Friday, February 11th, 2011

Wilfrid Laurier Researchers Say Love Doesn’t Motivate

Wilfrid Laurier Researchers

How does love affect behaviour?

What better time to study the behavioral effects of love then right before Valentine’s Day?

Wilfrid Laurier Assistant Prof. Lara Kammrath and Laurier PhD graduate Johanna Peetz recently conducted three studies to gauge how love dictates behavior. Their findings indicate that if your partners doesn’t always “act” like their in love, don’t over think it.

“There’s this folk notion that love should be strong enough to remind yourself to do things for your partner, but it’s not,” said Kammrath. She suggests being more realistic and keeping in mind how conscientious your partner is in other parts of life. “Write down things in your calendar, or do whatever you do to manage your work life – don’t trust love to remind you.”

Just prior to Valentine’s Day last year, the team offered a free “candy lab” where participants could make a Valentine’s gift for their partner, provided they complete a questionnaire measuring how much they loved their partner and how disciplined they were. Then half the participants were told about a candy lab taking place the next day. While the other half were told the lab took place five days later.

In the end, love was not found to be a determining factor in who attended the second lab. Personal strengths such as self-discipline and conscientiousness were the deciding factors.

Ryan Leclaire
Author: Ryan Leclaire
Ryan has been writing for 7 years and has been featured in Chatelaine, Canadian Living and Cottage life.
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