New Trends in "Love Science"

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Tango highlights the 2005 research breakthroughs in Love Science.

Being in love is best described as “a goal-oriented state of mind.” Physiological evidence confirms a correlation between motivation networks in the brain and romantic love. Anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher, research professor at Rutgers University and author of love-science bible Why We Love, and her research team (Arthur Aron of SUNY-StonyBrook, and Lucy Brown of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine) also found that sex and romantic love activate different systems in the brain. Their study scanned the brains of 10 women and seven men who had been intensely "in love" for one to 17 months. Their findings were first published in May 2005 on the Web site of the American Physiological Society’s Journal of Neurophysiology.

Though people tend to marry mates who are similar in attitudes, religion, and values, it may actually be similarity in personality that is responsible for a happy marriage. Personality-related qualities, though not as immediately visible as attitudes, are more likely to play an important role later in a relationship. University of Iowa Psychology Department researchers studied 291 newlywed couples and published their findings in the February 2005 issue of the American Psychological Association’s Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

People make romantic or sexual decisions about others within moments of meeting them. Less observable factors such as religion, education, and income play a lesser role than obvious physical characteristics in determining mate preferences. Dr. Robert Kurzban of the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Psychology studied 10,526 anonymous clients of HurryDate, a company that organizes speed dating sessions, and published this finding in the May 2005 issue of Evolution and Human Behavior.

Men rely on their wives or partners for emotional or social needs more than women, who tend to have wider networks of support. This implies that romantic relationships are a more important source of support for men than for women: Emotionally, men need women more than women need men. Dr.

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