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How does love change to hate so quickly? To fully comprehend this phenomenon we must first study what love is and try to understand it. So far the jury is still out on whether love is truly an emotion; not even all psychologists agree on this. Some argue that it’s form of madness that blinds us to our loved one’s failings, just long enough to allow us to procreate with them.

A 1974 research on love gives interesting insights on how love can turn so quickly into hate. In the study, men were asked to cross a bridge to talk to an attractive female researcher standing on the other side. They used two sets of bridges, one rickety, the other stable. Those who used the rickety bridge were more likely to ask the lady out on a post-interview date. That’s because they associated the adrenaline rush they got from crossing the bridge (which was in fact caused by fear) with feelings of love.

The study was used to back Schachter and Singer model of emotion which just states that love could be the result of one significant attribution error. After all the psychology that underpins love – a faster heart rate, higher respiration, etc. – is very similar to that of hate. A simple shift in perception could suddenly transform the apple of one’s eye into an object of contempt.

This quick shift is what sometimes leads to “love-hate relationships” and, in extreme cases, “crimes of passion”.

Brinda Rajkumar Shah

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