Biological Factors of Human Relationships

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Biological factors are something that contributes hugely to the formation and maintenance of relationships- whether it is romantic, friendly or family related. Many researchers have conducted studies in which they have attempted to try and explain the link between biological factors and human relationships. I am going to specifically focus on Bowlby’s study on the role of hormones in bonding, Buss’ study on women jealousy and its relation to estrogen levels, Fishers study on the brain and its role in romantic relationships, and Marazziti who studied the effect of serotonin on love obsession. These studies will help me show the role that biological factors have in human relationships in both the development and maintenance of them.

Serotonin. A neurotransmitter that may be involved in love, but is more commonly known as a chemical in the brain to change according to the moods of a person. A study conducted by Marazziti et al (1999) in Pisa (Italy) was to determine whether serotonin could perhaps explain the continuous focus on the beloved. The study mainly showed that the early stage of love really changes the way that people think. He used 60 participants; 20 who were in love, 20 who were OCD and 20 neutrals- who were not in love or OCD (controlled variable). He conducted the experiment by analyzing samples of blood from each of the participants. He found that the serotonin levels in the lovers were that of the same level as those participants who had OCD. This helps to show that there is a possible connection between the serotonin levels in the blood and the connection of romantic love. However some downfalls to this experiment could be the fact that Marazziti did not document or analyze and consider the serotonin activity in the specific brain regions may effect the validity and the reliability of the results from the study. This is because without having these factors being played into the study and research we are unsure of the exact role that serotonin...
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