Miss Conduct’s psych-based theory of romance (with added Star Trek)

Miss Conduct outlines her psychology-based theory of romance, illustrated with examples from Star Trek:

So here’s my Theory of Romance, based on work by David McClelland, a great man with whom I had the tremendous privilege to work early in my grad-school career, and Dan McAdams, author of one of the best non-academic books on psychology I have read.
One way of thinking about individual differences is motivation–what gets a person going, what cranks her engine, what he feels lost and despondent if he doesn’t get. Some people love to solve problems, others to be the center of attention, still others to teach or serve or share or command. McClelland and McAdams researched three major motivations–power, achievement, and intimacy–that everyone has to some degree, with one or two are usually dominant throughout a person’s life. (Like most psychologists, I am very high in need for power and intimacy, with just enough achievement motivation to get me through statistics and the graduate school bureaucracy.)…

Achievement: If people high in power motivation are like Kirk, the achievement folks are more like Spock. As Dr. McClelland used to say, “Need fo achievement wants to build a better mousetrap. Need for power just wants the world to beat a path to its door.” Achievers get a charge out of solving problems, taking well-calculated risks, and general lifehacking. Invite your high-achievement beau to show you around the MFA and you may wind up irritably sipping coffee for an hour in the atrium while he composes  a letter on his iPad on how the management could improve the exhibits’ human-factors engineering….