Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 11 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

From an evolutionary perspective, human relationships are shaped by multiple cognitive and affective mechanisms designed to solve long-recurring problems and opportunities faced by our ancestors. Different relationships—romantic, parental, friendship, acquaintanceship—differ in the threats and opportunities they afford. Because of this, the psychologies governing how people feel and think about different relationships differ profoundly as well: The psychology governing the feelings and thoughts people have about romantic partners is qualitatively different from the psychology governing feelings and thoughts about children, which is qualitatively different from the psychologies governing feelings and thoughts about friends, coworkers, and strangers. In this chapter, we review principles underlying an evolutionary psychology of relationships, and then focus on how fundamental social goals—self-protection, disease avoidance, affiliation, status, mate acquisition, mate retention, and kin care—shape how people think about, feel about, and engage in the wide range of relationships characterizing human social life.

Keywords: life history theory, evolution, modularity, sexual selection, differential parental investment

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.