Summer B 2004




Classroom: PCA 150

Class Time: T & Th 6:25 - 9:05 PM

INSTRUCTOR: R. Beneckson

DM 285


Office Hours: Th 2-4 PM


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This course is a study of how individuals relate to issues involved in intimacy and love.  As such, it is heavily focused on how individuals interact together.  We will study major areas such as basic processes in intimate relationships, friendship and intimacy, relationship issues, and losing and enhancing relationships.   The goal of this course is to expose the student to knowledge in these areas so that the student may apply them to improve the quality of their lives.



Textbook: Brehm, Miller, Perlman, Campbell, Intimate Relationships, third edition.            McGraw Hill, 2002.




Basic Requirements:


This course will be taught through study of the textbook, lecture, class presentations, video programs, discussion, and dialogue.  Class participation will be highly emphasized and rewarded. There will be 2 exams, with multiple choice and/or essays.  The higher of the two grades will be counted twice.  Students are required to participate in a group presentation and keep a journal applying the material from each chapter to real aspects of their lives.  A minimum of 3 journals is required, but the more one does the more points one gets.


What is required of the student is an open mind and the desire to learn.  In addition to the basic material, the emphasis on this course is learning how to enjoy the process of learning itself, thinking critically, and seeing how research and academic material may be applied in a practical context to self-study.



Grading:  Your final grade in the course is based on the total of the 2 exams, plus extra credit points, plus credit for the class presentation, and class participation.  Each student is required to participate in a small group presentation based on a specific chapter.  The maximum for the class presentation is 10 points.  The personal journal is worth a minimum of 3 points and a maximum of 15 points.

Other extra credit points depend on the specific project, but generally are between 5 and 10 points.



          A = 275+                           B-= 235-239              D+= 200-204

          A-= 265-274                        C+= 230-234             D = 180-199

          B+= 260-264                       C = 210-229              D-= 175-179

          B = 240-259                        C-= 205-209              F = 0-174


Course Policies:  Please be aware of the following course policies as they can have an effect on your grade in the course.

          Exam policy:  Do not arrive late or fail to show up for an exam.  If you arrive 15 minutes after the exam has started you will not be allowed to take it.  In the event of medical emergency, you must provide an official notice from your physician, if accepted, alternative arrangements will be made.  See the instructor for permission to make up an exam.

          Academic dishonesty:  Instances of cheating will be not be tolerated and will be dealt with in accordance with policies established by Florida International University.  Please refer to the Student Handbook.

          Classroom conduct:  Arriving late, leaving early, or otherwise being disruptive during lectures will not be tolerated.  If you know in advance that you will arrive late/leave early, notify the instructor prior to class.  Please turn off cell phones and beepers during class.

          Related concerns:  If at anytime during the semester you are concerned about your progress, please feel free to speak to me about it.  My office hours are listed at the top of the syllabus.

            Extra Credit: Short research papers may be done for extra points with the permission of the instructor.  See the instructor for more information.



Course Outline:  Below are the scheduled lecture topics and corresponding textbook chapters.  Please make every effort to read the chapter prior to lecture.  Lectures will also present material not found in the textbook.  This schedule is subject to change based on the progress of the class.  Therefore, it is essential that you come to class regularly to keep abreast of any changes.







                    Topic:                     Textbook    Brehm

The Building Bocks of Relationships                        Chapter 1            

Relationship Tests                                                          RelationshipTests

Couples Self-Disclosure Test

Big Five Personality Test

Student Survey on Attractiveness

Research Methods                                              Chapter 2            

Attraction                                                           Chapter 3             

Social Cognition                                                      Chapter 4                    

Communication                                                Chapter 5                                      

Interdependency                                                Chapter 6             

Love                                                              Chapter 8                             

Sexuality                                                           Chapter 9


Friendships Across the Life Cycle                         Chapter 7               

Stresses and Strains                                                   Chapter 10                 

                                                          The Secret Lives of Wives

Power in Intimate Relationships                                  Chapter 11                 

Conflict and Violence                                        Chapter 12         

The Dissolution and Loss of Relationships                Chapter 13         

Loneliness                                                      Chapter 14               

Fostering Relationships                                           Chapter 15         

Exam 2                                                                    








Please, when you write your journals, leave two spaces between sentences.  This makes you look like you passed the Gordon rule requirements and your English classes.  Also, when using “quotation marks,” make sure that any periods or commas are included within the “marks,” understand?  This is proper English usage in writing.