No Gain, No Pain: Attachment Avoidance and Defences Against the Loss of Social Reward
In this talk I will argue that social reward (i.e., intimacy and connection), and the pain of losing such reward, are factors in the regulation of relationship behaviour that have been underestimated by social psychologists. I will provide evidence that individuals high in attachment avoidance are particularly prone to defensively low perceptions of social reward that allow these individuals to believe that the loss of romantic relationships will hurt less. However, I will also provide evidence that the cost of this defensive strategy is an inability to accurately track expressions of love and affection from a romantic partner.
Geoff is an Associate Professor in psychology at the University of Toronto. From his website:
"I want to understand why we relate to each other the way we do - what is the space between us, and what draws us to risk narrowing that space? My perspective begins with the premise that belonging is a deep and ancient need, instilled through millions of years of natural selection. One corollary of this premise is that social exclusion should activate similarly ancient warning systems. I have argued that social exclusion literally hurts, and am engaged in research to explore the connections between social and physical pain. Another corollary is that intimacy should be a powerful and fundamental reward. I have argued that potential for intimacy has been an underestimated motivator of social behaviour, and am engaged in research examining the role of intimacy perceptions in the regulation of social choices. I am strongly guided in this work by an attachment perspective, and am particularly interested in applying my ideas to romantic relationships."
For more information visit http://web.psych.utoronto.ca/gmacdonald/