Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Shotgun awakening: A phenomenological study of extreme occurrences of falling in love
by Sundberg, Jeffrey Charles, Ph.D., California Institute of Integral Studies, 2015, 182; 3743675
Abstract (Summary)

Falling in love, for many individuals, begins with an inescapable, uncontrollable, transformative experience of intense emotions and intrusive thoughts; one phenomenon from the literature is the extreme love experience, limerence. Romantic love researchers have tended to lump extreme love phenomena into the limerence model viewed as pathology. Transpersonal psychology was chosen as the lens to examine an extreme occurrence of falling in love for its positive, transformational, and spiritual potential using a phenomenological approach. There were 25 U.S. born participants, age 30 and older, recruited from the internet who reported experiencing a very intense and very significant romantic love occurrence. Data from semi-structured interviews were thematically analyzed for emergent information, and then the data were compared to potential explanatory models including limerence, spiritual emergency, biopsychosocial, and passionate romantic love. The results revealed a unique experience unlike limerence and with limited correlations to the biopsychosocial model. The new phenomenon is called amigeist, characterized by immediate, intense soul-mate bonding, such as secure attachment with lifepartner potential. The larger themes were dynamic connection, intense emotions, astonishment, new behaviors, and passionate long-term relationships.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Wade, Jenny
Commitee: Hartelius, Glenn, Heery, Myrtle
School: California Institute of Integral Studies
Department: Integral and Transpersonal Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 77/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Romance literature, Psychology, Spirituality
Keywords: Altered states of consciousness, Amigeist, Extreme love, Immediate bonding, Passionate love, Romantic love
Publication Number: 3743675
ISBN: 978-1-339-36420-9
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