London, Mar 19 (UNI) They say love is blind and it also makes us blind to the charm of others, scientists say.
Psychologists who studied volunteers in stable relationships believe romantic love is a biological ''commitment device'' to lessen our awareness of the charms of others.
The study, published in the New Scientist magazine, provides support for the theory that strong emotions that encourage committed relationships have evolved to ensure offspring are well cared for.
Monogamy has been observed in a number of non-human species, such as puffins, penguins and many sea birds. It is especially common in circumstances where the desertion of one partner could lead to young failing to survive.
Dr Gian Gonzaga, who led the study while at the University of California, Los Angeles, said the research helped to explain why attached people pass up opportunities for illicit liaisons, even though humans usually value immediate gains over long-term ones.
Psychologist Prof Richard Wiseman, of the University of Hertfordshire, said, ''This research suggests our feelings of love may have evolved to keep people in relationships rather than looking elsewhere. The results could explain why some couples adorn their house with photos of a great holiday or when they first met.'' ''These would act as a constant reminder of the good times that they have had together and, according to this study, discourage them from finding other people attractive,'' the Daily Telegraph quoted him as saying.
Julie Fitness, a social psychologist at Macquarie University in Sydney, said the findings showed, ''love is very functional - a commitment device''.
She added, ''It motivates you to form strong attachments, which will ultimately be good for raising vulnerable young.'' UNI XC RJ SSC1413