Defining love

This activity is similar to the content analysis of online "lonely hearts" ads, but it is more real for the students.

For this activity students will need to have an opportunity sample in a lower grade in the school.  In my case, I use the pre-IB students who are two years younger than my students.  Middle Years students, I think, could also be used.  In theory, primary school students could be used, but I do not think that the actual results will be as helpful to the goals of this exercise.

Participants were asked the following question: How do you know when you are in love? They were then given 10 minutes to write a response. Since our students have laptops, each student wrote a journal entry and submitted it to a drop box.  The information was then collated by me so that the responses were all anonymous.  The participants did not include their names, but they indicated their gender.

The responses were then separated by gender and then given to the psychology students to analyze,  They worked in pairs to carry out an inductive content analysis.  They first highlighted points that "jumped out" at them - and then they started to organize those points into categories.  After completing that task, each partnership wrote up a short interpretation of their analysis.

Using a WIKI, students then posted their interpretations on the WIKI for both Males and Females. If you do not have access to computers, then simply sharing the interpretations in a read-around would also be appropriate. We looked at how many of the comments were biological (physiological), cognitive and socio-cultural in nature. Then we discussed what differences we saw - if any - between the two genders. We then spent time discussing the methodology that we used for this study.

Attached please find a sample of responses from the younger students.  You may feel free to use these as a substitute for carrying out your own study.

Responses to "How do you know that you have fallen in love?"

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