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Health and Sanity

Melissa Hutsell
Freelance Writer and Editor
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piqer: Melissa Hutsell
Thursday, 07 February 2019

What Do We Know About Love?

The podcast series “What Makes Us Human" is produced by Cornell University. Each episode features short conversations with different experts from throughout the university’s college of arts and humanities.

The series’ third season, “What We Know About Love”, focuses on the relationship between humans and love. Each episode, which ranges in length from three to six minutes, addresses different forms of the feeling and how we experience it. 

The season starts with “Love and the Goddess”, an exploration into the “general formula” of marriages, love as a gift, and the women who are dedicated to the goddess Yellamma. This episode touches on how different cultures view the concept of love. However, “Colonial Love” gives a deeper look into the how “love is culturally specific.” 

Of course, religion influences love and our concept of it. In "Love Transformed", World Religions professors discuss how human love became tied to divine love. 

In "The Triangle Theory", Robert J. Sternberg, professor of human development, discusses how he developed a scale to measure different components of love. “The basic idea is that love has three components: intimacy, passion, and commitment,” he explained. “Each component contributes to the overall experience of love. And different combinations of components yield different kinds of love.”

Attraction is just one component of love. That idea — and the biological basis for love — is further explored in episodes including "Love Bond" and “The Science of Love” (which examines what fish could teach us about human love). 

Love comes in many different forms. The series dives into our love for life, for nature, for community, for places (“Topophilla”), and for brands (“Product Love”). 

What Do We Know About Love?
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