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Love Bug

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David Kays

on 5 June 2015

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Transcript of Love Bug

Romantic rejection causes a profound sense of loss and negative affect.
It can induce clinical depression and in extreme cases lead to suicide and/or homicide.
Heartbreak: Romantic Love and Rejection
Romantic Rejection: Social Ostracism
Ostracism negatively affects four basic psychological needs: sense of belonging, self-esteem, control, and meaningful existence.
Activation specific to the image of the beloved occurred in areas associated with:
gains and losses
and emotion regulation

Acitivation was found in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) bilaterally, ventral striatum, medial and lateral orbitofrontal/prefrontal cortex, and cingulate gyrus.
What about the Brain?
Forebrain activations associated with motivational relevance, gain/loss, cocaine craving, addiction, and emotion regulation suggest that higher-order systems subject to experience and learning also may mediate the rejection reaction.
More Brain... It Still Hurts!
Activation of areas involved in cocaine addiction may help explain the obsessive behaviors associated with rejection in love.
Is this evidence that the passion of “romantic love” is a goal-oriented motivation state rather than a specific emotion?
Cyberball: The Game of Being Left Out
(Study 2) found that even understanding that the computer was scripted to ostracize the participant did not prevent the aversive experience of being ostracized.
(Study 1) convinced the participants that they were palying Cyberball against a computer, yet still found comparable negative impact compared to when the participants were told they were being ostracized by real others.
(Zadro, Williams, & Richardson, 2004)
Other Effects: The Heart
Gunther Moor, Crone, & van der Molen (2010)
Psychophysiological manifestation of hurt feelings by examining the beat-by-beat heart rate response associated with the processing of social rejection.
The processing of unexpected social rejection is associated with a sizable response of the parasympathetic nervous system.
Feedback was associated with transient heart rate slowing and a return to baseline that was considerably delayed in response to unexpected social rejection.
Other Effects: The Eyes
(Fisher, Brown, Aron, Strong, & Mashek, 2010)
(Fisher, Brown, Aron, Strong, & Mashek, 2010)
(Fisher, Brown, Aron, Strong, & Mashek, 2010)
(Pharo, Gross, Richardson, & Hayne, 2011)
Ostracism negatively affected participants’ basic needs, but the magnitude of the effect was larger in the two younger age groups.
Although ostracism may be a potent experience for all individuals, adolescents and emerging adults may experience increased sensitivity to ostracism relative to their older counterparts.
Adolescents, emerging adults, and young adults were either included or ostracized using a computer game called Cyberball.
Age-Related Ostracism
What is love? - romantically speaking...
Love reciprocated - Love in relationship (short term, long term)
Love and rejection - pain associated with love
Clinical applications
Integration/Diversity considerations sprinkled in
To be discussed...
Unrequited Love
Love & Marriage
Romantic Love Reciprocated:
The Chronicle of an Emotional Relationship
So the question is ....
Positives & Negatives
Physiological Effects of Love
Love and Life
(Acevedo et al., 2012)
Satisfaction & Well-being
Emerging Adults
(University students)

Relationship quality & Satisfaction of Needs

Satisfaction of needs
: Important
Self-compassionate individuals
: More positive relationship behavior
of positive relationship behavior than trait self-esteem (SE) or attachment style.
report each other's SC levels
. SC: observable trait
In love: Happier

Love at first sight & gradual love

Love > marital happiness & satisfaction
Emotion Refresher!
According to Gluck, Mercado, and Myers (2008):
“A cluster of three distinct but interrelated kinds of responses: physiological responses, overt behaviors, and conscious feelings” (p. 382).
According to Siegel (2012):
At the physiological level, emotion “links various systems together to form a state of mind.” Emotion also “serves as a set of processes connecting one mind to another within interpersonal relationships” (p. 148).

: Women more “lovey-dovey” and say the “L-word” first
Both genders believe this
: Men feel and say first!
Once upon a time…..
(Harrison & Shortall, 2011)
Feel happier when say it first
Response depends on sexual relationship
What is love?
(Willi, 1997)
Love (in general) can greatly vary depending on context.
Ex: Parent-Child vs Same Sex Friendship vs a Couple

For our purposes, we will be looking at romantic love involving two people.
Henceforth, you may hear us use “love” and “romantic love” interchangeably when referring to research literature

Love Thy Self
What is love?
What is (romantic) love?

Either from personal experience or observation of others, describe or give examples of what romantic love may be like (i.e. thoughts, feelings, behaviors associated with romantic love)
Self-compassion (SC):
Being kind to oneself when confronting personal inadequacies or situational difficulties
Reframing imperfections:
Mindful of negative emotions. Suppress/ruminate
Linked to healthier romantic relationship behavior

(Neff & Beretvas, 2013)
When romantic love has been defined, it typically incorporates as a combination of
passionate love
compassionate love

Passionate love
- According to Hatfield & Walster: “a state of intense longing of union with another. … A state of profound physiological arousal" (as cited in Wang & Nguyen, 1995, p. 459).
Commonly experienced strongest during adolescence and early adulthood.

Compassionate love
- Deep affection for another involving shared values and long-term commitment. The capacity for compassionate love is relatively enduring and grows over time with the lengthening and deepening of relationships (Wang & Nguyen, 1995, p. 460).
Typically later in adulthood and old age.

Controlling or verbally aggressive
Eryilmaz, A. (2013)
Subjective wellbeing
Love Chemicals
Dopamine: ‘desire and reward’ by triggering an intense rush of pleasure.
Serotonin: Plays a role in mood.
Adrenaline: activates sympathetic nervous system.
Oxytocin: "cuddle hormone" - helps reduce stress - promotes intimacy, higher amounts in women.
Vasopressin: Also central to forming bonds - higher amounts in men.
Ventral tegmental area: reward and motivation
Orbitofrontal cortex: evaluation of rewards
Anterior insula: empathy
Inferior frontal gyrus: mirror system
Bed nucleus of the stria terminalis: stress control
Prefrontal cortex: affective regulation
Greater marital satisfaction
Greater marital satisfaction associated with:
decreased activation of the subcallosal cingulate gyrus
high activity: severe depression.
(Neto & Pinto, 2014)
18-90 years old (m=38)
Satisfaction of love life: Highly similar factor structures
Adults > older adults : Love life
Love life: Erotic & Agapic orientations
Age & satisfaction with love life
(SWLLS) – Love Life Scale
Satisfaction, commitment, sexual desire, well-being
Love satisfaction & Romantic loneliness
Love: physiology, minds, emotions, our sense of connectedness, and embedded in our social world.
(Acevedo & Aron, 2014)
Eastern & Western cultures
calm & ease
Pair-bonds & romantic love
The brain:
Dopamine Reward
(survival, rewards, and
Passionate love: A state of intense longing for the beloved.
(Tallis, 2005)
Reciprocated: joy, euphoria, and ecstasy
Negative emotions associated: anxiety, jealousy and sadness
Falling in love look similar to: mania, depression, and obsessive compulsive disorder
Reciprocated: elated and happy
Non-reciprocated: emotional and physiological pain
Human Stress Response
(Eden, 2011)
Clinical Implications
Marital Therapy
Limitations in Studies
Intercultural Pairings
(Worthington, 1994)
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