Researchers at Aalto University have created a groundbreaking “map” that illustrates the physical and mental experiences of different types of love throughout the body. The study involved 27 distinct forms of love and revealed a continuum ranging from weaker to stronger love sensations. While all types of love were most prominent in the head, they varied in intensity and reach in other areas of the body.
The study covered various types of love, including romantic love, sexual love, parental love, and love for nature or God. The correlation between the physical and mental intensity of love was found to be strong, with more powerful physical sensations associated with stronger and more pleasant emotional feelings.
To conduct the study, participants were asked to describe how they experienced different types of love and where in their body they felt the sensations. The researchers collected data from hundreds of participants through an online survey. The majority of responses came from young women in higher education. Participants were also questioned about the physical and mental intensity of the feelings, the pleasantness of the experience, associated touch, and the closeness they felt to the types of love.
The results, published in the journal Philosophical Psychology, demonstrate that the different types of love exist along a continuum from weaker to stronger. While all types of love were strongly felt in the head, they differed in the rest of the body. Some forms of love spread only to the chest, while others were felt throughout the entire body. The most intense forms of love were experienced widely throughout the body.
The researchers aim to further investigate the link between the physical sensations of love and cognitive processes. They also note that cultural differences and individual experiences can influence the intensity and perception of different types of love.
This pioneering research provides valuable insights into the universality and distinctions of love’s physical sensations. It sheds light on how different types of love are experienced and felt throughout the body, highlighting the complex relationships between physical and emotional experiences of love.
– Aalto University: https://www.aalto.fi/en/news/researchers-create-the-first-map-of-emotions-associated-with-different-kinds-of-love
– Philosophical Psychology: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09515089.2022.2065348