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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2001 Aug;81(2):247-62.

Love and the commitment problem in romantic relations and friendship.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Univesity of California, Berkeley 94720-3210, USA. zaga@uclink4.berkeley.edu

Abstract

On the basis of the proposition that love promotes commitment, the authors predicted that love would motivate approach, have a distinct signal, and correlate with commitment-enhancing processes when relationships are threatened. The authors studied romantic partners and adolescent opposite-sex friends during interactions that elicited love and threatened the bond. As expected, the experience of love correlated with approach-related states (desire, sympathy). Providing evidence for a nonverbal display of love, four affiliation cues (head nods, Duchenne smiles, gesticulation, forward leans) correlated with self-reports and partner estimates of love. Finally, the experience and display of love correlated with commitment-enhancing processes (e.g., constructive conflict resolution, perceived trust) when the relationship was threatened. Discussion focused on love, positive emotion, and relationships.

PMID:
11519930
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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