Relationship Science: Integrating Evolutionary, Neuroscience, and Sociocultural Approaches

Pages: 254
Item #: 4318103
ISBN: 978-1-4338-1123-4
List Price: $49.95
Member/Affiliate Price: $39.95
Copyright: 2012
Format: Hardcover
Availability: In Stock
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For individuals in the U.S. & U.S. territories


Relationships are the most important factor affecting life quality and satisfaction. Yet, the underlying mechanisms of relationships are still relatively unclear. What constitutes a healthy relationship, and might this depend on sociocultural context? How are relational behaviors influenced by biological and evolutionary processes and their interaction with context? Different theories and methods guiding relationship research yield different answers to these questions.

To improve our understanding of this important topic and related questions, it is vital to integrate different theories and methodologies. This book brings together researchers from psychology and neighboring disciplines whose work sheds light on the topic of relationships. It focuses on evolutionary, neuroscience, and sociocultural perspectives — three relatively new interdisciplinary approaches at the forefront of relationship science.

Individual chapters present research findings and relate these findings to other disciplinary and theoretical approaches. They consider not only mating or romantic relationships, but also familial relationships, friendships, and other forms of relationship — including those that produce abuse, conflict, and stress. The result is an innovative and comprehensive view of relationship science. Researchers from a wide variety of disciplines as well as practitioners will find the book enlightening.

Table of Contents




Introduction: Theoretical Integration and Interdisciplinarity in Relationship Science
Omri Gillath, Glenn Adams, and Adrianne Kunkel

I. Guiding Theoretical Approaches

  1. Relationship Neuroscience: Where We Are and Where We Might Be Going
    Jennifer M. Tomlinson and Arthur Aron
  2. Evolutionary Perspectives on Caring and Prosocial Behavior in Relationships
    Lane Beckes and Jeffry A. Simpson
  3. A Cultural Psychology of Relationship: Decolonizing Science and Practice
    Glenn Adams, Tuğçe Kurtiş, Phia S. Salter, and Stephanie L. Anderson

II. Caring

  1. Culture and Genes: Moderators of the Use and Effect of Social Support
    Heejung S. Kim, Taraneh Mojaverian, and David K. Sherman
  2. New Directions in the Neurobiology and Physiology of Paternal Care
    Karen L. Bales, Nicole Maninger, and Katie Hinde
  3. Social-Interactional Perspectives on Child Maltreatment: How Can They Contribute to Relationship Science?
    Steven R. Wilson

III. Attraction and Relationship Initiation

  1. Relational Mobility: A Socioecological Approach to Personal Relationships
    Masaki Yuki and Joanna Schug
  2. Adaptive Relationship Cognition: The Sights and Smells of Sexual Attraction
    Jon K. Maner, Saul L. Miller, and Jennifer Leo
  3. How to Relate to People: The Extraterrestrial's Guide to Homo Sapiens
    Alan Page Fiske and Lisa Schubert

IV. Attachment and Loss

  1. Relationship After Loss: Communication in the New Grief Paradigm
    Michael Robert Dennis and Adrianne Kunkel
  2. A Multilevel, Multimethod Interdisciplinary Approach to the Understanding of Attachment
    Omri Gillath, Melanie Canterberry, and Tara J. Collins


About the Editors

Editor Bios

Omri Gillath, PhD, is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology and the Hoglund Brain Imaging Center at the University of Kansas. His work focuses on human pair bonding and the effects of personality on cognition and behavior. He uses diverse methodologies, including neuroimaging, gene mapping, and advanced cognitive techniques, to explore the associations between attachment style and cognitive performance, sexual motivation and behavior, mating strategies, and caregiving behavior.

His recent funded work (through Templeton and the University of Notre Dame) deals with the cognitive and neural underpinnings of generosity. Before coming to the University of Kansas, he taught and conducted postdoctoral research at the University of California, Davis. He holds a BA in psychology from Haifa University and a PhD in psychology from Bar-Ilan University.

Dr. Gillath has published extensively on the topic of interpersonal relationships and relationship neuroscience in leading academic journals, including the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, and he has given invited lectures at national and international conferences on these topics. He is a member of the editorial board of Personal Relationships, the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, and the Journal of Research in Personality. He is a fellow of the Society of Experimental Social Psychology.

Dr. Gillath received the 2011 Caryl Rusbult Close Relationships Early Career Award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, the 2010 Sage Young Scholars Award from the Foundation for Personality and Social Psychology, and the J. Michael Young Academic Advisor Award from the University of Kansas.

Glenn Adams, PhD, is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Kansas and faculty associate director of the Kansas African Studies Center. He served for 3 years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Sierra Leone before beginning the PhD program in social psychology at Stanford University. While in graduate school, he spent 2 years in Ghana — 1 year with funding from the Social Science Research Council International Predissertation Fellowship Program, another year with a dissertation award from the J. William Fulbright Fellowship Board — which provided the empirical foundation for his dissertation on the topic of enemyship.

He continues to build on this foundation in his current research, applying qualitative and quantitative techniques to investigate the cultural–psychological foundations of personal relationships. His other interests include a sociocultural analysis of racism and oppression inspired by the theoretical perspective of liberation psychology.

Adrianne Kunkel, PhD, is an associate professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Kansas. She also serves as an associate faculty member for the Gerontology/Life Span Institute and a courtesy faculty member for the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program at the University of Kansas.

Dr. Kunkel teaches a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses in her primary department and has been recognized with several teaching and mentoring awards over the past few years. Her research interests include the emotional support and coping processes in personal relationships and support group settings, romantic relationship (re)definition processes, sex–gender similarities and differences, social advocacy processes, and sexual harassment and domestic violence prevention.

Dr. Kunkel has received grants from the University of Kansas to study how people cope with distressing events through narrative, how participation in support groups affects breast cancer survivors, and how work and life intersect in an organization that deals with domestic violence issues and services. On a national level, she has received funding from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration to study the processes that affect satisfaction and perceived support in doctor–patient interaction, particularly when mediated by emerging technologies.

Along with several book chapters, Dr. Kunkel has published articles in many journals in communication studies, psychology, and grief studies.