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Making sense of ourselves
Making sense of ourselves

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2.1 Enduring love?

This activity probes some of the traditional understandings that underpin key psychological theories about personal relationships. It focuses on the findings of Enduring Love? – a research project conducted by Janet Fink and Jacqui Gabb of The Open University – which asked people about their experience of relationships.

Activity 3 How much do I love thee?

Timing: This activity will take about an hour.

Take a look at this video, which features Janet Fink and Jacqui Gabb talking about the Enduring Love? project. Start by watching the whole film without interruption and try to follow the main discussion.

Download this video clip.Video player: Video 1 Interview with Janet Fink and Jacqui Gabb
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Video 1 Interview with Janet Fink and Jacqui Gabb
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Now that you have seen the film once, read through the questions below and watch the film again with these specific issues in mind. Feel free to stop and rewind the film whenever you like, and note down some of the key points.

  1. Hazan and Shaver’s (1987) described romantic love as ‘a biological process designed by evolution to facilitate attachment between adult sexual partners who, at the time love evolved, were likely to become parents of an infant who would need their reliable care’. How does this compare with the findings of the Enduring Love? project?
  2. What did the Enduring Love? research have to say about the relationship between love and friendship?
  3. Were the researchers able to establish characteristics that potentially make love enduring?
  4. Spend a few minutes thinking about your perspective on this project. Where you surprised by any of the findings? What do you think was the key contribution?