Lovestruck or dumbstruck? Study finds being in love makes us stupid
If you suddenly find yourself forgetful or unable to focus on any task to completion, there’s a good chance you’ve been recently hit by Cupid’s arrow.
According to new research published in the medial journal Motivation and Emotion, people who are head over heels in love have been shown to have less cognitive control. As reported by Science Daily, 43 study volunteers who had been in a romantic relationship for six months or less were asked to differentiate between vital and not-so-vital information as quickly as possible. The outcome: “It appeared that the more in love they were, the less able they were to ignore the irrelevant information.”
Even more entertaining—the men were equally as clueless as the women. So no more blaming us for being the sappy ones.
Henk Van Steenbergen, a study co-author who collaborated with colleagues from Leiden University and University of Maryland, believes that we may have difficulty performing typical cognitive behaviors (like multitasking and problem solving) because we’re using the majority of our mental energy thinking about the one who has stolen our heart.
But we all have to grow out of puppy love at some point.
Van Steenbergen states: “For long-lasting love in a long-term relationship, on the other hand, it seems crucial to have proper cognitive control.” It's being able to strike that balance between control and mush that leads to happy relationships.
I can see how two people with no common sense would only get so far—hey, we all know what happened to Romeo and Juliet.
A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.