What are some scientific explanations for love


love, was only recently "discovered" as a subject in psychology: With a few exceptions, the specialist literature on love dates back to the last 25 years. A generally valid meaning of love is not yet available. This is certainly due, among other things, to the fact that love can be observed in extremely diverse manifestations. In addition, love is also subject to cultural influences. Modern love research, which can be assigned to personal relationship research (interpersonal relationships), has mainly dealt with romantic or partner-like love - theoretically as well as empirically. The approaches to this can be assigned to three main focuses: 1) love as a biological event, 2) love as emotion and 3) love as cognition. This classification only represents a major focus of the work. She does not mean that love is seen one-sided. The earliest approach, which explains love as a biological event, namely as an instinctual event (libido), goes back to Sigmund Freud's Depth psychology back. A more recent approach that emphasizes the biological aspects sees love in the context of evolution. The ultimate function of love is the success of the reproduction to increase. Another approach draws parallels between childlike attachment behavior (attachment, developmental psychology) and romantic love: Love is seen as a combination of three biologically important basic behavioral systems: 1) attachment, 2) care and 3) sexuality. While there is apparently no doubt for laypeople that love is a feeling or contains feeling, the question of whether love is a basic emotion at all is controversial in scientific psychology. Some researchers will use a two-stage model Represented by love as an emotion: On the one hand, a love emotion can be a strong one Overflow of emotions on the other hand can be a love emotion as relational love appear. Another approach that Two component theory of love, postulates that love arises when a person has a certain physiological arousal (Arousel) is given, which is then in a corresponding situation as love interpreted becomes. Most approaches in modern love research, however, focus on cognitions about love - for example attitudes or prototypical ideas. Among the cognitive approaches there is also a classification system that love in six different love styles classifies: romantic, playful, amicable, pragmatic, possessive and altruistic. The so-called Triangle theory describes love as the interplay of passion, intimacy and commitment. As a conclusion it can be drawn that love in partnership is a complex phenomenon of interpersonal affection which is inherent in biological, emotional and cognitive aspects. Family love or charity are largely unexplored.


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Sternberg, R.J. & Barnes, M.L. (1988) (Eds.). The psychology of love. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press