• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss the extent to which psychologists have been able to explain love

Extracts from this document...


Discuss the extent to which psychologists have been able to explain love [24 marks]. Psychologists have described love as invisible packages of feelings, thoughts and behavioural predispositions within an individual (Rubin 1973). However it is not so easy to define what love really is. Love has a multitude of meanings There are two main types of love; companionate and romantic. Companionate love is usually shared between friends and family, whilst passionate tends to be shared between two people mostly of the opposite sex to one another. There is having love for person and than there's being 'in love.' What is the difference between liking someone and loving? Love isn't something that just appears over night. ...read more.


Sternberg proposed a theory to explain love-'triangular theory of love.' His theory consists of three components; intimacy, passion and commitment. The relative strength of each determines the kind of love. E.g. companionate love is low on passion whereas romantic love is low on commitment. Sternberg believed that individuals all have two triangles. One triangle represents what they would want their ideal relationship to be like, often based on their childhood conceptions (books, films, parents). The second triangle being what their current relationship is like. If the two triangles are similar, the better the relationship will be and the happier the person will be. A relationship with intimacy, passion and commitment is believed to be the strongest. ...read more.


The three factor theory of love is simpler. Hatfield and Walster- physiological arousal is labelled as love in presence of an appropriate love object. This is easier to understand but still not a good enough explanation. According to this theory, we love anyone we desire or is infatuated with, which is not true. Most research that has taken place is western and therefore biased to the nation as whole. As you can see, psychologists have tried to explain love and it can be seen as true to an extent. Some models concentrate on differentiating between different types of love, which is useful and does give a greater understanding To define what love truly is however, is far too complicated. Psychologists can only go by what they are told & what they observe physically. In the end, love is love and there are no other words for it. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Love Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Love Poetry essays

  1. A comparative study of the perception triangular relationships

    However there is a political force behind the novel and affects the relationship between Zhivago and Tonya because he is called to serve in the war as medical officer in the army. Even through he has departed her, he is still thinking about her as he says that he has 'not given up believing that you [Tonya] are alive.'

  2. Love, though influenced by many of the same factors as liking, is quite a ...

    It also involves central issues such as gender roles and the style of communication in the relationship. Agreement about roles seems to be particularly important. Who is earning the money? Who will stay at home to care for the children?

  1. The choice, the option, the decision of marriage is one that I have been ...

    Precisely by contracting ( as bearers of individual rights) to become "man and wife," men and women enter freely into marriage. Hegel also maintains that the marital contract is unique. It is in his view, 'a contract to transcend the standpoint of contract' is the standpoint from which people are viewed as bearers of individual rights.

  2. A Study of Relationships Based on Six Pre-1914 Short Stories

    I will now study the relationships in "The Half Brothers", by Elizabeth Gaskell. This is a typical 'relationship' story, about sibling rivalry, and parents favouring one child over the other. It also illustrates how hard it was in those days for a woman alone with a child to survive without a man to support her.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work