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The Science of Intimate Relationships

January 2013, ©2013, Wiley-Blackwell
The Science of Intimate Relationships (EHEP002585) cover image


The Science of Intimate Relationships represents the first interdisciplinary approach to the latest scientific findings relating to human sexual relationships.

  • Offers an unusual degree of integration across topics, which include intimate relationships in terms of both mind and body; bonding from infancy to adulthood; selecting mates; love; communication and interaction; sex; passion;  relationship dissolution; and more
  • Summarizes the links among human nature, culture, and intimate relationships
  • Presents and integrates the latest findings in the fields of social psychology, evolutionary psychology, human sexuality, neuroscience and biology, developmental psychology, anthropology, and clinical psychology.
  • Authored by four leading experts in the field
  • Instructor materials are available at www.wiley.com/go/fletcher
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Table of Contents

About the Authors xv

Preface xvi

Part One: Introduction 1

1 The Science of Intimate Relationships 3

2 Intimate Relationships in Context: Key Theories, Concepts, and Human Nature 14

Part Two: The Relationship Animal 39

3 The Intimate Relationship Mind 41

4 The Intimate Relationship Body 69

Part Three: Beginning Relationships: Att achment and Mate Selection 97

5 Born to Bond: from Infancy to Adulthood 99

6 Selecting Mates 125

Part Four: Maintaining Relationships:the Psychology of Intimacy 155

7 Love, Sweet Love 157

8 Reading Minds, Partners, and Relationships 184

9 Communication and Interaction 210

10 Sex and Passion 236

11 Relationship Violence 259

Part Five: Ending Relationships: the Causes and Consequences of Relationship Dissolution 285

12 Relationship Dissolution 287

Part Six: Conclusion 313

13 Assembling the Relationship Jigsaw 315

Glossary 327

References 338

Author Index 383

Subject Index 390

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Author Information

Garth Fletcher is Professor of Psychology at Victoria University Wellington. He is a fellow of five societies including the Royal Society of New Zealand, the Association for Psychological Science, and the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, and has been associate editor of both Personal Relationships and Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Fletcher has published over 100 articles and book chapters, and has authored and edited 6 books  

Jeffry A. Simpson is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Doctoral Minor in Interpersonal Relationships (IREL) at the University of Minnesota. He has been the editor of the journal Personal Relationships and is currently the editor of Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Interpersonal Relations and Group Processes (JPSP-IRGP). Simpson is the incoming president of the International Association for Relationship Research, and has published nearly 200 articles and chapters along with several edited books.

Lorne Campbell is Associate Professor of Psychology the University of Western Ontario. He has published over 40 articles and book chapters, serves on the editorial board of Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, and has been the editor of the journal Personal Relationships.

Nickola Overall is Senior Lecturer of Psychology at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. She has published over 35 articles and book chapters, serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and is currently associate editor for Personal Relationships.
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“This textbook would work well for a college class.”  (Metapsychology Online Reviews, 29 July 2014)

“The text can be used academically at an advanced baccalaureate or graduate level. There is an equally well-organized e-study guide available as a Kindle download that highlights concepts to facilitate the memorization of terms. The book can also be drawn upon in arenas outside of academia. The busy clinician, for example, may find that the work is simply a good read while also encouraging currency with scientific domains falling outside of his or her immediate field.”  (Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 22July 2014)

“Overall, The Science of Intimate Relationshipsserves as an important contribution to the array of books available in the field of relationship science. Its breadth of coverage would make it an excellent choice for college courses in intimate relationships, as noted above, as well as make it of interest to anyone wishing to have a good background in the science of romantic relationships.”  (PsycCRITIQUES, 11 September 2013)

“…An essential read for budding relationships experts.”  (Psychology Today, 30 April 2013)

“Fletcher and colleagues do an excellent job simplifying (but not oversimplifying) the sometimes very complex scientific literature on intimate relationships…The book succeeds in addressing relationships from several different perspectives, most notably social psychological, evolutionary, and neuroscientific. This produces a much broader approach than is seen in most other books on relationships. The book is highly interdisciplinary and foreshadows an emerging integrative science of intimate relationships.”—Dr. Jon Maner, Director, Florida State University

“What makes this book distinctive is its strong, integrative theoretical underpinning and its coherent narrative style. The authors’ approach is unabashedly scientific and the text makes it very clear that relationship science is exactly that. However, the text is also perfectly pitched for non-scientists, with each chapter telling a lucid, thought-provoking and deeply informative story – science writing at its most graceful and engaging. This is a truly great text that will stand as a benchmark for many years to come.”—Professor Julie Fitness, Macquarie University

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Wiley E-Text   
The Science of Intimate Relationships
ISBN : 978-1-118-37871-7
448 pages
February 2013
$75.00   BUY

The Science of Intimate Relationships
ISBN : 978-1-4051-7919-5
416 pages
January 2013, ©2013
$106.95   BUY

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