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The Science of Love

by

The Science of Love Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

What makes someone fall in love with you? What makes you fall in love? Most people look for answers to these questions in poetry, music, or long, soul-searching, alcohol-fueled conversations, the most famous of which was depicted by Plato more than two thousand years ago. The answers found in art and philosophy usually focus on how love feels: the intense yearning, the inability to think about anything but the object of one's love, and the overwhelming need to be with that person. Little is said about the reason for love.

In The Science of Love, a top evolutionary biologist, Oxford University's Robin Dunbar, draws on the latest research to examine the many aspects of romantic love—passion, commitment, intimacy, hugging, kissing, monogamy, cheating, and more—from a scientist's point of view. He separates the chemical from the logical, explains why we evolved one way and not another, and reveals that love is not just about passion and pain—it's about survival.

For example, it shouldn't be surprising that older women rarely list their ages in dating ads and that men have been primed to love the thrill of the chase: for evolutionary reasons, it is younger, fertile women who take the lead in the mating game. However, even for them, their primary needs—good genes demonstrated by cues like facial symmetry and masculinity on the one hand and a monogamous, nurturing life partner on the other—don't always come in the same package. Luckily, he also explains that songs like "I Only Have Eyes for You" are describing a quantifiable phenomenon, with the body producing chemicals that make a man less interested in every woman who isn't his. The Science of Love also proves, disproves, and sheds new light on most of the widely held beliefs about romance, including why love at first sight may actually be love at first smell, and how we know that the quest for a mate trumps other important drives, with love conquering all—even self-protection.

Dunbar reveals the distinct differences between romantic love and other close relationships, including the bond between parent and child, kinship, and various levels of friendship. Rather than being different points on the same continuum, he explains, each of these types of intimacy operates differently and separately from the others. Parents may have many children, and all of us may have many friends, but romantic love bonds two people together for what may well be the rest of their lives.

Whether you live for Valentine's Day, routinely forget your wedding anniversary, or are still waiting for that special someone to come into your life, The Science of Love will help you make sense of all those crazy feelings we call love.

Synopsis:

A scientific exploration of some of humanity's most puzzling questions: What is love? Why do we fall in (and out) of love? And why would we have evolved to feel something so weird, with so many downsides?

Whether you live for Valentine's Day or are the type to forget your wedding anniversary, love is, quite simply, part of being human. In The Science of Love, renowned evolutionary anthropologist Robin Dunbar uses the latest science to explore every aspect of human love. Why do we kiss? What evolutionary benefit could there be to feeling like you would die for your mate? If love exists to encourage child-bearing and child-rearing, why do we love until death do us part (and beyond)? Is parental love anything like romantic love? Dunbar explores everything science has discovered about romance, passion, sex, and commitment, answering these questions and more.

  • Draws on the latest scientific research to examine the many aspects of love—passion, commitment, intimacy, hugging, kissing, monogamy, cheating, and more—and explain why we have evolved to behave as we do
  • Filled with fascinating insights into specific human behaviors and experiences, from the European air kiss on both cheeks to the phenomenon of love at first sight
  • Written by Robin Dunbar, a prominent anthropologist and evolutionary psychologist whose work have been featured in Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point and many other books

Synopsis:

Praise for The Science of Love

"Bridges the gap between the biological explanations for humans' romantic behaviour and the psychological, historical, social and evolutionary contexts that help to shape it. Dunbar excels at taking obvious and familiar information—men prefer curvy women; women prefer men who dance well; older women rarely reveal their ages in lonely-hearts columns—and explaining the complex and often unexpected evolutionary science that lies behind it all."

—The Economist

"As well as looking at the science of attraction—what happens in our brains when we fall in love—Dunbar offers an engaging analysis of the differences between the sexes in their choice of life partners. Dunbar covers familiar ground, such as our inclination towards partners who resemble our parents, and how passion tends to wane three years into a relationship, but he always offers a refreshing take. The Science of Love is an empowering read. Only by better understanding why we act in certain ways or what is prompting a particular emotion can we make the necessary choices to improve our love lives."

—The Independent (UK)

About the Author

ROBIN DUNBAR is currently Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at Oxford University and a Fellow of Magdalen College. His principal research interest is the evolution of sociality. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1998. His books include The Trouble with Science, "an eloquent riposte to the anti-science lobby" (Sunday Times), and Grooming, Gossip, and the Evolution of Language. The Human Story was described as "fizzing with recent research and new theories" in the Sunday Times and "punchy and provocative" by the New Scientist. How Many Friends Does One Person Need?: Dunbar's Number and Other Evolutionary Quirks was published in 2010.

Table of Contents

1 Now We Are One 1

2 Truly, Madly, Deeply 31

3 The Monogamous Brain 60

4 Through a Glass Darkly 84

5 Saving Face 114

6 By Kith or by Kin 133

7 A Cheat by Any Other Name 162

8 Sleeping with the Devil 193

9 Love and Betrayal Online 215

10 Evolution?s Dilemma 236

Acknowledgements 265

Bibliography 266

Index 295

Product Details

ISBN:
9781118397657
Author:
Dunbar, Robin
Publisher:
Wiley (TP)
Subject:
Teaching Methods & Materials - Science & Technology
Subject:
Science
Subject:
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Subject:
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Subject:
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Subject:
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Subject:
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Subject:
Education-Teaching Science
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Evolution
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the science of love, science of love, science love, love and science, science of attraction, the brain in love, why we love, why people love why people fall in love, how to people fall in love, the evolution of love, evolution of love, evolution and love,
Subject:
the science of love, science of love, science love, love and science, science of attraction, the brain in love, why we love, why people love why people fall in love, how to people fall in love, the evolution of love, evolution of love, evolution and love,
Subject:
the science of love, science of love, science love, love and science, science of attraction, the brain in love, why we love, why people love why people fall in love, how to people fall in love, the evolution of love, evolution of love, evolution and love,
Subject:
the science of love, science of love, science love, love and science, science of attraction, the brain in love, why we love, why people love why people fall in love, how to people fall in love, the evolution of love, evolution of love, evolution and love,
Subject:
the science of love, science of love, science love, love and science, science of attraction, the brain in love, why we love, why people love why people fall in love, how to people fall in love, the evolution of love, evolution of love, evolution and love,
Subject:
the science of love, science of love, science love, love and science, science of attraction, the brain in love, why we love, why people love why people fall in love, how to people fall in love, the evolution of love, evolution of love, evolution and love,
Subject:
the science of love, science of love, science love, love and science, science of attraction, the brain in love, why we love, why people love why people fall in love, how to people fall in love, the evolution of love, evolution of love, evolution and love,
Subject:
the science of love, science of love, science love, love and science, science of attraction, the brain in love, why we love, why people love why people fall in love, how to people fall in love, the evolution of love, evolution of love, evolution and love,
Subject:
the science of love, science of love, science love, love and science, science of attraction, the brain in love, why we love, why people love why people fall in love, how to people fall in love, the evolution of love, evolution of love, evolution and love,
Subject:
the science of love, science of love, science love, love and science, science of attraction, the brain in love, why we love, why people love why people fall in love, how to people fall in love, the evolution of love, evolution of love, evolution and love,
Subject:
the science of love, science of love, science love, love and science, science of attraction, the brain in love, why we love, why people love why people fall in love, how to people fall in love, the evolution of love, evolution of love, evolution and love,
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20120905
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8.61 x 5.81 x 1.14 in

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The Science of Love New Hardcover
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$25.95 In Stock
Product details 320 pages John Wiley & Sons - English 9781118397657 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , A scientific exploration of some of humanity's most puzzling questions: What is love? Why do we fall in (and out) of love? And why would we have evolved to feel something so weird, with so many downsides?

Whether you live for Valentine's Day or are the type to forget your wedding anniversary, love is, quite simply, part of being human. In The Science of Love, renowned evolutionary anthropologist Robin Dunbar uses the latest science to explore every aspect of human love. Why do we kiss? What evolutionary benefit could there be to feeling like you would die for your mate? If love exists to encourage child-bearing and child-rearing, why do we love until death do us part (and beyond)? Is parental love anything like romantic love? Dunbar explores everything science has discovered about romance, passion, sex, and commitment, answering these questions and more.

  • Draws on the latest scientific research to examine the many aspects of love—passion, commitment, intimacy, hugging, kissing, monogamy, cheating, and more—and explain why we have evolved to behave as we do
  • Filled with fascinating insights into specific human behaviors and experiences, from the European air kiss on both cheeks to the phenomenon of love at first sight
  • Written by Robin Dunbar, a prominent anthropologist and evolutionary psychologist whose work have been featured in Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point and many other books

"Synopsis" by , Praise for The Science of Love

"Bridges the gap between the biological explanations for humans' romantic behaviour and the psychological, historical, social and evolutionary contexts that help to shape it. Dunbar excels at taking obvious and familiar information—men prefer curvy women; women prefer men who dance well; older women rarely reveal their ages in lonely-hearts columns—and explaining the complex and often unexpected evolutionary science that lies behind it all."

—The Economist

"As well as looking at the science of attraction—what happens in our brains when we fall in love—Dunbar offers an engaging analysis of the differences between the sexes in their choice of life partners. Dunbar covers familiar ground, such as our inclination towards partners who resemble our parents, and how passion tends to wane three years into a relationship, but he always offers a refreshing take. The Science of Love is an empowering read. Only by better understanding why we act in certain ways or what is prompting a particular emotion can we make the necessary choices to improve our love lives."

—The Independent (UK)

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