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And while different species have evolved different habits for different reasons — and with different consequences — how birds, chimpanzees or even goats get it on provides the meat feeding plausible theories about why humans fall in love, with whom, and whether it is a good idea — or if we are just merely fooling ourselves. Robin Dunbar, an eminent professor of evolutionary anthropology, has attempted to answer these questions in an informative yet sparkling read that unites the science and poetry of love — and its opposite.
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Such nuggets include discussions on supermodels: the analysis of face shape reveals that they have similar features to those of seven-year-olds, because youthfulness is deemed attractive. Or how about the study where hugs have been shown to reduce levels of cortisol, thus reducing stress.
The Science of Love and Betrayal by Robin Dunbar – review
Most of these statistical truths seem familiar already, but Dunbar places them within their scientific contexts. But before you dip in, the whole project could be cause to worry — will reading the book lift the lid on the workings of our most intimate relationships, turning the fluffy bunnies of love into the tortured lab rabbits of science?
It can be compelling. So if it is women who sustain the tribe, what is the evolutionary reason for men going off hunting?
According to Dunbar, the men were showing off, their prowess a tool to attract women. Who would not be touched by the behaviour of the tiny Klipspringer antelope? These are among the most monogamous animals on the planet and they are never further than a few feet away from each other. Cancel anytime.
The Science of Love and Betrayal
A scientific exploration of some of humanity's most puzzling questions: What is love? Why do we fall in and out of love?
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And why would we have evolved to feel something so weird, with so many downsides? Whether you live for Valentine's Day or are the type to forget your wedding anniversary, love is, quite simply, part of being human.
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In The Science of Love , renowned evolutionary anthropologist Robin Dunbar uses the latest science to explore every aspect of human love. Why do we kiss? What evolutionary benefit could there be to feeling like you would die for your mate? If love exists to encourage child-bearing and child-rearing, why do we love until death do us part and beyond?
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Is parental love anything like romantic love? Dunbar explores everything science has discovered about romance, passion, sex, and commitment, answering these questions and more. Draws on the latest scientific research to examine the many aspects of love—passion, commitment, intimacy, hugging, kissing, monogamy, cheating, and more—and explain why we have evolved to behave as we do. Filled with fascinating insights into specific human behaviours and experiences, from the European air kiss on both cheeks to the phenomenon of love at first sight.
Written by Robin Dunbar, a prominent anthropologist and evolutionary psychologist whose work have been featured in Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point and many other books. Dunbar shares a great deal of interesting study results with us, all of which as far as I remember have been reference in other books on this site. He does weave them all into his own postulations about love and betrayal, but I find the study results here more interesting than his interpretations. The narrator with his accent was slightly annoying. At times he didn't seem to know where the mood of the paragraph was going, and came off as awkwardly inflected.
It could be that I, after writing enough reviews here, am becoming overly critical Na, he wasn't great.