Written by Haley Adams
The theme of how people feel love is addressed in a study by Zita Oravecz, Chelsea Muth, and Joachim Vandekerckhove. The authors explore several aspects of feeling loved that stem from different types of situations, rather than only romantic scenarios. Their work serves as a starting point for researchers to assess what is involved regarding feelings of love. Further exploration could include incorporating personality assessments, in addition to the situational questionnaire. Ultimately, the researchers find that these feelings of love promote a healthy lifestyle and emotional well-being and often stem from experiences that have no romantic implications.
Why do we need to feel loved?
How do we feel love?
This study also examines how individuals feel about and receive messages of love. By incorporating the Cultural Consensus Theory, the researchers sought to “derive shared agreement or consensus truth from sets of items centered on a knowledge domain, while simultaneously accounting for and measuring differences in knowledge levels and cognitive response biases of respondents” (Oravecz et al., 2016). In order to accomplish this goal, the researchers asked participants to describe events in which they felt loved. Next, a second group of participants evaluated the resulting list by stating that the various scenarios, which were supposed to elicit feelings of being loved, were either true, false, or unclear. These statements began with “most people felt loved when…” and were completed with items that included “someone is polite to them… they feel close to nature… they attend a religious service… [and] someone is sexually attracted to them” (Oravecz et al., 2016). These examples were the highest ranked items on the list.
What do these results mean for me?
Oravecz, Z., Muth, C., & Vandekerckhove, J. (2016). Do People Agree on What Makes One Feel Loved? A Cognitive Psychometric Approach to the Consensus on Felt Love. PloS one, 11(4), 1-13. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0152803
Dr. H. Colleen Sinclair
Social Psychologist, Relationships Researcher,
Ms. Jessica Utley
Lab Manager of the Social Relations Collaborative and Blog Editor