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Love Around the World

On our website, we have many articles that tell you about the Love-Match Theory (also called triangular theory) of Love.

One question you might legitimately ask is whether the triangular theory is yet another theory created by a psychologist that is culturally biased.  It is a fair question.

Does the Love-Match Theory work only for people from North American and European cultures?

For example, intelligence tests were created by Western Europeans and further promoted by Americans as tests that would be relevant anywhere, but the truth is that the cognitive skills they measure were chosen to be cognitive skills that Western Europeans and Americans particularly value.

The tests do not necessarily measure skills that are equally valued in other cultures.

Polish psychologist Piotr Sorokowski  recruited over 100 other psychologists from 45 different countries to assess whether the triangular theory of love, on which much of our website is based, is valid in each of those countries.  I am a coauthor on this paper, which will be published in the Journal of Sex Research, although I did not explicitly test participants for the paper.

As you can imagine, this was an enormous undertaking.  The test was translated into the primary language of each of the countries, resulting in essentially the same test being available for people around the world to take.

The question the study addressed was very simple: In how many and which of the 45 countries was the test of the triangular theory of love valid?

There were 11,422 participants in all.  In some countries, the sample of participants was smaller.  Sorokowski and colleagues excluded from the final data analysis any countries with fewer than 150 participants.

That means that all country samples in the final analysis were very large.  That left 25 countries, namely, Algeria, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Cuba, Estonia, Croatia, Hungary, India, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, Uganda, Uruguay, and Viet Nam. As you can see, all inhabited continents were included in the study.

The results are in: The Love-Match Theory is valid in every country it was tested in!

The results were very simple.

My Triangular Love Scale was valid in every country around the world in which it was evaluated. 

I think it is fair to say that this is an amazing result. It means that the building blocks of love - intimacy, passion, and commitment - are the same all over the world.

Regardless of where you were born or where you live, the scale will provide you with a valid set of scores for your love profile of intimacy, passion, and commitment.

We plan soon to make an updated version of this scale, the IPC Love Scale, available to readers of this website, complete with scoring and interpretation of results.

Why is love the same all over the world?

You may ask yourself, why would love be universal?

Because unlike the kinds of intellectual abilities measured by IQ tests, love has been around since humans first started to exist.

Think about it. Not every culture develops the high levels of literacy skills IQ tests and their proxies (like the SAT or ACT) require, or the sophisticated mathematical skills, or the abstract-reasoning skills.  All of these skills are culturally limited.

There are no cultures that don't know love

But love is everywhere and has been since time immemorial.  There are no cultures we know of that do not have one or more words for love, or that don’t experience love.

If there were, people in that culture would probably die out, because love is so closely tied, for many of us, to human reproduction and nurturance. In other words, what is smart in one culture may not be smart in another culture, but love is love.

That said, the ideal balance among intimacy, passion, and commitment almost certainly does vary between cultures and may vary across time.

In some times and places, intimacy or passion or commitment may be more or less important.

But all of them count for something everywhere.

Without intimacy, we could not get to know a beloved.

Without passion, we would have no attraction toward a beloved.

And without commitment, we could not provide any kind of family or other structure to raise children until they mature into adults.

People around the world need intimacy, passion, and commitment

We need intimacy, passion, and commitment, at least at some level, no matter where we are.

My point today, then, is that regardless of where you live, what we teach you in this website about intimacy, passion, and commitment will be valuable to you.  And we hope that you share with us your feedback about what you learn.


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1 thought on “Love Around the World”

  1. I think this is wonderful news! The Love Match theory is so explanatory that its validation around the world is great news indeed!

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