Pya4 relationships - love

Theory - Triangular Theory

Triangular Theory (Sternberg)




2 Triangles: Ideal rel and current rel

Cultural differences in importance of 3 factors



Sternberg – Interview students, fairty-tale, gardening and porno stories of love

Happy couples – similar stories

Women prefer travel story, men art story

Fehr – Questionnaire, describe love, results close to S’s 3 factors


+ Explains how love rels are so varied (diff balance in 3 factors)

+ Systematic attempt to categorise aspects of love

- Biased sample – Yale uni students

- Method (questionnaire) lack validity

Alternative – 3 factor theory

Hatfield & Walster – love is a label based on culture learning


Theory - Continuity Hypothesis

Continuity Hypothesis (Bowlby)

- Based on strength of infancy attachment (Avoidant, Resistant, Secure, Disorganised)


Hazan & Shaver – prediction of relationships

Love quiz, secure attachment: divorce less likely, trust. Insecure: true love was rare, rels less easy.

Feeney & Noller – Secure most long term, enduring romantic avoidant short, least intense.

McCarthy – Women: avoidant, difficult in romantic rels, resistant, poorest friendship



+ Explain why some have difficulty finding love

- Correlational

- Retrospective studies – not result in accurate memories

Both theories:

Redutionist and Determinist – experiences in childhood will determine rel in adulthood