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The Science of Romantic Love: Distinct Evolutionary, Neural, and Hormonal Characteristics

Author:

Lacey S. Gibson

Southern Illinois University Carbondale, US
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Abstract

Romantic love is a psychological state that encompasses extreme euphoria and feelings of passion and intimacy for another individual. It can be characterized using Dr. Helen Fisher’s system of evolutionary, neural, and hormonal profiles that are distinct from those of attraction and attachment, which are two additional love-related processes. A broad review of scientific articles, classic literature, and popular culture is employed to define romantic love, and to explore its distinct evolutionary, neural, and hormonal characteristics. The possibility of romantic love under special circumstances is then explored. The discussion is specifically focused on the prospect of love without physical contact as featured in Spike Jonze’s 2013 film, Her. Results of this literature and research review support the theory that romantic love is an inebriating condition that suppresses judgment, and thus romantic love under these specific conditions is, indeed, possible. Throughout this composition, socio-cultural, evolutionary, psychological, and physiological theoretical perspectives are presented in an informal dialogue to make this topic accessible to an interdisciplinary audience.

Faculty Sponsor: Dr. James S. Ferraro

How to Cite: Gibson, L.S., 2015. The Science of Romantic Love: Distinct Evolutionary, Neural, and Hormonal Characteristics. International Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities, 7(1), p.1. DOI: http://doi.org/10.7710/2168-0620.1036
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Published on 20 Jan 2015.
Peer Reviewed

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