The colour wheel theory of love is an idea created by Canadian psychologist John Alan Lee that describes six styles of love, using several of the Greek words for love. First introduced in his book Colours of Love: An Exploration of the Ways of Loving (1973), Lee defines three primary, three secondary and nine tertiary love styles, describing them in terms of the traditional color wheel. The three primary types are eros, ludus and storge, the three secondary types are mania, pragma and agape.
Clyde Hendrick and Susan Hendrick of Texas Tech University expanded on this theory in the mid-1980s with their extensive research on what they called “love styles”. Their study found that male students tend to be more ludic, whereas female students tend to be storgic and pragmatic. Whilst the ludic love style may predominate in men under thirty years of age, studies on more mature men have shown that the majority of them do indeed mature into desiring monogamy, marriage and providing for their family by the age of thirty.
Hendrick and Hendrick (1986) developed a self-report questionnaire measure of Lee’s love styles, known as the Love Attitudes Scale (LAS). A shortened version of the LAS, presumably for researchers trying to keep their surveys as concise as possible, was later published, and other variations appear to have been used by some researchers. Respondents indicate their level of agreement or disagreement with the LAS items, examples of which include “My partner and I have the right physical ‘chemistry'” (Eros) and “Our love is the best kind because it grew out of a long friendship” (Storge). Depending on the version of the LAS one administers, there are from 3–7 items for each of the six styles described above.
A 2002 article illustrated the use of the LAS.