The adventures of love in the social sciences : social representations, psychometric evaluations and cognitive influences of passionate love

Abstract : The main goal of this thesis is to explore the romantic feelings of passionate love widely defined as a state of longing with another. This construct is generally considered to be a universal experience strongly associated with sexual arousal and capable of having a strong effect in emotional, cognitive and behavioral dimensions. The main goal of this project is to provide further evidence about the contention that although subjective experiences of passionate love are culturally and contextually determinate, people all over the world present the same symptoms of passionate love with the same intensity when they consider being in love. Plus, the influences of passionate love on cognitive processes were tested in other studies. A total of 1000 college students participated in 4 different studies. The Passionate Love Scale (PLS) was administrated on Brazilian and French subjects in order to explore their evaluation of passionate love through cognitive, emotional and behavioral components. The social representations of these same groups about passionate love were explored with a structural analysis of word associations. Cognitive processes were tested through one study about the relationship between passionate love and sensory experience and another one about the effect of passionate love in creative productions. The results found with the PLS indicated the same psychometric properties in France and in Brazil. In both cases, the factorial analysis indicated one stronger dimension with high internal consistencies. Subjects in love seemed to love with equal passion in both cultures but gender differences were found in Brazil. The analysis of the word association revealed contextual, cultural and gender differences. Passionate love had a positive effect in low cognitive processes (physical attraction and sensory experience) but no effect in high cognitive tasks (divergent and convergent thinking). The results of these different studies are presented and discussed in the light of cross-cultural, neuropsychological and evolutionary perspectives on romantic love. Passionate love might be experienced in a number of ways but its manifestation is universally the same. It is concluded that passionate love might be mainly a biological phenomenon with minor cultural variations directed to insure reproductive success in our species.
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Cyrille Feybesse. The adventures of love in the social sciences : social representations, psychometric evaluations and cognitive influences of passionate love. Psychology. Université Sorbonne Paris Cité, 2015. English. ⟨NNT : 2015USPCB199⟩. ⟨tel-01886995⟩

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