Craig Eric Morris
Post Relationship Grief: Using Evolution to Understand a Broken Heart
February 18, 2012
Academic Building A G008, 5:00 PM
If we accept love and pair bonding as human universals, as most scholars do, then we must also assume that most individuals will also experience a termination of a romantic relationship during their lives—a break up.
An exhaustive body of evolutionarily-informed literature exists which addresses how we attract, select, and maintain a mate. However, this same literature fails to address the frequency, intensity and expression of Post Relationship Grief: the suite of physical and emotional trauma—and concurrent behaviors—suffered and expressed by both parties following the termination of a romantic relationship (separate from the grief associated with the death of a partner, which falls under the purview of bereavement).
Therefore, our current research program tests a series of evolutionarily informed predictions that include these biological pair-bond predictions, as well as a more sophisticated set of variables related to multiple cultural, temporal, and sexual ecologies.
Craig Eric Morris has degrees in advertising from Pennsylvania State University and anthropology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He received his MA in biological anthropology from Binghamton University and continues his studies there as a PhD candidate with Chris Reiber, David Sloan Wilson, and Ann Merriwether.
Craig has designed and taught courses on evolutionary theory, biomedical anthropology, and human sexual behavior. He has conducted research on pornography in art, sex tourism, and the illegal trafficking of female sex workers. His research interests include evolutionary medicine, evolutionary models of human sexual behavior and human pair bond formation and dissolution.
Craig is currently a graduate assistant for the EVOS program and is preparing his dissertation which proposes evolutionary predictors of the physical and emotional trauma that follow the breakup of a romantic relationship.
Besche et al (2013) The Effect of Recent Sexual Activity On Partner Desirability: An Evolutionary Perspective
Video starts at 5 minutes and 20 seconds.
Echo Center Course Portal