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What is Love? Michael Hoerger. Introduction Work and love, thats all there is – Freud Work and love, thats all there is – Freud Finding love is a key.

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Presentation on theme: "What is Love? Michael Hoerger. Introduction Work and love, thats all there is – Freud Work and love, thats all there is – Freud Finding love is a key."— Presentation transcript:

1 What is Love? Michael Hoerger

2 Introduction Work and love, thats all there is – Freud Work and love, thats all there is – Freud Finding love is a key developmental event in early adulthood Finding love is a key developmental event in early adulthood Psychologists and the public use the word love, so it must have some meaning Psychologists and the public use the word love, so it must have some meaning Todays lecture is intended to challenge your preconceptions and help you to establish a working definition of love Todays lecture is intended to challenge your preconceptions and help you to establish a working definition of love

3 Monogamy Only 5% of species, those where both parents needed for childs survival Only 5% of species, those where both parents needed for childs survival Pair-bonding: having an emotional attachment to another Pair-bonding: having an emotional attachment to another Oxytocin, vasopressin, dopamine release during sex; feels addicting Oxytocin, vasopressin, dopamine release during sex; feels addicting Good feelings associated with partner (classical conditioning) Good feelings associated with partner (classical conditioning) Tells you Gee sex with this person feels great rather than just Geez sex feels great Tells you Gee sex with this person feels great rather than just Geez sex feels great

4 Montane vole Prairie vole Pair-bond vs. No pair-bond

5 Sternbergs Triangular Theory Love is multifaceted, with up to 3 central components Love is multifaceted, with up to 3 central components 1.Passion: intense longing for another person 2.Intimacy: feeling connected, enjoying ones company and support 3.Commitment: obligations and responsibilities to one another

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7 Pecks Criticisms of Love Falling in love (passion) love Falling in love (passion) love Excitement related to new, attractive person Excitement related to new, attractive person We fall in love when we are consciously or unconsciously sexually motivated We fall in love when we are consciously or unconsciously sexually motivated The honeymoon always ends The honeymoon always ends Dependency love Dependency love I need him or Id die without her I need him or Id die without her What you describe is parasitism, not love What you describe is parasitism, not love Love is based on choice, not necessity Love is based on choice, not necessity

8 Love a feeling Love a feeling Love is an action, characterized by treating someone well Love is an action, characterized by treating someone well Having strong feelings that someone is important or needed doesnt mean you love them Having strong feelings that someone is important or needed doesnt mean you love them Myth of Romantic love Myth of Romantic love Story that two people are meant to be, that it is predetermined in the stars Story that two people are meant to be, that it is predetermined in the stars If it doesnt end up working out, people say it wasnt true love after all (hindsight bias) If it doesnt end up working out, people say it wasnt true love after all (hindsight bias) Realistically, there are many suitable partners Realistically, there are many suitable partners

9 Love is… Love is… An action, not a feeling An action, not a feeling Attention Attention A risk of rejection A risk of rejection Independence, not dependence Independence, not dependence Commitment Commitment Self-disciplined Self-disciplined …hard work

10 Happy Couples Partners know each others hopes, quirks, likes, dislikes Partners know each others hopes, quirks, likes, dislikes Secret Weapon: ritualized repair attempts to prevent increased negativity Secret Weapon: ritualized repair attempts to prevent increased negativity Shared, deep sense of meaning Shared, deep sense of meaning 5 : 1 ratio 5 : 1 ratio

11 Unhappy Couples Arguments characterized by… Arguments characterized by… Harsh setup: negative and accusatory Harsh setup: negative and accusatory 4 types of negative interactions: criticism, contempt, defensiveness, stonewalling 4 types of negative interactions: criticism, contempt, defensiveness, stonewalling Flooding Stonewalling Flooding Stonewalling Failed repair attempts Failed repair attempts Bad memories Bad memories

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13 Love Quotes I define love thus: The will to extend ones self for the purpose of nurturing ones own or anothers spiritual growth - M. Scott Peck Love is the subtlest force in the world - Mahatma Gandhi By accident of fortune a man may rule the world for a time, but by virtue of love he may rule the world forever - Lao-tzu - Lao-tzu Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend - Martin Luther King Jr. - Martin Luther King Jr.

14 Its a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous, that you realize just how much you love them - Agatha Christie - Agatha Christie One of the oldest human needs is having someone to wonder where you are when you dont come home at night - Margaret Mead - Margaret Mead Love is a condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own - Robert Heinlein - Robert Heinlein Whoso loves… Believes the impossible - Elizabeth Barrett Browning - Elizabeth Barrett Browning

15 Love doesnt have to feel dizzying - Michael Levine - Michael Levine Love is something like the clouds that were in the sky before the sun came out. You cannot touch the clouds, you know; but you feel the rain and know how glad the flowers and the thirsty earth are to have it after a hot day. You cannot touch love either; but you feel the sweetness that it pours into everything - Annie Sullivan - Annie Sullivan Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh - W. H. Auden - W. H. Auden

16 Sympathy constitutes friendship; but in love there is a sort of antipathy, or opposing passion. Each strives to be the other, and both together make up one whole - Samuel Taylor Coleridge - Samuel Taylor Coleridge True love comes quietly, without banners or flashing lights. If you hear bells, get your ears checked. - Erich Segal - Erich Segal Love talked about can be easily turned aside, but love demonstrated is irresistible - W. Stanley Mooneyham - W. Stanley Mooneyham

17 Michael Hoerger Michael Hoerger To cite this lecture: Hoerger, M. (2007, March 28). What is Love? Presented at a PSY 220 lecture at Central Michigan University. Hoerger, M. (2007, March 28). What is Love? Presented at a PSY 220 lecture at Central Michigan University.


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