The Love Competition

Ever thought about measuring love ?

It’s such a crazy thing to imagine quantifying the amount and intensity of love that someone could experience. Researchers at Stanford University did not think the idea was that crazy so they decided to host the first Annual Love Competition. Seven contestants ranging in ages 10 to 75 were asked to think about the most intense feelings of love they can muster in five minutes while an fMRI machine scanned their brain. The test was geared to measure the levels of Serotonin, Oxytocin and Dopamine – chemicals released in our brain when we experience the feeling of love – and whichever contestant managed to produce the most of these neural enzymes in their brain wins. Movie maker Brent Hoff made a short video out of it.

The results definitely gave me a pause. Before the test every participant has their own idea of what love feels like and how much they thought they loved someone, but the final score shows something else. It throws our common understanding about love being fleeting and random into question. I wonder if this subject has clear answers.

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