The Psychology of Love

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The Psychology of Love

  1. 2. <ul><li>The PsychFutures Research Maps are a series of digests on the most popular Psychology related topics, whereby linking to podcasts, videos, journal publications, websites and blogs; ideal if you’re looking for inspiration to kick-start your dissertations and research projects. </li></ul><ul><li>The topics are varied, including Attraction, Sport and Music. To view the full list and download the other Research Maps click here or go to: www.psychfutures.ning.com /page/research </li></ul>Providing One-Stop Summaries and Directions For Your Research
  2. 3. Introduction <ul><li>The word love can refer to a number of different feelings, from generic pleasures “I loved that movie”, to extreme personal attraction “I love my wife”. The vast range of meanings and the complexity of feelings involved make the emotion of love extremely difficult to define with any consistency, even in comparison to other emotions. </li></ul><ul><li>Love as an abstract concept refers to overwhelming tender, caring feelings for another person. However, even this basic concept encompasses a wide spectrum, from passion, intimate romantic love to the close, emotional nonsexual familial love or the platonic love one may feel for a friend. </li></ul>
  3. 4. <ul><li>A subject of frequent debate is the nature of love, though different aspects can be clarified by determining what love isn’t . Most often, it is contrasted with hate as the most extreme, although consider the difference between love and lust when focusing on the contrast between a sexual and emotionally intimate form of romantic attachment. </li></ul>Introduction
  4. 5. Research <ul><li>Intimacy is defined by two people sharing confidences and details of their personal lives, typically illustrated within friendships and romantic love affairs. </li></ul><ul><li>Commitment however is based on the prospect that the relationship is a permanent one. </li></ul><ul><li>Passion, as the most common form of love, also encompasses sexual attraction and is shown in both romantic love and infatuation. Varying degrees of all three of these components are said to be shown in all forms of love. </li></ul><ul><li>Psychology defines love as a cognitive and social phenomenon. Psychologist Robert Sternberg argued that love has three components: intimacy, commitment and passion and formulated a triangular theory of love. </li></ul>
  5. 6. Research <ul><li>Psychologist Zick Rubin uses psychometrics to define love; his research states the three factors as attachment, caring and intimacy. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Attachment is the need to receive care, approval and physical contact with the other person. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Caring involves valuing the other's happiness and needs with a regard as high as that of your own. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Intimacy refers to the sharing of desires, thoughts and feelings with the other person. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Based on this, Rubin created a questionnaire to assess attitudes about others. His findings supported his concept of love based on the scales of liking and loving. </li></ul>
  6. 7. Research <ul><li>Some Western authorities separate love into two main components, the altruistic and the narcissistic. Scott Peck represents this view in his work, exploring the definitions of love and evil through applied psychology. Peck defines love as a combination of the “concern for the spiritual growth of another” and simple narcissism. By combining these, love is said to be an activity as opposed to a feeling. </li></ul>
  7. 8. Research <ul><li>Psychologist Elaine Hatfield and colleagues state that there are two basic types of love, compassionate and passionate love. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Compassionate love is shown through mutual respect, attachment, affection and trust, usually developed from feeling of mutual understanding and respect for one another. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The characteristics of passionate love are intense emotions, sexual attraction, anxiety and affection. Individuals sense a feeling of fulfilment and elation when said feelings are reciprocated. When unreciprocated, feelings of despondence and despair are experienced. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hatfield also suggests that passionate love is only temporary, lasting typically between 6-30 months. Hatfield states that passionate love occurs when cultural expectations encourage falling in love, when the person in question meets your preconceived expectations of an ideal partner, and when heightened physiological arousal is experienced within the presence of the other person. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ideally, passionate love concedes to compassionate love, which is far more enduring. Hatfield suggests that the combination of security and stability found in compassionate love with the intensity of passionate love is rarely found, though desired by most. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 9. Research <ul><li>John Lee’s 1973 book “The Colors of Love” compares styles of love to the colour wheel. Lee suggested that there are three primary styles of love, as there are three primary colours. These are Eros, Ludos and Storge. Continuing the analogy, Lee suggested just as primary colours can be combined to create other colours, the three styles of love can also be combined to create secondary styles of love e.g. combing Eros and Ludos results in Mania (obsessive love). </li></ul><ul><li>Lee’s 6 Styles of Loving </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Three primary styles: 1) Eros – Loving an ideal person 2) Ludos – Love as a game 3) Storge – Love as friendship </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Three secondary styles: 1) Mania (Eros + Ludos) – Obsessive love 2) Pragma (Ludos + Storge) – Realistic and practical love 3) Agape (Eros + Storge) – Selfless love </li></ul></ul>
  9. 10. Useful Journals <ul><li>Emotion </li></ul><ul><li>Hormones and Behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality </li></ul><ul><li>Journal of Experimental and Social Psychology </li></ul><ul><li>Journal of Personality and Social Psychology </li></ul>
  10. 11. Useful Books <ul><li>The Psychology of Love by Robert J.Sternberg </li></ul><ul><li>Sexuality and the Psychology of Love by Sigmund Freud </li></ul><ul><li>Psychology of Romantic Love by Nathaniel Brandon </li></ul><ul><li>The Psychology of Interpersonal Relations by Fritz Heider </li></ul>
  11. 12. Experts <ul><li>Roy F. Baumeister - Eminent Professor of Psychology and Head of the Social Psychology Graduate program at Florida State University. </li></ul><ul><li>Robert J Sternberg - American psychologist and the Dean of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University. </li></ul><ul><li>Dr Aneta D. Tunariu - Field Leader: Guidance, Counselling and Coaching from University of East London. </li></ul><ul><li>Hara Estroff Marano - Author, journalist and editor who, although not a trained psychologist herself, has been Editor-at-Large of Psychology Today for the past 15 years. </li></ul>
  12. 13. Videos/ Audio <ul><li>Psychology of Love </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Click here to watch </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The New Psychology of Love, Richard Bush </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Click here to listen </li></ul></ul>
  13. 14. Blogs <ul><li>psmalik.com - The Psychology of Love </li></ul><ul><li>PsychBlog.co.uk – The Psychology of Love Marathon </li></ul><ul><li>eHarmonyLabs – Where Has All the Passion Gone? An Old Question with a New Answer </li></ul><ul><li>MindHacks – Love Blossoms in the Lab </li></ul>
  14. 15. Articles on the Web <ul><li>Psychology Today – The Smell of Love </li></ul><ul><li>2KnowMyself – Why Do We Fall In Love? </li></ul><ul><li>Psychology-Help.org – Love at first sight? </li></ul><ul><li>Science Daily – Platonic Love </li></ul><ul><li>BBC – Scientists find love in nine ways </li></ul>

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