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Measuring Romantic Love: Psychometric Properties of the Infatuation and Attachment Scales

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Pages 739-747
Published online: 25 Oct 2012


Romantic love is ubiquitous and has major influences on people's lives. Because romantic love consists of infatuation and attachment, researchers need to be able to differentiate between these constructs when examining the behavioral, affective, cognitive, and physiological correlates of this intriguing phenomenon. Existing love questionnaires appear less suitable for measuring the two-dimensional construct of romantic love. We present here the new 20-item Infatuation and Attachment Scales (IAS) questionnaire. In Study 1, exploratory factor analyses in a Dutch-speaking sample (n = 162) revealed a clear-cut two-factor structure, with 10 infatuation and 10 attachment items loading on separate components. This two-factor structure was confirmed in a new Dutch-speaking sample (n = 214, Study 2), and in an English-speaking sample (n = 183, Study 3). In all studies, it was additionally shown that both scales possessed good convergent and discriminant validity, as well as excellent internal consistency and test-retest reliability. We argue that the IAS is a widely applicable, psychometrically sound instrument that will be useful in future research exploring the effects of infatuation and attachment on behavior, emotion, cognition, peripheral physiology, and brain functioning.


We thank Margaret Jackson, Dilys Moons, and Sasja Breit for their help with data collection, and Freek Stoffels and Jeffrey de Man for technical assistance.


1The IAS, including the instructions and the response options, can be obtained from the corresponding author.

Note. Loadings on the basis of which items are allocated to a factor are printed in bold.

Note. n.a. = not applicable.

* = significant after Bonferroni correction.

Note. Because the covariate time since start of infatuation was significant in the ANCOVAs on the score on the infatuation scale, the adjusted means are presented. Because the covariate time since start of infatuation was not significant in the ANCOVAs on the score on the attachment scale, the unadjusted means are presented. Means within a column that have a different superscript differ significantly at α = .05.

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