Theories of Relationship Behavior

Evolutionary Theory of Love (Buss)

Evolutionary psychology: application and extension of evolutionary processes to the development & manifestation of cognition, affect, & behavior.
Natural selection-- the process by which certain adaptive individual characteristics emerge and are maintained over generations.

1. Distal environment--
2. Environment of Ontogeny--

3. Environment of Phylogeny-- 

5 Basic Premises of Evolutionary Psychology

1. All behavior is a product of psychological mechanisms internal to the person,
2. Evolution by natural selection is the only known causal process by which complex, species-typical functional mechanisms can be created:

3. Evolved psychological mechanisms are likely to be complex and domain-specific.

4. Many of the most important adaptive problems were social in nature

5. Solution to these problems often entailed the formation of enduring social relationships
Relation to concept of Love:

7 Goals of Love Acts

Goal 1: Resource Display
-Alert potential mates to reproductively relevant resources they could acquire by choosing a particular mate.
Problem: Intrasexual competition
Goal 2: Exclusivity, Fidelity, and Guarding
Mate must be retained & guarded to ensure fulfillment of reproductive promise.

Goal 3: Commitment & Marriage:

Goal 4: Sexual Intimacy

Goal 5: Reproduction:
 ** Reproductive promise fulfilled by the female.
Goal 6: Resource Sharing:
** Male fulfills reproductive promise (support & protection)

Goal 7: Parental Investment:

 A causal account of love in which natural & sexual selection favored in the past those individuals who engaged acts of love to accomplish successful reproduction.


IV.  Attachment Beyond Infancy

"Attachment is an integral part of human behavior from the cradle to the grave."
-- Bowlby, 1979

1. Childhood attachments are typically complementary;

2. Adult attachment relationship involves internally represented beliefs

3. Adult attachment relationships involve 3 behavioral systems-- attachment, caregiving, and sexual mating.

4. Differences in what motivates proximity seeking.

What makes a potential relationship partner appealing? How is a relationship formed and how does it develop?

What makes relationships satisfying and/or enduring?

What are the precursors and reactions to breaking up?

Individual differences in adult attachment

1. Anxious/Ambivalent Attachment: (25%) 2. Anxious/Avoidant Attachment: (20%)    


Social-Exchange Model of Relationship Development
    A. Rewards and Costs:

B. Expectations:

C. Alternatives: Outcomes, CL, and CL alt:

D. Investments: