Relationship science class to be offered winter quarter

NADIA DORIS / AGGIE
NADIA DORIS / AGGIE

New course focuses on romantic relationships

“Why won’t any of my relationships last?” Students at UC Davis can finally find the answer to this and more of life’s most debilitating questions in a new winter course offered by UC Davis’ Psychology Department.

Psychology 51: Relationship Science: Love, Lust and Evolution is a four-unit course which will cover the universal aspects of relationships, emphasizing the romantic and pave the way for students to develop and interpret questions about the world through a scientific lense.

“The class is on the field of close relationships and evolutionary psychology,” said Paul Eastwick, associate professor in the UC Davis Psychology Department. “It is a class that focuses on the science of close relationships […] the way that people form relationships, the way that they maintain relationships [and] what happens to people when they break up. It mainly has a focus on romantic relationships, although we’ll do a little bit of discussion about other important kinds of relationships, too, like family relationships and friendships.”

Eastwick is a first-year professor at UC Davis and worked in conjunction with the university to provide the Relationship Science course next quarter. In the class, Eastwick will work with students to help them understand world topics through social and psychological bases.

“I think it’s a good example of how you can apply psychological methods and ways of understanding the world through a topic that people are naturally very interested in,” Eastwick said. “What’s really important is that we’re able to instill a deeper appreciation for the social science way of understanding and testing predictions about the world. When it comes to close relationships, we want people to also achieve some of the literal concrete knowledge about what makes relationships work, and how they can function better.”

Mark Cubillan, fourth-year psychology major and academic peer advisor in the Psychology Department, thinks the class could be impactful for students of any major in their career goals.

“I would recommend undergraduate students who have taken PSC 1 […] take the class, because I think it’ll be very interesting,” Cubillan said. “I have interest in learning more about the evolution of attraction and relationships […] and it give us insights into how we are as a people right now, universally and culturally.”

The class is open to all undergraduates and will be a valuable resource for students looking to gain academic insight into their own states of being.

“It’s intended to be the kind of class that you can take and get a lot out of if you are a psych major or planning to be,” Eastwick said. “[But] it can also be [useful] if you are majoring in something else. If you are interested in scientific approaches or the human condition, it’s a perfectly reasonable class for you.”

Andrea Barragan, third-year psychology major, was prompted to take Relationship Science when she saw it advertised in the Psychology Department’s newsletter.

“I think that overall it’s a really good and practical class that people would want to take. I’m happy they’re offering something like this because […] it’s scientific […] I know [the information is] rooted in data and research,” Barragan said.  

Remember Relationship Science: Love, Lust and Evolution for the upcoming pass two registration dates.

Written by: Darien Barnett — science@theaggie.org