Undergraduate Course: Science of Close Relationships (PSYL10141)
|School||School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course provides an overview of theory and research on close relationships. With an emphasis on empirical evidence, we will focus on how relationship dynamics meaningfully influence human psychology, and vice versa. We will examine how relationship processes relate to multiple areas of psychology (e.g., biological, cognitive, developmental, social), with particular attention to the social level. This course will likely challenge some of your (and society's) preconceptions about relationships.
Close relationships are frequently listed among the factors that make life most meaningful. At the present time, the field of relationship science is characterized by an enormous breadth of content, several unique methodological and statistical challenges, and meta-theories around which various empirical findings are integrated and organized.
In this course, we will cover the major theoretical perspectives and methodologies related to the scientific study of close relationships. With an emphasis on empirical evidence, we will focus on how relationship dynamics meaningfully influence human psychology, and vice versa. We will examine how relationship processes relate to multiple areas of psychology (e.g., biological, cognitive, developmental, social), with particular attention to the social level. This course will likely challenge some of your (and society's) preconceptions about intimate relationships.
Each week we will explore a different aspect of close relationships and how relationship processes relate to human psychology. Classes will consist of a mixture of lectures, large and small group discussions, and other activities. Assessments will emphasize independent learning, critical analysis, writing skills, and communication with different audiences.
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites||Visiting students should be studying Psychology as their degree major, and have completed at least 3 Psychology courses at grade B or above. We will only consider University/College level courses. Applicants should note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission. **Please note that upper level Psychology courses are high-demand, meaning that they have a very high number of students wishing to enrol in a very limited number of spaces.** These enrolments are managed strictly by the Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department, and all enquiries to enrol in these courses must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office. It is not appropriate for students to contact the department directly to request additional spaces.
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2021/22, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 20,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Lay Article (1000 words; 30%, mid-term)
This assessment requires students to summarize and briefly discuss an empirical close relationships reading of their choice in a way that is accessible to non-academics/non-psychologists (similar to articles on ScienceofRelationships.com or In-Mind.org). Students should also comment on their reading in relation to the broader literature discussed in class. This assessment involves deep comprehension of close relationships readings, and requires students to think independently and analytically.
Research Proposal (2000 words; 70%, final assessment)
This assessment requires students to develop a research question related to the science of close relationships and to write a proposal designed to test this question empirically. This assessment involves integration of theoretical and methodological approaches covered in class, and requires students to think independently, creatively, and critically.
||Provided weekly in class in the form of brief discussion questions and other activities.
Feedback on the mid-term assessment will also feed forward to the final assessment by improving writing skills and understanding of the course material.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Examine close relationships from an empirically-based, scholarly perspective, rather than from an intuitive or speculative perspective based solely on personal experience and observations.
- Understand a number of classical and contemporary theoretical frameworks and methodologies that characterize the scientific study of close relationships.
- Recognize several ways in which relationship processes occur in daily life and evaluate situations relevant to close relationships and make predictions about behavior.
- Explain the scientific study of close relationships to a non-academic/non-psychologist.
- Identify critical questions that must be asked if a stronger, more complete, and more integrated science of close relationships is to emerge, and develop an empirical project that could test these questions.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Course organiser||Dr Sarah Stanton
Tel: (0131 6)50 8387
|Course secretary||Miss Susan Scobie
Tel: (0131 6)51 5505