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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love » User review

Fascinating Research on the Emotion of Love

  • Jul 3, 2010
  • by
What a remarkably engaging book about a nearly universal experience. Helen Fisher has become one of the leading experts on the scientific study of human love. The book offers anthropological explanations backed with scientific research for the feelings we experience during different stages of love.

The book is also sprinkled with some of the best quotations which express love. These quotes are taken from literature and music from around the world. The book covers love at first sight, lost love, jealousy, monogamy, long-term partnerships, cycles of the intensity of love, and a lot of other really neat things. Fisher expresses sound theories on why we love the way we do. I found it fascinating. You might think that some of the magic would be lost be understanding the chemical aspect of emotions, but I don't think any magic is lost. It does, however, help to know what is going on in your brain! It does make you feel a bit more in control.

I will never give this book away, though I would give it as a gift. I intend to keep it for future reading and reference. You can get it from your local library but you’ll probably want your own copy too. Great for anyone in or out of love; it will help you cope either way!

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review by . October 26, 2009
Playing devil's advocate teaching "Othello," I argued to my class about Iago's sensible, rational view of lust as nature's trapping us into coition, genetic reproduction, and then our own obsolescence. I wondered if any scientists backed him or me up. So, I read this popular survey by a leading anthropologist of romance.    Fisher sprinkles literary allusion and ethnographic musings throughout a brisk, accessible, if summarily brief text. Iago gets a nod, as he should, for Shakespeare's …
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Elysmile ()
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Anthropologist Fisher argues that much of our romantic behavior is hard-wired in this provocative examination of love. Her case is bolstered by behavioral research into the effects of two crucial chemicals, norepinephrine and dopamine, and by surveys she conducted across broad populations. When we fall in love, she says, our brains create dramatic surges of energy that fuel such feelings as passion, obsessiveness, joy and jealousy. Fisher devotes a fascinating and substantial chapter to the appearance of romance and love among non-human animals, and composes careful theories about early humans in love. One of her many surprising conclusions suggests that, since "four-year birth intervals were the regular pattern of birth spacing during our long human prehistory," our modern brains still deal with relationships in serially monogamous terms of about four years. Indeed, Fisher gathered data from around the world showing that divorce was most prevalent in the fourth year of marriage, when a couple had a single dependent child. Fisher also reports on the behaviors that lead to successful lifelong partnerships and offers, based on what she's observed, numerous tips on staying in love. And though she's certain that chemicals are at love's heart, Fisher never loses her sense of the emotion's power or poetry.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.--This text refers to theHardcoveredition.
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ISBN-10: 0805077960
ISBN-13: 978-0805077964
Author: Helen Fisher
Genre: Health, Mind & Body
Publisher: Holt Paperbacks
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