What is Love: Personal Beliefs and Definitions Concerning the Concept of Love
Scharphorn, Joseph R.
Copyright by Joseph Scharphorn. This material is copyrighted, and any further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without the permission of the copyright owner.
Romantic relationships; Qualitative; Interview; Love; Intimacy (Psychology); College students -- Attitudes;
The scientific study of love often focuses on developing theories of categories of love, sometimes popularized as “colors,” “styles,” or “attitudes.” These studies attempt to define love and study it in a quantitative process and can lose sight of the complexity of the phenomenon in exchange for a reduced understanding of it. The present study serves to attempt to ameliorate this problem by adding to the small degree of love research that uses qualitative interviewing techniques that owe their development to feminist research (Jackson, 2001). Using semi-structured interviews of 24 students at a Midwestern university in the United States, there is an attempt to understand personal theories and stories of love. Despite the vast diversity and experience of relationships and love, similarities across the participants and to findings of other studies are identified. Impacts on research in the field and suggestions for future research are detailed. McNair Scholar project. Faculty Advisor: Katherine B. Rosier.