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The Science of Intimate Relationships

The Science of Intimate Relationships

Garth J. O. Fletcher, Jeffry A. Simpson, Lorne Campbell, Nickola C. Overall

ISBN: 978-1-405-17919-5 February 2013 Wiley-Blackwell 416 Pages


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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

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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

“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)