Multimedia

Multimedia

Robert Sternberg was interviewed on October 9, 2018 for the podcast, What Makes Us Human? from Cornell University's College of Arts & Sciences. This is the podcast's third season, "What Do We Know About Love?" and Dr. Sternberg discusses his "Triangular Theory of Love."

 

I became interested in love when I was in a failing relationship (regrettably, one of several in my lifetime).  I wondered what was wrong.  I thought back to some of the relationships in my life I would have labeled at one time or another as “loving.”

The first was with a little girl I’ll call Joan, when I was in early elementary school.  We could talk about anything.  We even planned to be King and Queen of the world, and everyone except us would have to go around naked.  We communicated well, cared about each other, felt like we could count on each other.  In sum, Joan and I were truly intimate with each other, although of course strictly in a Platonic sense.  After all, we were just 5 years old at the time!

The second relationship was with Jane (also not her real name). I saw Jane sitting in front of me in high school biology class and immediately fell head over heels for her. That year of school I obsessed over Jane.  I could think of no one and nothing else. But it was totally one-sided. She had no interest in me, and when she met the captain of the soccer team at a New Year’s Eve party, I was totally out of the picture.  What I felt for Jane was passion—infatuated love—but there was no intimacy. We even hardly spoke to each other. 

The third relationship was with a woman I’ll call Joanne. The relationship started off well enough.  But as time went on, it cooled. We seemed to be on different life paths and our understanding of each other got worse by the day.  For a long time, we stayed with it, despite the fact that the relationship had tanked.  Eventually, feeling commitment but little more, we split up.

These three relationships formed the basis for what I came to call a “triangular theory of love.”  The basic idea is that love has three components: intimacy (as with Joan), passion (as with Jane), and commitment (as with Joanne).  Each component contributes to the overall experience of love.  And different combinations of components yield different kinds of love.  Intimacy alone yields liking.  Passion alone produces infatuated love.  Commitment alone yields what I call empty love.  Intimacy plus passion, without commitment, gives you romantic love.  Intimacy plus commitment, but without passion, produces companionate love.  Passion plus commitment, but without intimacy, gives you what I call fatuous or foolish love. And intimacy, passion, and commitment all combined yield consummate or complete love.

I devised a scale to measure each of the components of love, and then did what is called “construct validation,” testing both the theory and the scale with adult subjects around New Haven, Connecticut. We learned two important things.  The first thing we learned wasn’t surprising: it turned out that more of each of the three components—intimacy, passion, and commitment—is associated with greater success and happiness in a relationship.  But the second thing we learned was more surprising and more important: we found that relationships tend to be more successful when partners’ triangles match -- when each partner is looking for more or less the same thing.  For example, if both partners value intimacy and passion but are not yet ready to commit, that will augur well for the relationship.  But if one partner seeks intimacy and the other craves passion, things are not likely to work out all so well.  Compatibility matters—a lot. 

So what should you look for in a partner?  Most of all, look for someone who wants the same things out of a relationship that you do.  In that way, you ensure that what you mean by love and what your partner means by love are, more or less, the same thing.  You will then have so much more reason to stay together!https://soundcloud.com/cornellcas/a-triangular-theory

Lin Bian will join the Department of Human Development in January 2019 as the Evalyn Edwards Milman Assistant Professor. Watch the NBC News video to learn more about her research on the acquisition and consequences of gender stereotypes about intellectual ability.

The magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) facility in MVR.

One of the central goals in the establishment of the Cornell Magnetic Resonance Imaging Facility (CMRIF) has been to help foster innovative technology development among faculty from diverse disciplines, including animal science.

Valerie Reyna, Director of the CMRIF and the Human Neuroscience Institute

Valerie Reyna, Director of the CMRIF explains the importance of the facility to the Cornell research community, “This versatile tool makes it possible to observe the brain in action, creating opportunities for scientific innovation to improve the human condition. It will be an asset in attracting and retaining excellent faculty, enriching the educational experience for our students.”

Philippa Johnson

Philippa Johnson of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine is a researcher who exemplifies the type of investigator the CMRIF has aimed to attract. She has been engaged in an MRI study of the cat's brain and spinal cord at the CMRIF. It is a challenge to generate high-quality scans of small animals. Watch her video to find out more about the specialized coil she purchased and how it has helped her research.

 

Published on Jun 29, 2018

APS President Suparna Rajaram invited four distinguished psychological scientists to speak about memory from cognitive, neuroscientific, cultural, and developmental approaches as part of the Presidential Symposium at the 30th Annual APS Convention in San Francisco, May 25, 2018. Watch Qi Wang's presentation, "Studying Memory Development in Cultural Context: A Multi-Level Analysis Approach".

Valerie Reyna was featured in an outreach video about members of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM).

The NAM has more than 2,000 members from the United States and 140 nations around the world. Members are elected by their peers in recognition of exceptional professional achievement. Members lend their expertise in service of the NAM's mission to improve health for all by advancing science, accelerating health equity, and providing independent, authoritative, and trusted advice nationally and globally.

Valerie Reyna

Science Friday, August, 25, 2017.

Ira Flatow, host of NPR's Science Friday, discusses a recently published paper which HD's Valerie Reyna co-authored as part of a collaboration between researchers at Cornell University and University of Pennsylvania.

Published on Nov 4, 2016

Adam Anderson and Eve De Rosa from the Affect and Cognition Lab at Cornell share state of the art research methods about psychological and neural foundations of emotion and cognition. From animal models to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the public will get an idea of how scientists attempt to understand the nature of affection. Furthermore, Ursula Hess will draw from her research on the communication of emotions to discuss whether emotions are universally understood or culturally dependent.

Joachim Muller-Jung, Head of Science at F.A.Z.
Adam Anderson, Assoc. Prof., Affective Neuroscience, Cornell University
Eve De Rosa, Assoc. Prof. of Human Ecology, Cornell University
Ursual Hess, Prof. of Psychology at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Fri 4.11.2016, 12:3014:00

created by State Festival http://www.statefestival.org/
presented by F.A.Z. http://www.faz.net/
produced by WECAP http://wecap.de/

Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Germany
(CC BY-SA 3.0 DE)

Hear Associate Professor of Psychology and Human Development at Cornell University Katherine Kinzler discuss her work in child food preferences (with collaborators Zoe Liberman, University of California, Santa Barbara; and at the University of Chicago, Samantha Fan, Amanda Woodward, Boaz Keysar); and how working with scholars on the project across the fields of psychology, philosophy, and theology has impacted her approach to thinking about her research.  (Reprinted from the Virtue Blog for the Virtue, Happiness, & the Meaning of Life project at University of Chicago.)

Published on Apr 24, 2017

Gay youth today describe themselves as proud, happy, and grateful – something many of us would have found surprising a generation ago. Yet many adults seem skeptical about this change in perceptions and attitudes. What does it mean to be gay today? Professor Ritch Savin-Williams, professor emeritus of developmental psychology in the Cornell College of Human Ecology, observes that huge gaps still remain in our knowledge about gay youth’s basic developmental needs, their sexual and romantic life, and overall well-being. With his new book, Becoming Who I Am: Young Men on Being Gay, Savin-Williams aims to begin filling this void, exploring identity and sexuality as told by today’s generation of gay young men. Through a series of in-depth interviews with teenagers and men in their early 20s, he offers a contemporary perspective on gay lives in present day America. In a Chats in the Stacks book talk at Mann Library in March 2017, Dr. Savin-Williams shared highlights from this work and some thoughts about what his findings suggest for the future of gay youth in an age of growing tolerance.