Abstract and Keywords
The scientific study of love is important for positive psychology. This chapter focuses on research on romantic love. One view is that romantic love, and especially “love marriage,” developed only in the past few centuries, yet some argue that passionate love is a human universal. Beginning with research on liking and loving and passionate and companionate love, the chapter moves on to attachment theory, prototypes of love, self-expansion theory, triangular theory, and love styles. Selective coverage is provided for communication of love, love styles, cross-cultural aspects of love, love and sexuality, and love and respect. Considerable attention is devoted to the newest research on love, including physiological studies of love, love’s role in both physical and mental health, and the new research area of compassionate love. We conclude with aspirations for more research on love in various cultures and in understudied groups such as the GLBT community and older lovers.
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