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Owns YouWho Qualifies for Rights?Whose America?Whose View of Life?Why Animals MatterWhy Animals MatterWhy I Burned My Book and Other Essays on DisabilityWhy Not Kill Them All?Why Punish? How Much?Why Some Things Should Not Be for SaleWisdom, Intuition and EthicsWithout ConscienceWomen and Borderline Personality DisorderWomen and MadnessWondergenesWould You Kill the Fat Man?Wrestling with Behavioral GeneticsWriting About PatientsYou Must Be DreamingYour Genetic DestinyYour Inner FishYouth Offending and Youth Justice Yuck!
Human Bonding is both a celebration of the contributions of one of the great scholar-teachers of those bonds and a wonderfully effective series of integrative chapters bringing together information across the life-span from several of the sub-disciplines that make up modern relationship science. In 12 chapters by a group of 20 authors, they cover infant-caregiver attachment, human social nature, child and adolescent social development, mate selection, love and sexual desire, "hooking up" and online dating, keys to relationship success, predictors and consequences of relationship breakup, and the role of social connections in health. The celebration comes from the fact that seven of Hazan's students from her course at Cornell in "Human Bonding" are contributors to the volume--many of whom (e.g., Mary Campa, Paul Eastwick, Lisa Diamond, & Debra Zeifman) have become nationally recognized scholars in their own right. The other 12 contributors are scholars from across relationship science, such as John Cacioppo, Jude Cassidy, J. Thomas Curtis, Sandra Metts, Mario Mikulincer, Harry Reis, Phil Shaver, and Susan Sprecher. It is quite a distinguished group and they deliver first-rate chapters. Indeed, for those looking for an integrative, science based introduction to the state of human bonding, there is no better book.
The volume is organized into four sections. The first consists of three chapters devoted to bonding in infancy, infant-caregiver interactions, and the bridge between infant attachment and subsequent romantic attachments in adolescence. The second section is devoted to three distinct perspectives on human mating. These are a social psychological perspective, an evolutionary perspective, and evidence from animal models of mechanism that underlie bonding. The third section is devoted to new topics in relationship science. These include the ways in which culture changes ("hooking up," "booty calls," and "friends with benefits") have transformed how couples come together. Added to the culture changes are changes made possible by new technology (online dating, speed dating, and Facebook) have had an impact on who meets whom and how they relate and what they share about their lives. And one of the jewels of the volume is Lisa Diamonds summary of her work on the distinctions between sexual desire, romantic attraction, and sexual orientation. That one can be sexual attracted to a person of one gender and romantically attracted to a person of another gender is clearly established by her research. She shows why such outcomes might be explained by having two distinct behavioral systems—a sexual mating system and a human bonding system. The third section is topped off by Shaver and Mikulincer's comprehensive discussion of attachment measurements and new developments therein. The original three category model of individual differences has been replaced by a two dimensional, four category model.
The final section also consist of three chapters. The first of these (by Reis) takes on the issue of what is the core feature of social bonds, felt security, and belongingness that makes them so important in our lives. His theoretical synthesis is that the core is the perception that the partner is responsive to one's most important goal and values. In a survey of research on relationship breakups and successful and unsuccessful coping with relationship problems, Lee & Sbarra make the case that these two separate literatures need a comprehensive framework to integrate them. Finally Hawkley and Cacippo provide a detailed overview of the psychological and physical pathways by which relationships influence health and well-being. They also stress the importance of the perception that one's partner and close others are responsive to our needs and desires.
It is unusual to find an edited volume all of whose chapters are first-rate. It is a testimony to Hazan and Campa's skills as recruiters of contributors and as editors that they have achieved that in this volume.
© 2014 Keith E. Davis
Keith E. Davis, PhD, is Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychology, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. His research interests include relationship development, adult attachment theory, love and friendship, stalking and partner violence, and the foundation of the behavioral sciences.
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