Love By The Numbers

February 12, 2017
(was 02.16.2015)

We’re exploring love by the  numbers, this week.  36 questions, 40 first dates, and 43 equations – it’s all part of the new mathematical science of love.

  1. Love in 36 Questions

    Can you fall in love with anyone?  More than 20 years ago, psychologist Arthur Aron made two strangers fall in love in his laboratory.   How?  He asked them 36 questions.    This year, Mandy Len Catron tried out the 36 questions with a guy she barely knew.  Now they’re in love.  

    Average: 4.5 (6 votes)
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  2. To Fall In Love, Do This

    Falling in love is easy.  Staying in love for 30 or 40 years takes some skill.  Social psychologist Arthur Aron identifies some of the techniques devoted couples use to keep the spark alive.  Aron's the psychologist who figured out how to build intimacy in just 36 questions.  He gives us some more lab-tested tips for keeping the love you find.

    Average: 4.8 (5 votes)
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  3. Screw Everyone

    Maybe love is numerical – or at least, statistical. Comedian and NPR host Ophira Eisenberg went on forty first dates before she found the right guy. For her, the secret to true love was a large sample size.

    Average: 4.7 (3 votes)
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  4. Calculus of Love -- Why Good Marriages Are Made of Math

    Psychologists John and Julie Gottman are famous for being able to predict with 94% accuracy whether a couple will break up, stay together unhappily, or stay together happily. In their Love Lab, they've identified hidden patterns of behavior that can strengthen or weaken relationships. If we'd known the secret to a good marriage was non-linear differential equations, we might have paid more attention in math class.

    Average: 4.4 (9 votes)
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  5. Dangerous Idea: Why it's Good to be Alone

    Even when there's no one else in the room, we're never really alone, argues Joshua Wolf Schenk.  We're in constant creative dialogue with the voices in our heads.  But we need solitude to hear them.  So this Valentine's Day, go spend some time alone!

    Average: 4.8 (5 votes)
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  6. Edmund White on the Politics of Promiscuity

    Writer Edmund White looks back over 50 years of gay love and liberation.  Although married, White has resisted what he calls “gay assimilation”.  He talks about the politics of gay sex and promiscuity.

    Average: 4 (3 votes)
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