While many people view love as a nebulous concept that is difficult to study scientifically, there exists a substantial psychological discipline that studies intimate relations. This incisive text provides a comprehensive tour of both classic and contemporary theories and research on the how and why of human love. In addition to presenting the major biological, social, and cultural theories that have been developed on this topic, the book looks at what research has shown us about such essential issues as basic attraction, the life course of relationships, how personality and environment affect love, and how therapeutic interventions can sometimes improve relationships. Both scholarly and practical, the book is unique in also helping readers to understand their own relationships. Concise and accessible, the text illustrates how a love relationship can be measured and explores the questions posed by psychologists in their quest for understanding: Is love simply a function of human biology? What part do our individual personalities play in attracting and maintaining love relationships? Can people stay in love? How does being in a close relationship affect our mental and physical health? The book t only covers the most relevant research that the discipline of psychology has developed on intimate relationships, but also aims to help readers put this research into a practical context to help them understand their own love relationships. The book concludes with a review of various therapeutic approaches to improving love relationships. Case studies and questionnaires illustrate key points.
Karin Sternberg, PhD is a Research Associate at the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative, a joint programme of School of Public Health and J. F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, USA. She is also Principal of Sternberg Consulting, which focuses on practical applications of theories of intelligence, wisdom, creativity, and leadership, and has consulted for various industries, businesses, and not-for-profit organisations.