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10.2: Love and Attraction Theory

  • Page ID
    13392
  • One of the most important factors in interpersonal attraction is similarity: the more similar two people are in attitudes, background, and other traits, the more probable it is that they will like each other. Contrary to popular belief, opposites do not usually attract. Although physical attraction may take precedence in the early stages of a romantic relationship, similarity and other compatibility factors become more important later on.

    Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love

    Psychologist Robert Sternberg describes love based on combinations of three components: passion, intimacy, and commitment.  When two people share all three, they are said to be in a state of consummate love. This combination is considered to be an ideal type of love, but is also relatively difficult to maintain for a long period of time.

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    Note

    A relationship based on a single component is less likely to survive than one based on two or three components.

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