Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Barbara Sholley


The cinematic effects of Fatal Attraction, a negative depiction of love addiction, and Wuthering Heights, a positive depiction of love addiction, were used to test their effect on students' metaphorical love preferences. Eight of Robert Sternberg's love metaphors were selected and, based on participants' metaphorical choices, an unhealthy and healthy group were created. It was hypothesized that both the unhealthy and healthy group would be unaffected after watching Fatal Attraction, but that Wuthering Heights would affect a change in the healthy group towards more unhealthy, addictive metaphors, while not affecting a change in the unhealthy group. The original hypothesis was not supported, suggesting it takes more than a day, most likely years, for movies to change views on love. This experiment did not support Sternberg's research who supports the negative impact of films on love styles; however, if this experiment had taken place over the course of years, the hypothesis most likely would have been supported, supporting Sternberg's research. There were significant findings when it came to the addiction group (people who ranked the addiction and fantasy metaphors the highest). It was supported that those in the low end of the addiction group had less within group variability, versus those in the high end of the addiction group, supporting Peele's research on the emotional instability of a love addict. In the future, other aspects influencing love should be taken into consideration, such as age, sexual preference and culture, considering the multi-dimensional nature of such a topic.

Included in

Psychology Commons