Q&A: Haverford College's Benjamin Le

Haverford College’s Benjamin Le, our Best Relationship Guru, on commitment, Facebook and why Dr. Phil makes him crazy.

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MLT: What’s the book about?
BL: We answer 40 common questions people have about attraction, love, sex, commitment, families and parenting, using scientific evidence accumulated by relationship researchers over the last 40 years. The format is fun and accessible to readers who don’t necessarily have scientific training. Now, we’ve continued that work on the website.

MLT: Speaking of that, I saw a story on your website about Don Draper. Whose idea was that?
BL: With the new season of Mad Men, we really wanted to do something that tied into the show. Samantha Joel, from the University of Toronto, came up with the idea for that story, researched it and wrote it. I think it’s brilliant.

MLT: Is that serious social psychology?
BL: The idea that there are different attachment orientations to relationships is really well documented in developmental, personality and social psychology. There are hundreds of studies showing the importance of avoidance in the way people think
about and behave in their relationships. Samantha used Don Draper as an illustration of the findings of those studies. He’s a perfect prototype.

MLT: Do you give advice online?
BL: We tend to shy away from explicit advice. We educate you about what’s going on in your relationship and you make your own decisions. Knowledge is power.

To learn more, visit benjaminle.com and scienceofrelationships.com.

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