Editorial Reviews. Review. "A brainy, bright, laughter-through-tears, A Working Theory of Love: A Novel - Kindle edition by Scott Hutchins. Download it once. An extraordinary debut novel that “hits that sweet spot where humor and melancholy comfortably coexist” (Entertainment Weekly) Before his brief marriage. A Working Theory of Love book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Settled back into the San Francisco singles scene followi.. .
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Aspiring novelists, that masochistic breed of nearly-writer, could learn a lot from Scott Hutchins – and not just by enrolling at Stanford, where he. A Working Theory of Love. by Scott Hutchins (Penguin). In , Alan Turing, the British mathematician and artificial-intelligence pioneer. The triangular theory of love holds that love can be understood in terms of three .. evolutionary forces are at work to ensure that parent-child bonding survives.
Neill is a thirtysomething San Franciscan, working on a high-end technology project to create "the first intelligent computer" — human enough to trick another human into believing it's human, too. The journals of Neill's father, the late Dr Bassett, provide the computer's "voice"; a combination of elaborate programs, including one based on the seven deadly sins, its "personality".
A Working Theory of Love is a novel of tremendous poise: It has much to say about what it means to live, love and lose in the 21st century, peeling back the veneer of modern, white-collar America to reveal its soft centre: Hutchins writes of a fellow worker bee in "distressed jeans, his hair pushed together in a point, as if someone has been sitting on his head bare-assed", and asks pointedly: Every once in a while a novel comes along and speaks to a generation of men, making a joke of the notion that they don't read fiction the way women supposedly do: Think Fight Club without the bravado.
Single men everywhere will know what Neill means when he describes, tongue-in-cheek, the "little indulgences" that are "key to bachelor life": Hutchins expertly charts the terrain of love, and what it means to fall, and fall hard.
In some of the novel's funniest scenes, Hutchins has him attend "Pure Encounters", a self-help group obsessed with "clicking in", whose members are essentially taught how to find a woman's clitoris. In general, express your affection or uncertainty clearly, unless there is a special reason not to.
The specific problem is: Very awkward prose. No indication why the cited authors are significant. Please help improve this article if you can. September Learn how and when to remove this template message Many theorists attempt to analyze the process of romantic love. Norepinephrine and dopamine , among other brain chemicals, are responsible for excitement and bliss in humans as well as non-human animals.
Fisher concludes that these reactions have a genetic basis, and therefore love is a natural drive as powerful as hunger.
In his book What Women Want, What Men Want,  anthropologist John Townsend takes the genetic basis of love one step further by identifying how the sexes are different in their predispositions. Townsend's compilation of various research projects concludes that men are susceptible to youth and beauty, whereas women are susceptible to status and security.
These differences are part of a natural selection process where males seek many healthy women of childbearing age to mother offspring, and women seek men who are willing and able to take care of them and their children. Psychologist Karen Horney in her article "The Problem of the Monogamous Ideal",  indicates that the overestimation of love leads to disillusionment; the desire to possess the partner results in the partner wanting to escape; and the friction against sex result in non-fulfillment.
Disillusionment plus the desire to escape plus non-fulfillment result in a secret hostility, which causes the other partner to feel alienated.
Secret hostility in one and secret alienation in the other cause the partners to secretly hate each other. This secret hate often leads one or the other or both to seek love objects outside the marriage or relationship. Psychologist Harold Bessell in his book The Love Test,  reconciles the opposing forces noted by the above researchers and shows that there are two factors that determine the quality of a relationship.
Bessell proposes that people are drawn together by a force he calls "romantic attraction", which is a combination of genetic and cultural factors. This force may be weak or strong and may be felt to different degrees by each of the two love partners.
The other factor is "emotional maturity", which is the degree to which a person is capable of providing good treatment in a love relationship. It can thus be said that an immature person is more likely to overestimate love, become disillusioned, and have an affair whereas a mature person is more likely to see the relationship in realistic terms and act constructively to work out problems.
Romantic love, in the abstract sense of the term, is traditionally considered to involve a mix of emotional and sexual desire for another as a person. However, Lisa M. Diamond , a University of Utah psychology professor, proposes that sexual desire and romantic love are functionally independent  and that romantic love is not intrinsically oriented to same-gender or other-gender partners.
She also proposes that the links between love and desire are bidirectional as opposed to unilateral. Furthermore, Diamond does not state that one's sex has priority over another sex a male or female in romantic love because her theory suggests[ according to whom? According to Diamond, in most men sexual orientation is fixed and most likely innate, but in many women sexual orientation may vary from 0 to 6 on the Kinsey scale and back again. She has explored the evolutionary rationale that has shaped modern romantic love and has concluded that long-lasting relationships are helpful to ensure that children reach reproductive age and are fed and cared for by two parents.
Haselton and her colleagues have found evidence in their experiments that suggest love's adaptation. The first part of the experiments consists of having people think about how much they love someone and then suppress thoughts of other attractive people.
In the second part of the experiment the same people are asked to think about how much they sexually desire those same partners and then try to suppress thoughts about others. The results showed that love is more efficient in pushing out those rivals than sex.
However, research from Stony Brook University in New York suggests that some couples keep romantic feelings alive for much longer. While Singer did believe that love was important to world culture, he did not believe that romantic love played a major role Singer, .
However, Susan Hendrick and Clyde Hendrick at Texas Tech University ,   have theorized that romantic love will play an increasingly important cultural role in the future, as it is considered an important part of living a fulfilling life.
They also theorized that love in long-term romantic relationships has only been the product of cultural forces that came to fruition within the past years.
By cultural forces, they mean the increasing prevalence of individualistic ideologies, which are the result of an inward shift of many cultural worldviews. Passionate and companionate love[ edit ] Researchers have determined that romantic love is a complex emotion that can be divided into either passionate or companionate forms.
Passionate love is an arousal-driven emotion that often gives people extreme feelings of happiness, and can also give people feelings of anguish. Researchers have described the stage of passionate love as "being on cocaine", since during that stage the brain releases the same neurotransmitter, dopamine, as when cocaine is being used. A couple may start to feel really comfortable with each other to the point that they see each other as simply companions or protectors, but yet think that they are still in love with each other.
Hendrick and Hendrick  studied college students who were in the early stages of a relationship and found that almost half reported that their significant other was their closest friend, providing evidence that both passionate and companionate love exist in new relationships.
Conversely, in a study of long-term marriages, researchers Contreras, Hendrick, and Hendrick,  found that couples endorsed measures of both companionate love and passionate love and that passionate love was the strongest predictor of marital satisfaction, showing that both types of love can endure throughout the years. The triangular theory of love[ edit ] Psychologist Robert Sternberg  developed the triangular theory of love. He theorized that love is a combination of three main components: passion physical arousal ; intimacy psychological feelings of closeness ; and commitment the sustaining of a relationship.
He also theorized that the different combinations of these three components could yield up to seven different forms of love.
These include popularized forms such as romantic love intimacy and passion and consummate love passion, intimacy, and commitment. The other forms are liking intimacy , companionate love intimacy and commitment , empty love commitment , fatuous love passion and commitment , and infatuation passion.
On the other hand, Acker and Davis  found that commitment was the strongest predictor of relationship satisfaction, especially for long-term relationships. The self-expansion theory of romantic love[ edit ] Researchers Arthur and Elaine Aron  theorized that humans have a basic drive to expand their self-concepts.
A study following college students for 10 weeks showed that those students who fell in love over the course of the investigation reported higher feelings of self-esteem and self efficacy than those who did not Aron, Paris, and Aron, .
Relationship behaviors[ edit ] Recent research suggests that romantic relationships impact daily behaviors and people are influenced by the eating habits of their romantic partners. Specifically, in the early stages of romantic relationships, women are more likely to be influenced by the eating patterns i.
Physiology[ edit ] Researchers such as Feeney and Noller question the stability of attachment style across the life span since studies that measured attachment styles at time points ranging from 2 weeks to 8 months found that 1 out of 4 adults' attachment style changed.
Another topic of controversy in the field of romantic relationships is that of domestic abuse. Following the theory that romantic love evolved as a byproduct of survival, it can be said that in some instances, it has turned into a maladaptation. Oxytocin is a neurophysical hormone produced in the brain. It is known to cause a decrease in stress response. It also can cause an increase in feelings of attachment.
In the beginning stages of a romantic relationship, OT levels surge and then remain relatively stable over the duration of the relationship. The higher the surge of OT, the greater the likelihood is of partners staying together. Individuals ranked high in rejection sensitivity exhibited aggressive tendencies and decreased willingness for cooperation, indicating a link between oxytocin and relationship maintenance. The obligations of individuals in romantic relationships to preserve these bonds are based in kin selection theory, where by exhibiting aggressive behavior, a mate can use intimidation and dominance to ward off other potential predators, thus protecting the pair bond and their actual or potential offspring.
This has however evolved to the point where it has become detrimental to the fitness of individuals; what is causing attachment to occur in a relationship, is now causing one partner to harm the other. In the search for the root of intimate partner violence IPV , intranasal oxytocin was administered to a control group and a group of participants with aggressive tendencies.
Participants were then surveyed on how willing they were to engage in 5 behaviors towards their romantic partner. What they found was that oxytocin increased IPV inclinations only among the participants with a predisposition towards aggressive tendencies. This, coupled with its role in relationship maintenance, illustrates that oxytocin serves to instill a sense of territoriality and protectiveness towards a mate.