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. He studies romantic relationships and American politics. In his role as director of Northwestern’s Relationships and Motivation Lab (RAMLAB), he has published around 170 scientific papers and is a Guest Essayist for The New York Times. A survey of his peers identified him as the most influential relationship scientist in the 21st century; the Economist declared him “one of the leading lights in the realm of relationship psychology.”
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.
This course is designed to provide the fundamentals of negotiation strategy and to improve students' skills in all phases of negotiation. The course provides an understanding of prescriptive and descriptive negotiation theory as it applies to two party negotiations, team negotiations, resolution of disputes, agents and ethics, and management of the negotiation process. The course is based on a series of simulated negotiations in a variety of contexts. Attendance at every class meeting is mandatory.
MORS offers three unique courses in the area of negotiation and conflict resolution: Negotiation Fundamentals, Negotiating in a Virtual World, and Advanced Negotiations. Students ideally begin the negotiation coursework by taking Negotiation Fundamentals and then taking the advanced courses: Negotiating in a Virtual World and/or Advanced Negotiations. Please note that students are required to take Negotiation Fundamentals prior to taking Advanced Negotiations. Students are allowed to take Negotiating in a Virtual World without having taken Negotiation Fundamentals but will be expected to catch up on core concepts asynchronously through the course's virtual format. Once a student has taken Negotiating in a Virtual World, they are no longer eligible to take Negotiation Fundamentals but may go on to take Advanced Negotiations.