We like to think of love as a quintessentially human emotion. There’s love for family and passionate romantic love; a deeply spiritual love for God and for country. Many believe that our dogs love us, and too many of us, it seems, love our possessions.
What does recent research have to say about humans and love?
The new season of the “What Makes Us Human” podcast and essay series, from the College of Arts and Sciences in collaboration with Cornell Broadcast Studios, is titled “What Do We Know About Love?” It will showcase the newest thinking by Cornell faculty across academic disciplines about the relationship between humans and love, in 3- to 5-minute audio essays. A new episode will be released each Tuesday through the semester, beginning Oct. 9.
“I love the fact that such a variety of Cornell researchers are throwing new light on this age-old fascination, from biologists to psychologists to literary critics,” said podcast producer Caroline Levine, the David and Kathleen Ryan Professor of Humanities and Picket Family Chair of the Department of English.
The new season kicks off with Robert Sternberg, professor of human development in the College of Human Ecology, whose research on love includes the triangular theory of love.
“I devised a scale to measure each of the components of love, and then did what is called a ‘construct validation,’ testing both the theory and the scale with adult subjects around New Haven, Connecticut,” he explains in his podcast.
- Linda B. Glaser