Psychological Science recently published an analysis about lust and love. The study detailed how to distinguish if the person is just feeling sexual lust or if it is the long-term will-you-marry-me kind of love, indicating that the answer lies in one’s perception of his or her mate.
Two studies were conducted on a group of heterosexual undergraduates by University of Chicago researchers. Participants viewed a set of 120 pictures of couples and were questioned if the pictures brought out feelings of sexual desire or romantic love in the first study.
Love was described as a tender and sentimental state that made one long for a union, whereas sexual desire was described as an intensifying of fantasies and sexual thoughts toward a goal.
The participants were shown the photos and then asked to contemplate on their feelings. While the participants were looking at the pictures, their eye movements were also followed and recorded to find out which part of the photo they lingered on.
In the second study, participants were given 80 pictures of the opposite sex and questioned if they could perhaps feel lust or love toward them. Their eye movements were again tracked.
The results pointed out that participants were more likely be preoccupied on the face when making choices about romantic love and on the body when dealing with lust. The researchers identified that one of the most dependable signs of love between couples is shared visual fixation.