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--
- Domain-specific psychological mechanisms have developed, each tailored to solving a particular evolutionary survival problem.
- All behavior is a product of the "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:
- Love involves overt actions that have tangible consequences, the most important = reproduction.
- Love represents a category of naturally occurring actions, termed "love acts"
- Typical Tasks in Successful Reproduction:
7 Goals of Love Acts
1. Attract a mate
2. Retain a mate
3. Reproduce with a mate
4. Invest parentally in the resulting offspring
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.
- Functions to:
Goal 3: Commitment & Marriage:
1. Ensure high confidence in paternity
- 2. Ensure mutual commitment to the reproducing pair
- Two forms of Exclusivity: Fidelity & Mate-Guarding
- -Fidelity most common for females; Mate-guarding for males.
Goal 4: Sexual Intimacy
Seals the bond and may result in conception.Goal 5: Reproduction:
** Reproductive promise fulfilled by the female.
Goal 6: Resource Sharing:
** Male fulfills reproductive promise (support & protection)
Goal 7: Parental Investment:
- Parental love
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.
- Attachment Theory has its roots in evolution.
I. Attachment Theory (Bowlby)
- domain-specific psychological mechanisms that have evolved, via natural selection, to in response to the problem of attachment.
-Strong association between early maternal separations and subsequent delinquency among boys.
- 1950, WHO report on maternal deprivation
- 1944, Forty-Four Juvenile Thieves: Their Characters and Home Life
A. THE ATTACHMENT SYSTEM
- Human infants can survive only if an adult is willing to provide protection and care.
- Infants evolve behaviors that function to maintain proximity to a protector/caregiver.
B. ATTACHMENT FORMATION
- Behavioral Systems - a set of behaviors that serve the same function, even if they appear dissimilar
- Threats to proximity maintenance results in anxiety, which triggers attachment behaviors designed to reestablish proximity.
- attachment is an emotional bond.
- As long as the child experiences "felt security"
- By the 6th or 7th months of life,
- Caregiver functions as a "haven of safety"
- Three defining features & functions of attachment behavior:1. Proximity maintenance2. Safe Haven3. Secure BaseC. ATTACHMENT DISRUPTION AND DISSOLUTION
- 2 aspects of the child's response to maternal deprivation:1. Similarity across children:A. ProtestB. DespairC. Emotional Detachment2. Short-term separations seemed to have prolonged effects.D. INTERNAL WORKING MODELS
- primary caregiver responsiveness to distress signals
- The attachment system is organized and regulated by social input.
E. INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES (ATTACHMENT STYLES)
- Role of learning
- Internal working models-- are mental representations that can be used to forecast caregiver availability and responsiveness.
- Can I count on my attachment figure to be available and responsive when needed?
- Mary Ainsworth (1978) -- Strange Situation (3 attachment styles)1. Secure.A. Infant distressedB. Comforted by return.
C. Active exploration
D. Caregivers = consistent2. anxious/avoidant.A. Caregivers = unresponsive
B. Infants not distressed
C. Avoided contact
D. Focused on exploration3. anxious/ambivalent.A. Caregivers = inconsistent
B. Anxious & angry
C. Preoccupied with caregivers
D. No exploration(4) disorganized. (Main & Solomon, 1990).A. No strategy for managing anxiety.
B. Caregiver = depressed, disturbed, or abusive.
IV. Attachment Beyond Infancy
"Attachment is an integral part of human behavior from the cradle to the grave."
-- Bowlby, 1979
- The functions and dynamics of the attachment behavioral system are hypothesized to be virtually the same across the life span.
- Adult attachment differs from infant attachment in important ways:What makes a potential relationship partner appealing?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.
How is a relationship formed and how does it develop?
- Familiarity and responsiveness.
- Anxiety is a signal to get closer.
- Meeting caregiving, sexual, or attachment needs.
- Caregiving system responds to babyish features, distress, and vulnerability--
- Cues of sexual availability and value.
- The process of attachment formation, at any age, is hypothesized to involve the same sequence:
1. Proximity seeking
2. Safe-haven behavior
3. Establishment of a secure base
What makes relationships satisfying and/or enduring?
- "Can I trust my partner to be available and responsive to my needs?"
What are the precursors and reactions to breaking up?
- Comparison level for alternatives-- The belief that important needs could be better met in another relationship.
- Longevity may be influenced by relationship history.
- Anxiety can activate attachment behaviors and maintain relationships
- Multiple causes of relationship dissolution.
- The first reaction to the disruption of an attachment relationship, is intense protest-behavior.
- Next, a period of deep sadness.
- Gradually, emotional detachment from the lost partner.
Individual differences in adult attachment
1. Anxious/Ambivalent Attachment: (25%)
- Normative relationships would refer to secure attachments (55%).
2. Anxious/Avoidant Attachment: (20%)
- Characterized by a lack of confidence in the responsiveness of others.
- Attempt to establish "felt security" by devoting immense mental energy and behavioral effort to keeping others close by and engaged.
- View partners as:
a. reluctant to commit
b. insufficient caregivers.
- Believed to result from consistent unresponsiveness.
- Fear of intimacy and a tendency to maintain distance
Avoid self-disclosure & experience discomfort with other-disclosure
Social-Exchange Model of Relationship Development
- economic model of human behavior.
A. Rewards and Costs:
- five major components to this framework: rewards, costs, expectations, perceived alternatives, and investments.
- Social exchange is based on the principle that individuals are motivated to maximize rewards and minimize costs in interpersonal relationships.
- According to social exchange: rewards - costs = outcome
- Egocentric bias: Overvaluing the worth of one's own behavior (or overestimating the costs) while undervaluing the worth of another's behavior (underestimating the costs).
- The outcome of a relationship, the difference between rewards and costs, is not necessarily the same as satisfaction with the relationship.
- comparison level (CL) reflects the influence of the historical context on any specific relationship.
Outcomes, CL, and CL alt:
- comparison level for alternatives (Cl alt), which refers to the kind of outcomes people think they would receive in some other alternative relationship or lifestyle.
- An investment is something an individual puts into a relationship that he or she could not recover should the relationship end.
- Entrapment: Commitments to a failing course of action are increased in an effort to justify investments already made.
Cognitive Dissonance theory and Motivated cognitive processing.