Today people all over America are celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday. Across the country, people will gather to celebrate Thanksgiving with those they love as they give thanks for all those blessings that make their lives what they are. Of course, the Thanksgiving holiday has its roots in giving thanks for that year’s harvest, but it has now become a time to celebrate family and those you love. However, how often do we pause to consider why we love the people we do?
Scientists have spent decades trying to work out why people love each other. As reported by the Independent, researchers in Poland believe that they have finally worked out why people love each other. Previous research on the phenomenon of love has focused on finding a neurological or genetic reason for why people fall in love. A new study by researchers from the University of Wroclaw in Poland has taken a different approach and the scientists conclude that humans evolved to fall in love.
The scientific report, published in Frontiers in Psychology, suggests that the research “may shed new light on the meaning of love in humans’ evolutionary past.”
The scientists chose to conduct their study among the Hadza people of Tanzania. The hunter-gather tribe was deemed to live a life “more comparable to that of our prehistoric ancestors,” and are therefore free of things like contraception which are common in western society.
Of course, love isn’t something that can easily be measured, so the scientists used a method called the triangular love scale. This measured the intimacy, passion, and commitment to long-term relationships among the Hadza people. This, the scientists hypothesize, allows them to measure love. What they found was that those who scored highly on their love scale enjoyed more reproductive success.
The scientists found “that commitment and reproductive success were positively and consistently related in both sexes.” They also found a positive association between passion and reproductive success in women. In essence, the scientists found that those in a committed loving relationship were more successful in producing the children required to ensure the survival of the species.
This, the scientists claim, suggests that humankind has evolved to fall in love. Of course, modern life in western society has changed how we in the modern world conduct personal relationships, however, these scientists suggest that nature has preconditioned us to fall in love and to seek long-term, stable relationships.
Consider that as you enjoy your Thanksgiving day turkey.
[Featured Image by Zoltan Balogh/MTI/AP Images]