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What is Love?

ToK presentation on the abstract concept of love.

Nathan Heinrich

on 21 February 2013

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Transcript of What is Love?

Scientific Breakdown Three Stages of Love Love, Psychology & Contemporary Relevance Cultural Relevance Pheromones behavior-altering hormones, attraction, bonding, etc. Love is almost completely based on things we aren't conscious of Major Histocompatibility Complex set of genes involved in immunity seeks a complementary chemical makeup (ex: high estrogen <3's high testosterone) diverse genome = healthy offspring 1) Lust: testosterone and estrogen
2) Attraction: dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine
3) Attachment: (long-term commitment) vasopressin, oxytocin Almost all of these chemicals are activated/produced in the body in response to different substances and situations - Drugs like nicotine and cocaine can initiate feel-good and loving moods
- Chocolate causes dopamine and oxytocin levels to rise Oxytocin (the cuddle chemical) is a very powerful hormone "linked to almost every positive aspect of the human psyche"
- reduces anxiety, calming
- also may promote envy and foster racism
- can purchase in perfume form Attraction People are naturally attracted to certain traits in the opposite sex
- Facial symmetry
- The Golden Ratio

- Changes during ovulation (waist/hips, shoulder breadth) (voice/radiance) Stronger in teens
- raging hormones during growth
- resembles mother/child relationship in infancy Words associated with Romantic Love Top 10 listed by Lithuanians:

Being together: 50%
Joy: 20%
Walk: 17.5%
Emotional upsurge: 17.5%
Happy: 16.25%
Kiss: 15%
Do things together: 11.25%
Temporary: 11.25%
Sex: 11.25%
Attention: 10%
Top 10 listed by Americans:

Being together: 38%
Happy: 35%
Friendship: 27%
Mutual: 20%
Care: 13%
Love: 13%
Sex: 13%
Comfortable: 11%
Connection: 10%
Secure: 10% Top 10 listed by Russians:

Being together: 45%
Sex: 25%
Walking: 24%
Unreal: 20%
Beach/sea: 19%
Joyful: 16%
Travel: 15%
Moon stars: 15%
Candlelight dinner: 10%
Night: 9% In a new study published in the journal Cross-Cultural Research, researchers asked 1,157 adults from the United States, Russia and Lithuania to write in freelist form what they associated with romantic love. Romantic Love and Arranged Marriages Romantic love viewed as "anxious, scary and depressing" in cultures with a tradition of arranged marriages Dr. Art Aron a professor of psychology at stony brook Americans also list some negative emotions, but the proportion of negatives is much higher for other cultures Usha Gupta and Pushpa Singh of the University of Rajasthan, 1982-- using the Rubin Love Scale compared love in love marriages in India, to love in arranged marriages. In this particular study, love in the love marriages starts out very high, then over time it decreases. However, in the arranged marriages the love starting out relatively low, then it increases gradually, surpasses the love in the love marriages at about five years. And 10 years out it’s twice as strong Cultural Differences "love is one as of the basic emotions identified by people from various ethnic backgrounds. Thus, it is fair to deduce that culture affects the expression of love" Shaver, Wu, and Schwartz- theorized that cultural differences influence how the people of different cultures treat the concept of romantic love The concept of romantic love is more of an individualistic expression than a collectivist emotion, Therefore in a individualistic society like the United States romantic love is more likely to be readily accepted than it is by a collectivist culture like the Chinese. For example, “An American asks, ‘How does my heart feel?’ A Chinese man or woman asks, ‘What will other people say?’ Love in Religion The Bible Mark 12:31
The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."

Romans 13:10
Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. LOVE Love love Love

•Dr. Eli Finkel of Northwestern University is leading a team of researchers that has recently investigated these internet dating websites from studies dating back to 1995. They have challenged the reliability of these websites, claiming they might have the ability to identify people with compatible personality traits but cannot necessarily find your “soul mate.” (The Economist).
•Finkel supports this assertion with a 2010 study performed by Dr. Portia Dyrenforth of Hobart and William Smith colleges in New York, where 20,000 people were asked about their relationships and assessed based on their personalities. Couples with similar personalities were found to be happier than those with dissimilar personalities, however the difference between these groups was only 0.5%. (The Economist). •The concept of love and what comprises true love have long been topics of interest for researchers in areas of the social sciences such as psychology (and just about every human being).
•Much debate stems from the question of how to identify one’s significant other and what contributing factors foster healthy and stable relationships. •People shown images of attractive men and women paid less attention to them if they had just been reminded about the person they love. (Nagourney).
•Researchers suggest humans may have developed some sort of mechanism to safeguard long term relationships. (Nagourney).
•Long term relationships offer benefits for reproduction, as both parents are able to play a role in rearing and taking care of the children. (Nagourney). •Some of these studies support the idea that the concept of love is predominately belief based due to its lack of objectivity. Many people have different views of what love is and what elements need to exist in order for “true love” to prevail. There is some empirical evidence however supporting the conception that love is behavior based, thus making it more overt and objective. The internet of late has served as a medium for dating as dating websites such as match.com have flourished with the growing influence of the internet in our daily lives
Dating sites attempt to link people based on their profiles and “scientifically tested algorithms” (The Economist). •Anthropologist Helen Fisher describes love as an evolutionary behavior or “drive to find a mate.” (Fisher).
(8:00-8:25) History of the Heart - Emotional ties go back to ancient Egypt (2500 BC) and Greece (400 BC): heart = center of life, morality, close attachment to the soul.
- Greece and ancient Rome (40 BC), discovered that the heart crucially "pumped life" into other organs, and it was seen as the most fragile part of the body, as there was no way to cure a wound of the heart.
- Through time, the pattern of association with spiritual and emotional functions continued across different cultures all over the world. “Arguably, the heart is the single most important word in the human language referring to the mind and the body.” - As advances in science start to accumulate information about one of our most vital organs, it only reinforced the association with feelings and morals because of the role the heart plays and it’s position at the core of the human being. - popularized in Europe (1000-1400), incorporated in christian theology and the standard deck of cards.
- however earliest record is before the last Ice Age (10,000 BC) Heart Shape Debatable Origin - may have roots in botany with the ivy leaf (used in ceremonies to express love)
- seen in swan courting ritual
- probably has something to do with sex and female anatomy Islam Hazrat Inayat Khan: madhhab-i 'ishq, or "Path of Love" in Islam This is what the Sufis of this path referred to as the "taste" (dhauq) of love
Of love one can only speak with lovers. Only a lover knows the true value of love. One who has not experienced it considers it all a legend. For such a person, even the claim of love, even the name of love, are forbidden! In the Qur'an:
Romantic Love: men and women are described as being garments/ornaments for one another; but is not necessarily “romantic” and marriage is not always romantic when discussed in the Qur’an Brotherly/familial love Love for things, or the world. The Qur’an contrast this type of love with the virtuous kind, being for Allah. - color red =
passion, blood Divine love Wenchun Cho and Susan E. Cross examined Chinese literature dating from 500 to 3,000 years and found themes that seemed to represent passionate love, casual love, devoted love, obsessive love, and free choice of mate, all themes that are present in contemporary love theories. Buddhism For the Buddha, love is one of the paths to full spiritual liberation. Love is sometimes referred to as the Path of Freedom Love that involves clinging, lust, confusion, neediness, fear, or grasping to self would, in Buddhist terms, be seen as expressions of bondage and limitation. Myths vs. Reality Lovingkindness, compassion, appreciative joy, and a particular form of equanimity are the four kinds of love taught and encouraged in classic Buddhist teachings. "Love does not need to be left to chance. It mustn’t be a matter of “falling in love,” nor must it be accepted in whatever degree or frequency it happens to appear." Valentine's Day This entails learning how to include love’s presence while we speak to others, are in conflict with others, and are living with others I There's such a thing as "love-at-first-sight."

2 Your true "soulmate" should KNOW what you're thinking or feeling (without your having to tell).

3 If your partner is truly "meant for you," sex is
easy and wonderful.

4 The man should NOT be shorter, weaker,
younger, poorer, or less successful than the

5 Men do not expect the real women in their
lives to look like centerfolds.

6 The love of a good and faithful true woman
can change a man from a "beast" into a

7 'All we really need is love," so it doesn't
matter if you and your lover have different values. 8 The right mate "completes you" by filling your needs and making your dreams come true.

9 In real life, actors are often very much like the romantic characters they portray.

10 Since mass media portrayals of romance aren't"real,"they don't really affect us. History of Valentine's Day Valentine was a saint of the Catholic Church during the reign of Emperor Claudius II in the third century. Claudius II had prohibited all acts of young marriage because he believed younger, unwed men were more suitable for becoming soldiers. St. Valentine then performed marriages of all ages in secret, and was sentenced to death by the Emperor. This saint in particular was a true soldier and defender of romance and love. How It's Celebrated Today - Expected rituals of giving your partner gifts and going to fancy dates
- Competition between women: "What did your Valentine get you??"
- Buying flowers, teddy bears, balloons, candy for your Valentine
- Single individuals are left out
- Showing love towards a loved one on this day determines the status and outcome of a romantic relationship TRUE MEANING: The true meaning of Valentine’s Day is an expression of our own love for others. Enjoy expressing love towards family and close friends. Meaningless gifts are not required. A simple reminder of our feelings for one another is priceless compared to a dozen roses that will be dead in a short week. 1 There's attraction - at - first, but real love takes real time. Too many movies give us the opposite idea. 2 Mind-readers function only in circuses and romance novels. Romantic partners learn a lot about each other over time, especially if they are open and honest about what they want. Romance novels feed our fantasy of having a perfect relationship without really working at it. 3 In real life (unlike in the pages of Playboy and Cosmo), the essential element of love is NOT sex. And as with all intimacy, genuinely good sex takes time, trust, and togetherness. 4 Many leading men in movies and television shows have to stand on boxes to appear taller than their leading ladies, thus fitting the "Me-Tarzan, You-Jane" cultural stereotypes that the mass media perpetuate. 5 Sadly, while men might not consciously think they are looking for an idealized female form, they frequently do use models and actresses as the standard for their own real-life girlfriends and wives, who cannot help disappointing them. Even women's magazines reinforce unhealthy female body images. 6 We cannot change others-especially not abusive "heroes" who have a good heart inside if only the woman can be "good enough" to bring it out such as "Beauty and the Beast". 7 Opposites frequently attract-but they don't stay together very long except in mass media mythology. 8 Although every "love" song of the popular culture cultivates the "Snow White" impres- sion (her big Disney song was "Someday My Prince Will Come"!), seeing a partner as someone from whom to "take" or "get" (a completer, fixer, or rescuer) is about robbery, not romance. Love in Mass Media and Pop Culture 9 Even though few of us would confuse actors and their roles, many men and women are less than satisfied with their real-life romantic partners because they aren't like their idealized image of a celebrity they think they know. 10 heavier consumers of movies and fashion and fitness magazines tend to have more unrealistic and stereotypical expectations about coupleship and males and females with these unrealistic beliefs tend to have less satisfaction in their own real romantic relationships. http://ruby.fgcu.edu/courses/tdugas/ids3332/acrobat/romanticlove.pdf Single Women Looking for LOVE 1 Corinthians 13:13
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Ephesians 4:2
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

1 Peter 4:8
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. don't make these dating mistakes: go looking for men to feel better about yourself
expecting too much
believe your relationship will be like the romantic movies
blocking the actual intimacy
overanalyzing every action
doubt about having the love you deserve *Remember!* Before you look for someone to love you, love yourself! This will give you the energy and confidence that allows people to be drawn into you. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/12/single-women-looking-for-love-dating_n_2662715.html Cyber Dating Finding love in the digital age includes using online dating sites, chat rooms, mobile dating apps, as well as flirting on social networking sites such as Facebook.
Finding love on Facebook would give singles more options to find a perfect date or mate
Facebook reported that the majority (40.5%) of their members’ status relationship changes in 2012 moved to “Single.”
Data shows that Valentine’s Day is the highest day on average for people to add a relationship on Facebook
Couples are connecting through friends-of-friends and the popular “People You May Know” feature.
Long distance relationships are becoming easier through social networking and video chatting Facebook Love Stories http://www.sfgate.com/business/prweb/article/Cyber-Dating-Expert-Launches-Facebook-Love-Stories-4271046.php http://www.highlandernews.org/7312/where-has-the-special-meaning-of-valentines-day-gone/
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