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DESCRIBING THE NEOCLASSICAL PSYCHE EMBEDDED IN STERNBERG'S TRIANGULAR THEORY OF LOVE

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Abstract:

sternberg's Triangular Theory of Love was examined to identify the structure of the psyche implied in that theory. Sternberg's theory posits three components of human functioning to explain the phenomenon of love in close relationships: intimacy, passion, and commitment. Analysis of these three components indicates that they align with a neoclassical model of the human psyche. A neoclassical psyche consists of at least three fundamental, irreducible capacities: cognition, affect, and conation. Sternberg's commitment component relies on the capacity for cognition (and conation), the passion component is derived from conation (and affect), and the intimacy component is derived from emotional investment or the capacity for affect (and cognition). Therefore, Sternberg's overall Triangular Theory of Love ontologically presupposes a neoclassical structure to the psyche.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2004.32.7.683

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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