Love Styles in the Context of Life History Theory

Open access

Abstract

The evolutionary function of love is to create a strong bond between the partners with reproduction in view. In order to achieve this goal, humans use various sexual/reproductive strategies, which have evolved due to specific reproductive benefits. The use of particular strategies depends on many factors but one of the most important is early childhood experiences, on which life history theory (LHT) focuses. John Lee (1973) identified 6 basic love styles: eros, ludus, storge, pragma, agape, and mania. Our goal was to check whether love styles may be treated as sexual/reproductive strategies in the context of LHT - slow or fast strategy. In our study (N = 177) we found that people who prefer the slow reproductive strategy are inclined to show passionate, pragmatic and friendly love, and those who prefer the fast strategy, treated love as a game. A low level of environmental stress in childhood results in preferring eros, storge and agape love styles, belonging to the slow strategy, and a high one results in preferring ludus, which belongs to the fast strategy. People representing eros, storge or pragma styles have restricted sociosexual orientation so they prefer long-term relationships, whereas those with the ludus style are people with unrestricted orientation, preferring short-term relationships. Besides, storge, agape and pragma seem to determine preferring qualities connected with parental effort in one’s partner, mania - with mating effort, and eros - with both kinds of effort. No correlation was found between the love style and the number of children.

Aron, A.P., & Aron, E.N. (1991). Love and sexuality. In K. McKinney & S. Sprecher (Eds.), Sexuality in close relationship (pp. 25-48). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Baron, R.M., & Kenny, D.A. (1986). The moderator-mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 1173-1182.

Beisert, M. (2006). Przemiany współczesnej rodziny polskiej [Transformations of the contemporary Polish family]. Rocznik Lubuski, 32, 19-37.

Belsky, J. (2010). Childhood experience and the development of reproductive strategies. Psicothema, 22, 28-34.

Belsky, J., Steinberg, L., & Draper, P. (1991). Childhood experience, interpersonal development, and reproductive strategy: An evolutionary theory of socialization. Child Development, 62, 647-670.

Buss, D.M., & Schmitt, D.P. (1993). Sexual Strategies Theory: An evolutionary perspective on human mating. Psychological Review, 100, 204-232.

Chisholm, J.S. (1993). Death, hope, and sex: Life-history theory and the development of reproductive strategies. Current Anthropology, 34, 1-24.

Chisholm, J.S., Quinlivan, J.A., Petersen, R.W., & Coall, D.A. (2005). Early stress predicts age at menarche and fi rst birth, adult attachment, and expected lifespan. Human Nature, 16, 233-265.

Del Giudice, M. (2014). Early stress and human behavioral development: Emerging evolutionary perspectives. Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, 5, 270-280.

Draper, P., & Harpending, H. (1982). Father absence and reproductive strategy: An evolutionary perspective. Journal of Anthropological Research, 38, 255-273.

Dunkel, C., Mathes, E., & Decker, M. (2010). Behavioral fl exibility in life history strategies: The role of life expectancy. Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology, 4, 51-61.

Ellis, B.J., & Garber, J. (2000). Psychosocial antecedents of variation in girls’ pubertal timing: maternal depression, stepfather presence, and marital and family stress. Child Development, 71, 485-501.

Figueredo, A.J. (2007). The Arizona Life History Battery. Retrived from: http://www.u.arizona.edu/~ajf/alhb.html

Figueredo, A.J., Cabeza de Baca, T., & Woodley, M.A. (2013). The measurement of human life history strategy. Personality and Individual Differences, 55, 251-255.

Figueredo, A.J., Vásquez, G., Brumbach, B.H., Sefcek, J.A., Kirsner, B.R., & Jacobs, W.J. (2005). The K-Factor: Individual differences in life history strategy. Personality and Individual Differences, 39, 1349-1360.

Figueredo, A.J., Vásquez, G., Brumbach, B.H., Schneider, S.M.R., Sefcek, J.A., Tal, I.R., Hill, D., Wenner, C.J., & Jacobs, W.J. (2006). Consilience and life history theory: From genes to brain to reproductive strategy. Developmental Review, 26, 243-275.

Fisher, H. (2007). Popęd miłości - neuronalny mechanizm doboru partnera. In R.J. Sternberg, & K. Weis (Eds.), Nowa psychologia miłości [The new psychology of love] (pp. 133-175). Taszów: Biblioteka Moderatora.

Frey, K., & Hojjat, M. (1998). Are love styles related to sexual styles? The Journal of Sex Research, 35, 265-271.

Fricker, J., & Moore, S. (2002). Relationship satisfaction: the role of love styles and attachment styles. Current Research in Social Psychology, 7, 182-204.

Gangestad, S.W., & Simpson, J.A. (2000). The evolution of human mating: Trade-offs and strategic pluralism. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 23, 573-587.

Gladden, P.R., Sisco, M., & Figueredo, A.J. (2008). Sexual coercion and life history strategy. Evolution and Human Behavior, 29, 319-326.

Griskevicius, V., Delton, A.W., Robertson, T.E., & Tybur, J.M. (2011). Environmental contingency in life history strategies: The infl uence of mortality and socioeconomic status on reproductive timing. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 100, 241-254.

Główny Urząd Statystyczny (2015). Dzieci w Polsce w 2014 roku. Charakterystyka demografi czna [Central Statistical Offi ce of Poland (2015). Children in Poland in 2014. Demographic characteristics]. Retrieved from http://stat.gov.pl/obszary-ematyczne/ludnosc/ludnosc/dzieciw-polsce-w-2014-roku-charakterystyka-demograficzna,20,1.html

Hendrick, C., & Hendrick, S.S. (1986). A theory and method of love. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50, 392-402.

Hendrick, C., & Hendrick, S.S. (1989). Research on love: Does it measure up? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 56, 784-794.

Hendrick, C., & Hendrick, S.S. (1991). Dimensions of love: A sociobiological perspective. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 10, 206-230.

Hendrick, S.S., & Hendrick, C. (1995). Gender differences and similarities in sex and love. Personal Relationships, 2, 55-65.

Hendrick, C., & Hendrick, S.S. (2007). Taksonomie miłości. In R.J. Sternberg, & K. Weis (Eds.), Nowa psychologia miłości [The new psychology of love] (pp. 225-255). Taszów: Biblioteka Moderatora.

Hendrick, C., Hendrick, S.S., & Dicke, A. (1998). The love attitudes scale: Short form. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 15, 147-159.

Jonason, P.K., & Kavanagh, P. (2010). The dark side of love: The Dark Triad and love styles. Personality and Individual Differences, 49, 606-610.

Kappeler, P.M. (2012). Male reproductive strategies. Nature Education Knowledge, 2, 82. Retrieved from http://www.nature.com.zhongjivip.net/scitable/knowledge/library/male-reproductive-strategies-71224983

Lee, J.A. (1973). Colours of love: An exploration of the ways of loving. Toronto: New Press.

Mandal, E. (2012). Miłość, władza i manipulacja w bliskich związkach [Love, power and manipulation in close relationships]. Warszawa: WN PWN.

McArthur, R.H., & Wilson, E.O. (1967). The theory of island biogeography. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Mosher, D.L. (1988). Sexual path preferences inventory. In C.M. Davis, W.L. Yarber, & S.L. Davis (Eds.) Sexuality_related measures: A Compendium (pp. 188-192). Lake Mills, JA: Graphic Publications.

Oatley, K., & Jenkins, J.M. (2003). Zrozumieć emocje [Understanding emotions]. Warszawa: PWN.

Penke, L., & Asendorpf, J.B. (2008). Beyond global sociosexual orientations: A more differentiated look at sociosexuality and its effects on courtship and romantic relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 1113-1135.

Peterson, A., Geher, G., & Kaufman, S.B (2011). Predicting preferences for sex acts: which traits matter most, and why? Evolutionary Psychology, 9, 371-389.

Pianka, E.R. (1970). On r- and K-selection. American Naturalist, 104, 592-596.

Rushton, J.P. (1985). Differential K theory: The sociobiology of individual and group differences. Personality and Individual Differences, 6, 441-452.

Schmitt, D.P., & Buss, D.M. (2001). Human mate poaching: Tactics and temptations for infi ltrating existing relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80, 894-917.

Sprecher, S., Aron, A., Hatfield, E., Cortese, A., Potapova, E., & Levitskaya, A. (1994). Love: American style, Russian style, and Japanese style. Personal Relationships, 1, 349-369.

Stearns, S.C. (1992). The evolution of life histories. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Sternberg, R.J. (1986). A triangular theory of love. Psychological Review 93, 119-135.

Tsirigotis, K., Gruszczyński, W., & Tsirigotis-Wołoszczak, M. (2010). Płciowe (rodzajowe) zróżnicowanie typów przeżywanej miłości [Sex (gender) differentiation of love types experiencing]. Seksuologia Polska, 8, 26-29.

Vigil, J.M., Geary, D.C., & Byrd-Craven, J. (2005). A life history assessment of early childhood sexual abuse in women. Developmental Psychology, 41, 553-561.

Webster, G.D., Graber, J.A., Gesselman, A.N., Crosier, B.S., & Schember, T.O. (2014). A life history theory of father absence and menarche: A meta-analysis. Invited resubmission. Evolutionary Psychology, 12, 273-294.

Wilson, E.O. (1975). Sociobiology: The new synthesis. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University.

Polish Psychological Bulletin

The Journal of Committee for Psychological Sciences of Polish Academy of Sciences

Journal Information


CiteScore 2016: 0.33

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.185
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.258

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 584 571 59
PDF Downloads 280 276 41