Theory Who? Main Concepts Relationships Related Theoretical Perspective
Natural Selection Evolutionary psychologists -women prefer to mate with men who would be good fathers and who would stay around to be good providers

-men preferred to mate with women who could bear healthy babies who could feed their children

-could apply to any given relationship; especially for men and women who plan to have children in their futures -purpose of marriage to bear as many children as possible;  to maintain population
Sexual Attraction David Buss; American Psychologist -people’s behaviour as they interact with potential partners is still patterned to enable them to select the person with whom they can raise the most successful children

-women attracted to men who have the qualities of successful providers

-men attracted to physically appealing women

-any relationship (applies to all)
Social homogamy sociologists -individuals are attracted to people from a similar social background -couples who are interracial, but grew up in the same society -even though couples may come from different ethnic backgrounds, they’re socialized in the same environment, giving them similar aspects in their social background
Ideal mate theory psychologists -attraction is based on an individual’s unconscious image of the ideal mate formed from his/her meanings of characteristics

-“love at first sight”

-couples from the same social networks -supports social homogamy;  ideal mate formed from pleasant or negative experiences with other individuals in childhood
Love Triangle Robert Sternberg; American Psychologist -romantic love has three faces;

-passion; a strong feeling of sexual desire for another

-intimacy; each individual shares themselves with another and becomes willing to meet the other’s psychological needs

-commitment; maintaining the relationship grows as the rewards of this relationship over others become evident; individuals accept roles

-romantic compassionate love in North American Couples

-couples who feel they’re falling “head over heels in love”

-falling “head over heels in love” from high levels of PEA (phenyl ethylamine)
Romantic Love Helen Harris -romantic love is a desperate need to connect and a hear of being alone

-described through seven attributes including emotional merger, desire for exclusivity, idealization of a love object, and reordering motivational properties.

-couples at the beginning stages of romantic love; stages right before marriage -desire to be loved psychologically

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Cite this article as: William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team), "Understanding the Theories of Attraction and Mate Selection," in SchoolWorkHelper, 2019,
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