Two Views of Passionate Love: Why Infatuation is Better Explained by the Transference Model than the Evolutionary Model
41 Pages Posted: 20 May 2014
Date Written: May 16, 2014
Passionate love, as a complex construct including physiological, cognitive, and behavioral changes centered around intrusive thinking about and desire for merger with a love object, is one of humanity's archetypal experiences. Prominent lines of research in attachment and evolutionary research (the "evolutionary model") view passionate love as one of a set of systems used for mating purposes. This paper proposes by contrast a "transference model," which views passionate love as the reactivation of a powerful infantile relationship. This paper summarizes key research in both models. It then argues both that the evolutionary model fails to draw proper conclusions from its own research and that the transference model accounts better for certain striking features of passionate love, including choice of love object, prevalence, and phenomenology.
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