Researchers have studied the way people express and experience romantic love. The sociologist Lee (1973) became very well known for his classification of love styles, also called the colors of love. Clyde and Susan Hendrick (University of Texas) used this work to develop their lovel attitudes scale; their work is plays a dominant role in this field of research.

The six love styles are listed below (defintions taken from Hendrick & Hendrick, 1986):

  • Primary love styles

    • Eros = passionate love

    • Ludus = game-playing love

    • Storge = friendship love (pronounced as stor-gay)

  • Secondary love styles

    • Pragma = logical, "shopping list" love

    • Mania = possessive, dependent love

    • Agape = all-giving, selfless love

Hendrick and Hendrick’s 1986 paper explains these styles as follows:

One of the more interesting theories of love was proposed by Lee (1973/1976) who forged a classification of several different approaches to love. After an extensive interview procedure and complex data reduction techniques, Lee proposed a typology of love styles that formed a closed circle. Lee identified three primary types of love styles: Eros (romantic, passionate love), Ludus (game-playing love), Storge (friendship love), and three main secondary styles: Mania (possessive, dependent love), Pragma (logical, "shopping list" love), and Agape (all-giving, selfless love). These secondary styles were conceived as compounds of pairs of primary styles. Analogous to chemical compounds, the secondary styles are qualitative transformations of the "base primary elements." Thus, Mania is a compound of Eros and Ludus, but Mania is qualitatively very different from either primary. In the same fashion, Pragma is a compound of Storge and Ludus, but has very different properties. The same holds true for Agape, a compound of Eros and Storge. One implication of the analogy to chemical compounds is that although the six love styles are logically interrelated, each style has qualitative properties inde- pendent of all of the other styles. Empirically, measures of these six love styles should be orthogonal to each other. In sum, the love styles are all equally valid ways of loving. There is no one type of love, but rather many different types.

— Hendrick and Hendrick (1986)
page 393

The implementation of the PsyToolkit scale is based on the Hendrick and Hendrick 1998 short form with four items per love type. They argued that, in principle, you could also use 3 items per love type. It is easy to change the current implementation to a 3-item version, by just taking out the last 6 items (see technical notes below).

This scale has one question that applies only to young people in hetero-sexual relationships. This question is not in the 3-item per love type version, so you can circumvent that if you aim to study not just hetero-sexual young lovers.

The averages in the 1998 study were as follows:

For example, an Eros attitude of 1.0 means a very passionate love attitude, and an Eros attitude of 5.0 means an extremely low level of passion.
All scores can run from 1 to 5, lower scores indicate a greater amount of that attitude. Statistically significant sex differences are indicated, as well as the sex with the higher amount of the attitude.
Love type Men (n=444) Women (n=646) Sex difference (p<.05)



















These data are from Hendrick & Hendrick (1998), Study 1, Table 3.
The sex differences were not found in all studies, see the Hendrick & Hendrick 1998 paper for details. Also, these averages are for undergraduate psychology students, and might not representative for other groups.

Run the demo

This scale has been published in an academic journal and it seems that it can be used in research, given that the relevant researchers and papers are acknowledged and cited.


This is a simple scale item.

In this implementation, there are 4 items per love type. You can in easily change this in a 3-item-per-love-type scale, just like they do in the Hendrick & Hendrick 1998 paper. The advantage of doing that is that you then do need not to exclude participants in a homo-sexual relationship or people who found their partner when they were no longer able to have children. The downside is that the scale might not be as reliable (see the paper for details on this). In any case, these are the steps to take:

  • From the scale take the items 19 to 24 (those are the last 6 items in the question labeled las

  • From each set item (eros, ludus, etc), make sure take out the last item (those have numbers of 19 and higher)

The survey code for PsyToolkit

Copy and paste this code to your PsyToolkit account if you want to use the scale in your own online research project
scale: agree
- strongly agree
- moderately agree
- neutral
- moderately disagree
- strongly disagree

l: las
t: scale agree
o: random
o: width 35%
q: Some of the items refer to a specific love relationship, while
others refer to general attitudes and beliefs about love.<br>
Whenever possible, answer the questions with your current partner in
If you are not currently dating anyone (or in a relationship), answer
the questions with your most recent partner in mind.<br>
If you have never been in love, answer in terms of what you think your
responses would most likely be.<br>
- My partner and I have the right physical "chemistry" between us.
- I feel that my lover and I were meant for each other.
- My partner fits my ideal standards of physical beauty/handsomness.
- I believe that what my partner doesn't know about me won't hurt him/her.
- I have sometimes had to keep my partner from finding out about other lovers.
- My partner would get upset if he/she knew of some of the things I've done with other people.
- Our love is the best kind because it grew out of a long friendship.
- Our friendship merged gradually into love over time.
- Our love relationship is the most satisfying because it developed from a good friendship.
- A main consideration in choosing my partner was how he/she would reflect on my family.
- An important factor in choosing my partner was whether or not he/she would be a good parent.
- One consideration in choosing my partner was how he/she would reflect on my career.
- When my partner doesn't pay attention to me, I feel sick all over.
- I cannot relax if I suspect that my partner is with someone else.
- If my partner ignores me for a while, I sometimes do stupid things to try to get his/her attention back.
- I would rather suffer myself than let my partner suffer.
- I cannot be happy unless I place my partner's happiness before my own.
- I am usually willing to sacrifice my own wishes to let my partner achieve his/hers.
- My partner and I really understand each other.
- I enjoy playing the "game of love" with my partner and a number of other partners.
- Our love is a really deep friendship, not a mysterious, mystical emotion.
- Before getting involved with my partner, I tried to figure out how compatible his/her hereditary background would be with mine case we ever had children.
- Since I've been in love with my partner I've had trouble concentrating on anything else.
- I would endure all things for the sake of my partner.

l: eros
t: set
- mean $las.1 $las.2 $las.3 $las.19

l: ludus
t: set
- mean $las.4 $las.5 $las.6 $las.20

l: storge
t: set
- mean $las.7 $las.8 $las.9 $las.21

l: pragma
t: set
- mean $las.10 $las.11 $las.12 $las.22

l: mania
t: set
- mean $las.13 $las.14 $las.15 $las.23

l: agape
t: set
- mean $las.16 $las.17 $las.18 $las.24

l: feedback
t: info
q: Below are your scores on the six love styles.<br>
Note that the scores can run from 1 (highest level) to 5 (lowest level).<br>
Thus if your score on eros is 1.0, the love is very passionate.<br>
<b>Write down your scores so that you can compare them to the population
 averages on the PsyToolkit library website which you are linked back to later.</b><br><br>
<li><b>Eros</b> (passionate love): {$eros}
<li><b>Ludus</b> (game-playing love): {$ludus}
<li><b>Storge</b> (friendship love): {$storge}
<li><b>Pragma</b> (logical, "shopping list" love): {$pragma}
<li><b>Mania</b> (possessive, dependent love): {$mania}
<li><b>Agape</b> (all-giving, selfless love): {$agape}


  • Hendrick, C. & Hendrick, S. (1986). A theory and method of love. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50, 392-402.

  • Hendrick, C., Hendrick, S., & Dicke, A. (1998). The Love Attitudes Scale: Short form. Journal of Personal and Social Relationships, 15, 147-159.

  • Lee, J. A. (1973). Colours of love: An exploration of the ways of loving. Toronto: New Press.