Standard Article


  1. Elaine Hatfield,
  2. Richard L. Rapson

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0517

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Hatfield, E. and Rapson, R. L. 2010. Love. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. University of Hawaii

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Social psychologists distinguish between two kinds of love: passionate love and companionate love. Passionate love, a potent emotion, is defined as an intense longing for union with the other. It is associated with a confusion of feelings: tenderness and sexuality, elation and pain, anxiety and relief, altruism and jealousy (Hatfield & Rapson, 1993). Companionate love, a cooler emotion, is characterized by affection, intimacy, attachment, and a concern for the welfare of the other (Sternberg, 2006).


  • passionate love;
  • companionate love;
  • neuroscience;
  • infatuation