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date: 10 December 2022

Liking and Lovinglocked

Liking and Lovinglocked

  • Margaret S. Clark, Margaret S. ClarkYale University
  • Chance AdkinsChance AdkinsYale University
  •  and Brian BinkBrian BinkYale University


There is no single, correct, conceptual definition of liking or of loving, nor is there any one correct way of differentiating them. These terms have been used in a wide variety of ways by lay persons and scholars alike to refer to some type of attraction toward another person—a positive evaluation toward another, positive feelings when around another, and a pull toward being and interacting with another. Both liking and loving can be defined as attitudes, emotions, and motivations. Increasingly and very importantly, scholars also have studied people’s ongoing interactions with close partners and have identified intra- and interpersonal processes that occur within these interactions and which, in turn, influence people’s ongoing attraction to each other (and, sometimes, in the case of romantic partners, their attraction or lack thereof to alternative partners outside the relationship). Determinants of attraction may differ at different stages of relationships.


  • Affective Science
  • Personality
  • Social Psychology

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