The Psychology of Love
by Michele A. Paludi, Editor
March 2012, 825pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
4 volumes, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-313-39315-0
$216, £160, 180€, A309
eBook Available: 978-0-313-39316-7
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Across the diverse cultures and societies of the world, love is a universal concept. However, there are nearly as many different interpretations of the meaning of love as there are words to describe it. Social scientists, biologists, philosophers, and scholars have all attempted to define this complex emotion, and to explain why love spawns passion, intimacy, and commitment.

From arranged marriages to online dating, this four-volume work presents everything from personal accounts to empirical evidence to document what creates love in our culture as well as around the world.

The field of biology views “love” as a hard-wired mammalian drive, akin to thirst and hunger. In contrast, psychology views love from a social and cultural perspective where our drive to find love—and our responses to it—are highly dependent on societal norms. In The Psychology of Love, esteemed author and educator Michele A. Paludi examines love through all lenses, thereby providing readers a deeper understanding of the ways we can express caring, sensitivity, empathy, and respect toward one another.

Each chapter in this comprehensive four-volume work includes a scholarly overview of empirical research and theories about the psychology of love. In addition, individuals’ own definitions of love are included. Special attention is paid to accepted standards of love across a variety of cultures, the ways individuals express liking and love across the lifecycle, and patterns in dissolutions of friendships and romantic relationships, making note of gender and race differences.


  • Showcases individual accounts regarding the perennial question of "what is love?"
  • Highlights cultural similarities and differences
  • Provides up-to-date empirical research
  • Supplies extensive bibliographic materials and a list of organizations regarding relationships, including abusive relationships
Michele A. Paludi is president of Human Resources Management Solutions and participating faculty at Union Graduate College, Schenectady, NY. Paludi is series editor for Praeger's Women's Psychology and Women and Careers in Management and has authored or edited 38 texts on workplace discrimination, sexual harassment, psychology of women, workplace violence, and campus violence. Her book Ivory Power: Sexual Harassment on Campus received the 1992 Myers Center Award for Outstanding Titles in Human Rights. She was recently named "Woman of the Year" by the Schenectady Business & Professional Women's club and is currently the Elihu Root Peace Fund Professor in Women's Studies at Hamilton College, Clinton, NY.


"A noted educator and author, Paludi (women's studies, Hamilton College) has put together a comprehensive, eclectic set of scholarly writings on love and relationships. . . . Each individual volume will be valuable for anyone interested in the subject; collectively, the set is a necessity for broadening the perspective of any researcher in the field. . . . Summing Up: Essential."—Choice, May 1, 2013

"This series of books would be appreciated by anyone who would like to have an expansive and eclectic reference section on the topic of love. . . . Overall, this four-volume set is intelligent, comprehensive in scope, well-written, and worthwhile, offering a plethora of scholarly research for anyone who wants to know anything about love."—PsycCRITIQUES, December 5, 2012
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