commitment, while romantic love has passion and intimacy, and compassionate love tends to focus more on commitment than any of the other factors (Sternberg 1986). Empty love is the form of love that comes from having commitment to a partner without any of the positive things that go along with it, while infatuation occurs when someone has extensive passion but little else in terms of intimacy or commitment. These are all different from consummate love, which has each of these factors.
Theory involving love is always difficult, because such strong emotions can only haltingly be put into words and ideas. The fact remains, however, that psychologists and others need to understand the sources of love to be able to manage them and help people. Thus, boxes are formed that help, but incompletely, to give cognitive sense to ideas around love.
Works Cited
Sternberg, Robert J. (1986). "A triangular theory of love". Psychological Review 93 (2): 119–135.
Sternberg, Robert J. (1987). Liking versus loving: A comparative evaluation of theories. Psychological Bulletin. pp. 331–345.
Johsnon, R (2012). “Factors of Attraction” AllPsych.com Retreived from:
http://allpsych.com/psychology101/attribution_attraction.html Read More
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