Dating, Mating, and Close Relationships

Course content

This course deals with dating, mating, and close (i.e., intimate) relationships. Although other relationships such as family and friendship are addressed, the main focus is on adult romantic relationships.

The content of the course encompasses:

  • Core concepts and frameworks of close relationships (e.g., attachment, interdependence, love)
  • Cycles of close relationships from stages of initial attraction (and underlying mechanisms) to relationship formation, maintenance, repair, and in some cases dissolution;
  • Important aspects of close relationships such as trust, commitment, satisfaction, and sacrifice
  • Communication and interaction patterns, conflict, and the relationship’s social context
  • Dishonesty in romantic relationships and ongoing research


Throughout the course and more in-depth towards the end, we will also address crucial contemporary matters such as:

  • Cross-cultural differences and multiethnic couples
  • The LGBTQIA+ community
  • Technology and online dating
  • Casual, short-term, and non-monogamous relationships


Learning outcome


  • Having research-based knowledge of close relationships;
  • Having a good understanding of concepts, theories, and methods in close relationships psychology;
  • Having the ability to understand and reflect on psychological theories and methods in close relationships research.



  • Scientific and critical thinking skills, through reviewing, evaluating, and discussing existing literature on close relationships, as well as debating contrasting research findings and frameworks;
  • Research skills, through planning and discussing a research proposal;
  • Academic skills, through writing a research proposal and preparing oral presentations for class discussion.



  • Plan, design and implement research projects in the area of close human relationships;
  • Establish links between and draw together different concepts and frameworks in the area of close relationships;
  • Identify, analyze, structure and address practical, theoretical and/or academic assignments;
  • Present and discuss psychological knowledge and problems;
  • Defend scientific arguments/positions by supporting them with relevant and appropriate literature.
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment, Set assignment
Type of assessment details
Set assignemnt

Research Proposal (essay)

Students will generate a research question and develop a research proposal for testing specific hypotheses. This will make up their final grade.
The proposal must contain:
a) Introduction: Development of the problem under investigation and statement of the purpose of the investigation. Some literature review/theoretical background is expected.
b) Method: Description of the method used to conduct the investigation.
c) Discussion: Potential implications of the expected findings.

The proposal should include a title page, an abstract, and references. It should follow APA style and have a length (including abstract and in-text references) between 10-15 pages.
Students will receive guidance throughout the course and some feedback on their ideas and implementation plan (i.e., essay draft) halfway through the course.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

See Learning Outcome

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 30
  • English
  • 30


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 semester

15 Bachelor and 15 Master students
Department of Psychology, Study Council
Contracting department
  • Department of Psychology
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
Course Coordinator
  • Rachele Mazzini   (4-766571654474777d326f7932686f)
Saved on the 28-04-2023

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