Human beings the world over are eager to form social bonds, and suffer grievously when these bonds are disrupted. Social connections contribute to our sense of meaning and feelings of vitality, on the one hand, and — at times — to our anguish and despair on the other.
It is not surprising that the mechanisms underlying human connections have long interested researchers from diverse disciplines including social psychology, developmental psychology, communication studies, sociology, and neuroscience. Yet there is too little dialogue among these disciplines and too little integration of insights and findings.
This fifth book in the Herzliya Series on Personality and Social Psychology aims to rectify that situation by providing a comprehensive survey of cutting-edge theory and research on social connections. The volume contains 21 chapters organized into four main sections:
Brain (focusing on the neural underpinnings of social connections and the hormonal processes that contribute to forming connections)
Infancy and Development (focusing especially on child–parent relationships)
Dyadic Relationship (focusing especially on romantic and marital relationships)
Group (considering both evolutionary and physiological bases of group processes)
The integrative perspectives presented here are thought-provoking reading for anyone interested in the social nature of the human mind.