The nexus between scientific methods and the discipline of psychology cannot be gainsaid. That the two phenomena are interrelated can be confirmed through several factual assertions by the principles of science and psychology. Precisely, psychology uses several scientific methods to explain the human behaviour and the evolution of the character of individuals. The art of decision-making, feelings, and even forming intentions as described by psychology, have deep scientific backing (Feldman, 2009). As nebulous as it appears, the concept of “falling in love” has been inherently viewed as a psychological issue, and is deeply engrained in scientific precepts. The treatise seeks to explain how the scientific and psychology principles can be used to explain how people fall in love.
Falling in love as a mental process
One of the cardinal goals of psychology as a discipline is to “provide clear explanations to the mental and cognitive processes” (Abbey & Surgan, 2012). In this respect, the discipline tries to articulate how the human brain functions, how individuals make decisions, and how people perceive each other both in the conscious and sub-conscious sense. The process of falling in love is “tethered” along the cognitive process aided by several other biological factors (Sternberg & Barnes, 2008). To fall in love, therefore, means that a combination of these biological and cognitive processes shall work together (Wilson & McLaughlin, 2010). In this dimension, the psychological principles of mental processes can perfectly describe the process of falling in love (Smith, 2009).
Scientific principles proclaim that the process of admiring someone, which eventually leads to falling in love, begins from one important sense – sight. Scientific methods, in tandem with psychology methods, advocate for observational models in the study of this phenomenon; this is not to argue that people who are visually challenged do not fall in love – which is a philosophical question that this work shall not address now. One must have “observed” a “feature,” or a “character,” or “an attribute” in another individual that would eventually lead to “desire” which translates into “love.” According to Smith (2009), this observational method, as stipulated by both scientific and psychology disciplines, is a key precinct of “falling in love.”
Wilson and McLaughlin (2010) posit that the scientific cornerstone of social psychology is exceptionally fundamental in the explanation of love. Social science uses empirical techniques to explain human behaviour. These empirical models, on the other hand, are the core fins of scientific principles (Smith, 2009). For a psychologist, it is therefore, extremely easy to intertwine these two disciplines to explain the human behaviour of being in love. At this point, it is remarkably significant to point out that the action of capitulation to love can be explained as a human behaviour – which is central to the discipline of psychology (Smith, 2009).
A psychologist, therefore, would invoke this link between science and social psychology in the explanation of the manner in which people end up in love. Social psychology revolves around the study of how people “feel” how these “feelings” are aroused; this is in direct relation to science, which describes the origin of these feelings from the physiological perspective (Smith, 2009). From the analysis, a psychologist would proclaim that the phenomenon of “falling” in love is a social concept that is brought about by feelings of “attraction” towards each other.
However, the big question would be the etymology of these feelings. To explain these “feelings,” a psychologist would further his/her argument along scientific explanation of the chemicals in the brain that control how human beings “react,” at least in the emotional context. The patterns of the feelings are purely a physiological process that is generated from within the brain cells. The “transformation” of these “feelings” into positive feelings that lead to attraction are psychological issues.
Psychology and emotions
To argue that the phenomenon of “falling” in love is a matter of emotions is very much admissible. Several scholars assert that the central “fountain” from which our “feelings” of love and attraction are from the emotional facet of the brain. Coincidentally, it is well known that psychology, as a discipline, emphatically explains human emotions. Further, it offers a consummate discourse on how these emotions influence interactions amongst human beings.
The fact here is that the emotions are issues of temperaments that are widely dealt with in the biological fields. The issues of temperaments, as explained in the scientific field of biology, offer an elaborate discourse on emotions. The field also concerns itself with the manner in which these emotions arise (Smith, 2009). For that reason, a psychologist would link these two essential cardinal points in explaining love. The link between love as a social phenomenon and love as a scientific concept would, thus, be as clear as crystal if the emotional locus of human beings is put into consideration.
Notably, it is also extremely important to disclose the classification of these emotions as explained in psychology as a discipline. Behavioural and social psychology generally demarcate emotions as “good” and “bad.” Depending on the psychological “composition” of an individual, one is likely to experience “good” emotions or “bad” emotions. In respect to the topic at hand, falling in love, the “good” emotions would be a perfect explanation to apply in this situation. It is, therefore, significant to note the role of both science and psychology as a discipline, in the explanation of “falling” in love (Smith, 2009).
In relation to the dispositions of the early Greeks, the concept of love was segmented into several forms. The most prominent form being the love that exists between family members – storge. Well, this would be the strongest pointer to the scientific explanation of love (Wilson & McLaughlin, 2001). Storge exists between individuals with blood relation; there should be a kinship between these individuals in one way or the other.
The question that arises in such a situation is what propagates such “attraction?” Well, for a psychologist, the issue of material “provision” inherently generates the feeling of compassion and friendliness. We are naturally inclined to “love” those people whom we consider as “breadwinners.” In science though, as enigmatic as it appears, we are naturally inclined to have compassion to those whom we feel “related” (Wilson & McLaughlin, 2001).
Love colligates psychology as a discipline and science as an arm of knowledge. The concept of love can be explained in both scientific and psychological precepts due to this interrelationship. It is in this respect, that a psychologist would find it easy to explain the concept of “falling” in love in both scientific and psychological contexts. Their “kinship” is “inscrutable” (Sternberg & Barnes, 2008).
Abbey, E., & Surgan, S. (2012). Emerging methods in psychology. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers.
Feldman, R. S. (2008). Essentials of understanding psychology (7th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill.
Smith, B. D. (2009). Psychology: science & understanding. Boston: McGraw-Hill.
Sternberg, R. J., & Barnes, M. L. (2008). The Psychology of love. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Wilson, G. D., & McLaughlin, C. (2010). The science of love. London: Fusion Press.