SAGE Journal Articles

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Article 1: Fletcher, G. J. O., Simpson, J. A., Campbell, L., & Overall, N. C. (2015). Pair-bonding, romantic love, and evolution: The curious case of Homo sapiens. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 10(1), 20–36.

Learning Objective: Broadening the understanding of love as an evolved trait

Summary: From an evolutionary perspective, there are three proposed purposes of love: love as a commitment device, love as a promoter of parental investment, and love as a way to evolve social intelligence and cooperative skills. The authors provide data that support—but also challenge—these propositions, along with additional studies that shed more light on the evolution of love.

Questions to Consider:

  1. Which findings support the theory of love as an evolved mechanism?
  2. Does the occurrence of arranged marriages in human society really undermine love as an evolved trait? Why, or why not?
  3. What is the purpose of bias in intimate relationships?


Article 2: Lemieux, R., & Hale, J. L. (2002). Cross-sectional analysis of intimacy, passion, and commitment: Testing the assumptions of the triangular theory of love. Psychological Reports, 90(3), 1009–1014.

Learning Objective: Understanding the triangular theory of love and its correlations with longevity and type of relationship

Summary: The authors have researched how three aspects of love—intimacy, passion, and commitment—vary over time and depend on type of the relationship. While intimacy and passion decline over time, commitment increases. Significant differences were found between casual dating and marriage as well.

Questions to Consider:

  1. Why does intimacy in relationships decline over time?
  2. How does intimacy vary depending on the type of relationship?
  3. Explain how all three aspects of love would vary in a relationship that starts as casual dating, then becomes more serious, and turns into engagement and, finally, marriage.


Article 3: Dion, K. L., & Dion, K. K. (1993). Gender and ethnocultural comparisons in styles of love.  Psychology of Women Quarterly, 17, 463–473.

Learning Objective: Understanding the influence of gender and ethnicity on preferred types of love

Summary: The authors have researched whether gender and ethnicity correlate with love styles. Women tend to be more oriented toward storge and pragma types of love and less oriented toward ludus. Differences were found between Asian culture, on the one side, and European and Anglo-Celtic cultures, on the other.

Questions to Consider:

  1. What are some gender differences concerning love style? Can you explain them from an evolutionary perspective?
  2. How are men and women similar regarding styles of love?
  3. How does culture influence love styles?