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  • Professor Paul Bloom: I'm delighted to introduce the

  • first guest lecturer for this Introduction to Psychology

  • course, Dean Peter Salovey. Peter is an old friend and

  • colleague. Many of you--I think everybody

  • here knows of him through his role as Dean of Yale College.

  • I'll just, in this context of this introduction,

  • mention two other things about him.

  • One is prior to being dean and in fact, still as a dean,

  • he's an active scientist and in particular,

  • a social psychologist actively involved in studying health

  • psychology, the proper use of psychological methods to frame

  • health messages, and also is the founder and

  • developer of the idea of emotional intelligence,

  • an idea he's done a huge amount of research on.

  • Secondly, Peter is or was an active and extremely well-known

  • teacher at Yale College. He taught at one point,

  • the largest course ever in Yale College – a course on

  • Psychology in Law which broke every record ever had here.

  • And before that, during that,

  • and after that, he was a legendary Introduction

  • to Psychology teacher. And I think--and he had some

  • reason for why he was so legendary with his lecture today

  • on the topic of love.

  • [applause] Dean Peter Salovey:

  • Thanks very much.

  • Okay. Thank you very much,

  • Professor Bloom. It really is a pleasure to come

  • and lecture to you today on Valentine's Day on the topic of

  • love. My main area of research is

  • human emotion. And love is an emotion.

  • It's not one that I study personally, at least not in the

  • lab, and--but it is fun to talk about.

  • And it is a topic that lends itself to many social

  • psychological phenomena. It's also great to be able to

  • come in and guest lecture. One of the things I very much

  • miss since serving as dean is the opportunity to teach

  • Psychology 110. And although I love being dean,

  • I do miss teaching Introductory Psychology, the feeling of

  • exposing people to ideas that maybe you hadn't heard before.

  • Well, I suspect some of the ideas in this talk you'll have

  • not heard before and for a variety of reasons.

  • A couple of the things you'll notice is that some of the

  • experiments I'll talk about today are not the kinds of

  • experiments that can be done anymore.

  • They're not considered ethically acceptable but they

  • were done in the ‘50s and ‘60s and early ‘70s when

  • ethical standards were different and so we can teach them.

  • We just can't give you the same experiences that some of the

  • college students that we'll talk about today in these studies

  • had. The other thing I will mention

  • is that there is a certain androcentric and heterosexual

  • quality to much of the social psychological research on

  • romantic love. You'll see that in the

  • experiments. Usually, the participants are

  • men and usually the targets are women in these experiments.

  • I'm not endorsing this as the only way to study love.

  • It just happens to be the way these experiments were done and

  • so I mention this caution right from the beginning.

  • We'll have to think about--One of the things you should think

  • about is do you think these experiments generalized to other

  • kinds of dyadic relationships. And that's a question that I

  • think you can ask throughout this lecture.

  • Okay. So let's get started.

  • And to start things off I think what we need to do is consider a

  • definition. I'm going to define what love

  • is but then most of the experiments I'm going to talk

  • about are really focused more on attraction than love--who finds

  • each other of romantic interest that might then develop into a

  • love relationship. But let's start with a

  • definition of love. And I'm going to pick a

  • definition from a former colleague, Robert Sternberg,

  • who is now the dean at Tufts University but was here on our

  • faculty at Yale for nearly thirty years or so.

  • And he has a theory of love that argues that it's made up of

  • three components: intimacy,

  • passion, and commitment, or what is sometimes called

  • decision commitment. And these are relatively

  • straightforward. He argued that you don't have

  • love if you don't have all three of these elements.

  • Intimacy is the feeling of closeness, of connectedness with

  • someone, of bonding. Operationally,

  • you could think of intimacy as you share secrets,

  • you share information with this person that you don't share with

  • anybody else. Okay.

  • That's really what intimacy is, the bond that comes from

  • sharing information that isn't shared with other--with many

  • other people. Second element is passion.

  • Passion is what you think it is. Passion is the--we would say

  • the drive that leads to romance. You can think of it as physical

  • attraction or sex. And Sternberg argues that this

  • is a required component of a love relationship.

  • It is not, however, a required component of taking

  • a shower in Calhoun College. [laughter]

  • The third element of love in Sternberg's theory is what he

  • calls decision or commitment, the decision that one is in a

  • love relationship, the willingness to label it as

  • such, and a commitment to maintain

  • that relationship at least for some period of time.

  • Sternberg would argue it's not love if you don't call it love

  • and if you don't have some desire to maintain the

  • relationship. So if you have all three of

  • these, intimacy, passion and commitment,

  • in Sternberg's theory you have love.

  • Now what's interesting about the theory is what do you have

  • if you only have one out of three or two out of three?

  • What do you have and how is it different if you have a

  • different two out of three? These are--What's interesting

  • about this kind of theorizing is it give--it gives rise to many

  • different permutations that when you break them down and start to

  • look at them carefully can be quite interesting.

  • So what I've done is I've taken Sternberg's three elements of

  • love, intimacy, passion and commitment,

  • and I've listed out the different kinds of relationships

  • one would have if you had zero, one, two or three out of the

  • three elements. And I'm using names or types

  • that Sternberg uses in his theory.

  • These are really from him. Some of these are pretty

  • obvious. If you don't have intimacy,

  • if you don't have passion, if you don't have commitment,

  • you don't have love. Sternberg calls this non-love.

  • That's the technical term. And [laughs]

  • essentially what he's saying is the relationship you now have to

  • the person sitting next to you, presuming that you're sitting

  • next to a random person that you didn't know from your college,

  • is probably non-love. If it's something else,

  • we could talk about it at the end of the lecture or perhaps

  • when I get to it in a moment. Now let's start to add elements.

  • Let's add intimacy. This is sharing secrets,

  • a feeling of closeness, connectedness,

  • bonding. Let's say we have that with

  • someone but we don't have passion, that is,

  • no sexual arousal, and no commitment to maintain

  • the relationship. This is liking.

  • Sternberg calls it liking. And liking is really what is

  • happening in most typical friendships, not your closest

  • friendship but friendships of a casual kind.

  • You feel close, you share certain information

  • with that person that you don't share with other--many other

  • people, but you're not physically

  • attracted and there's no particular commitment to

  • maintaining this for a long period of time.

  • Now, what if you're not intimate, you're not committed,

  • but you're passionate; you feel that sexual arousal.

  • This is what Sternberg would call infatuation.

  • And that term probably works for you too, infatuated love,

  • and this is love at first sight.

  • "I don't know you, we've never shared any secrets

  • because I don't know you, I'm not committed to defining

  • this as anything, I'm not committed to the future.

  • In fact, I'm not thinking about the future.

  • I'm thinking about right now but boy, am I attracted."

  • Right. That's infatuation and that's

  • what Sternberg means by infatuated love.

  • The third kind of one-element relationship is there's no

  • intimacy, right, no bonding,

  • no closeness, no secrets, no physical

  • attraction, no sexual arousal, but by gosh,

  • we are going to maintain this relationship,

  • we are committed to it for all time.

  • Sternberg calls that "empty love."

  • Empty love is kind of interesting.

  • It's often the final stage of long-term relationships that

  • have gone bad. "We don't share information

  • with each other anymore so there's no intimacy.

  • We don't feel physically attracted to each other anymore,

  • there's no passion, but we'd better stay together

  • for the kids, right?

  • Or we've got to stay together for appearance's sake or we'd

  • better stay together because financially it would be a

  • disaster if we don't" or all of the reasons other than intimacy

  • and passion that people might commit to each other.

  • That's what Sternberg calls empty love.

  • Now what's interesting is in societies where marriages are

  • arranged this is often the first stage of a love relationship.

  • These two people who have maybe never seen each other before,

  • who have never shared secrets so there's no intimacy,

  • who have never--don't know if they're physically attracted to

  • each other or on their wedding day revealed to each other and

  • committed legally and sometimes religiously to each other.

  • Right? The commitment is there but at

  • that moment nothing else might be there.

  • What's interesting of course is that such relationships don't

  • seem to have any greater chance of ending in divorce than people

  • who marry for love. But there's a big confound,

  • there's a big problem in studies of those kind of

  • relationships. What might it be?

  • Anybody. What might be the problem in

  • the statement I just made that these kind of relationships are

  • just as likely to survive as people who marry for love?

  • Yes. Student:

  • [inaudible] Dean Peter Salovey:

  • Yeah. So they may occur;

  • they're more likely to occur in societies that frown on divorce.

  • They make it very costly, socially costly,

  • to divorce, so then they stay together for all kinds of

  • reasons, not always such good ones.

  • All right. Now who was it who sang the

  • song "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad"?

  • Was that Meat Loaf? Who was it?

  • It was Meat Loaf. All right.

  • Professor Bloom says it was Meat Loaf.

  • It was Meat Loaf. You're all saying,

  • "there was a singer called Meat Loaf?"

  • Meat Loaf sang the song "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad."

  • Let's see if two out of three ain't bad.

  • What if you have intimacy, "we share secrets,

  • passion, we feel physically attracted to each other but

  • we're not making any commitments here."

  • Sternberg calls that "romantic love."

  • This is physical attraction with close bonding but no

  • commitment, Romeo and Juliet when they first met.

  • This is often the way relationships start:

  • "We like each other, I'm physically attracted to

  • each other, I--to you, I enjoy spending

  • time with you but I'm not making any long-term commitments.

  • So I'm not even willing to use the ‘L' word in describing

  • what it is we have." Right?

  • Many of you might have been in relationships of this sort.

  • That's romance. That's romantic love.

  • Now, what if you have intimacy, "we share secrets with each

  • other, but there's no particular physical attraction but we are

  • really committed to this relationship."

  • This is what Sternberg calls "companionate love."

  • This is your best friend. "We are committed to sharing

  • intimacy, to being friends forever," but physical

  • attraction is not part of the equation here.

  • This is sort of the--maybe the Greek ideal in relationships of

  • some kind. All right.

  • What if we have passion, "I'm sexually attracted to

  • you," but no intimacy. "I don't want to really know

  • that much about you, I don't want to really share

  • anything of me with you, but I am committed to

  • maintaining this physical attraction to you" [laughter]

  • Well, that's what Sternberg calls

  • "fatuous love." It's a whirlwind courtship.

  • It's a Hollywood romance. It might lead to a shotgun

  • wedding. Maybe you find yourself in Las

  • Vegas and you get married for a day and a half and then realize

  • that this wasn't such a good idea.

  • And maybe your name is Britney and you're a singer.

  • [laughter] Well, anyway,

  • you've got the idea. That's fatuous love.

  • "We are basically committed to each other for sex" but it's

  • very hard to make those relationships last a long time

  • because we might not have anything in common,

  • we might not share anything with each other,

  • we might not trust each other, we are not particularly bonded

  • to each other. On the other hand,

  • if you have all three, intimacy, passion,