Eli Finkel -- author of the bestselling book The All-Or-Nothing Marriage: How the Best Marriages Work -- is a professor at Northwestern University, where he has appointments in the psychology department and the Kellogg School of Management. In his role as director of Northwesternâ€™s Relationships and Motivation Lab (RAMLAB), he has published ~150 scientific papers and is a contributor to the Op-Ed page of The New York Times. The Economist has identified him as "one of the leading lights in the realm of relationship psychology.â€
1. Interpersonal Attraction: What predicts interpersonal attraction? Do people really know what characteristics they desire in a relationship partner? How do dating innovations like speed-dating and online dating influence the romantic initiation process?
2. Interpersonal Conflict: When do people forgive transgressions? What are the consequences of forgiving? When does conflict escalate to the point of aggression? Can we intervene to ameliorate the adverse effects of conflict?
3. Self-Control: When and how do relationship partners bring out the best vs. the worst in us? What types of social interaction cause us to feel energized versus exhausted? How do self-control processes influence relationship functioning?
For a full list of publications, see Finkel's website. Here's a sampling of recent publications.
I teach several sections of Negotiation Fundamentals (MORS 472-5) every year. After ~15 years of teaching Introduction to Psychology (Psych 110), I have put that course on my back burner to resurrect my undergraduate-level Relationship Science course (Psych 384), which I taught this quarter to ~150 students. I continue to teach, in alternating years, my two PhD courses to Weinberg and Kellogg students -- one on Attraction and Relationships (Psych 430) and one on Self-Regulation (Psych 440). (Although these are listed as "Psych" courses, they are unofficially cross-listed at the approval of the deans' offices.) I'm intrigued by the prospect of creating a relationships course for the MBAs ("Managing Relationships" or something like that), although it would be an entirely new course for the b-school world, which is intimidating.