Theories of Love Development, Maintenance, and Dissolution: Octagonal Cycle and Differential Perspectives

Theories of Love Development, Maintenance, and Dissolution: Octagonal Cycle and Differential Perspectives

Theories of Love Development, Maintenance, and Dissolution: Octagonal Cycle and Differential Perspectives

Theories of Love Development, Maintenance, and Dissolution: Octagonal Cycle and Differential Perspectives

Synopsis

Love presents itself as a complex, multidimensional phenomenon that has been considered one of the most intense and powerful of all human emotions. This book is a comprehensive compilation, analysis, and evaluation of existing views and theories about love development, maintenance, and dissolution. It examines diverse theorizations in terms of their theoretical foundations, basic principles, empirical evidence, and strengths and weaknesses. The volume also suggests future directions for developing love studies as a comprehensive, multidisciplinary scientific discipline.

Excerpt

Nearly all adolescents seek to satisfy their curiosity between forbidden pages. For me, those forbidden pages came in the form of the famous Chinese novel The Red Chamber. As I progressed through the book, I was surprised to find myself enthralled with the text--even though the characters are never physically or verbally intimate. Instead, they compose and exchange poems and prose passages within which love, joy, jealousy, and sadness are implicitly expressed between verses describing sunrises, falling leaves, and other natural phenomena. It was my first intellectual encounter with the concept of love between man and woman.

Although I did not fully grasp the author's meaning, I was able to appreciate the beauty of the literature, and memorized many poems and passages in the book. As I grew older and discovered more about the Chinese culture that had produced the book, I gained new insights into those poems and passages. However, even after years of watching movies and reading popular novels and magazine articles based on romance and "love," I was still frustrated by the inability to define love concretely.

In the spring of 1968, as a new graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, I began working as an assistant to clinical psychologist Hunter B. Shirley in his psychovector research laboratory. For the first time in my life, I was formally introduced to the various psychological meanings of love and their dynamics. We spent the following summer collecting pictures of human facial expressions and sorting them according to the 12 basic emotions of Shirley's Psychovector Model of Human Emotions. (Shirley defines love as a composite feeling of four approach emotions: pride, desire, affection, and curiosity. See Chapter 10 of this volume.)

Although Shirley was articulate in explaining his work, many doubted the validity of the Psychovector Model of Human Emotions, as well as . . .

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