Commitment, Love, and Mate Retention

Lorne Campbell, Bruce J. Ellis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

14 Scopus citations


Drawing on the power of evolutionary theory to explain behavior across cultures and species, particularly in the domains of sex and reproduction, evolutionary psychology has now emerged as a major perspective in the study of intimate relationships. This chapter applies this perspective to the study of love, commitment, and mate retention. It presents an overview of the evolutionary basis of long-term mating and high parental investment in humans. The chapter discusses two emotional-motivational systems, love and anger-upset, that play major roles in regulating relationship feelings and behavior. It highlights recent evolutionary research on the love system and its links to relationship ideals, investment, and dependence. Finally, the chapter reviews the anger-upset system and its links to jealousy, mate-retention strategies, and relationship violence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology
PublisherJohn Wiley and Sons Ltd
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9780470939376
ISBN (Print)0471264032, 9780471264033
StatePublished - Sep 8 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Anger-upset system
  • Emotional-motivational systems
  • Evolutionary psychology
  • Human reproduction
  • Love system
  • Mate retention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Commitment, Love, and Mate Retention'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this