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SPSP Valentine's Day Tipsheet
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SPSP Valentine's Day Tipsheet (February 2012)

John Hritz, this tipsheet:
Press release: The Many Unexpected Sides of Love
Online: Science of Relationships
Online: Writing a Good Love Letter
Journals: Predicting Newlywed Success
Journals: Fair Trade Chocolate Seen As Lower Calorie
Love Experts

Press release-
The Many Unexpected Sides of Love

The more in love you are, the more committed you are to the relationship and the more you have to lose. That survival instinct to protect a relationship leads both men and women to be vigilant, and even violent, toward romantic rivals, according to new research by Jon Maner of the University of Florida. Read about his research, as well as about the effects of geographical distance of relationships, and when and how we say "I love you” in the press release from last month's SPSP annual meeting.

Online resource-
Science of Relationships

For people who are self-secure, giving a Valentine's Day gift can be a real pleasure but for people high in anxiety, the gift giving can merely be an obligation. Read more about Valentine's Day gift-giving, as well as such diverse topics as online dating and whether people have more sex on vacation, on the Science of Relationships website, produced by several social and personality psychologists.

Writing a Good Love Letter

In an evaluation of love letters, researchers found that the most effective messages involved commitment, not necessarily passion. And the message of commitment need not be delivered in a traditional love letter or a card: email will do. Read more about the science of love letters in Donelson Forsyth's PSP Connections blog.

In the journals-
Predicting newlywed success

Are newlyweds more likely to get divorced if their spouse fails to match their ideal partner preferences? The answer to that is yes, say researchers reporting on a 3.5-year study of newlyweds. They found that marriages were more likely to survive when participants’ perceptions of their spouses’ pattern of traits matched their pattern of ideal partner preferences. "Do Ideal Partner Preferences Predict Divorce? A Tale of Two Metrics”, Feb. 2, 2012, Social Psychological and Personality Science, Paul W. Eastwick ( and Lisa Neff.

Fair Trade Chocolate Seen as Lower Calorie

People perceived fair trade chocolate as lower in calories than other chocolate, according to a recent study. Jonathon P. Schuldt of Calfornia State University, Northridge, and colleagues tested how social ethics claims for chocolate created a "health halo" -- an effect where one positive attribute leads us to assume the presence of others. "The 'Fair Trade' Effect: Health Halos From Social Ethics Claims”, Jan. 3, 2012, Social Psychological and Personality Science, Jonathon P. Schuldt ( et al.

Other love experts-

Art Aron, State University of New York at Stony Brook – expert on the use of fMRI brain imaging to understand romantic love including for long-term relationships.
arthur.aron [at]

Lisa Diamond, University of Utah – expert on psychological and biobehavioral processes underlying intimate relationships and their influence on emotional experience and functioning over the life course.
diamond [at]

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