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PSYC1014 Psychology of Attractiveness

Module Overview

In this unit, we explore possible answers to questions such as: What constitutes physical and interpersonal attractiveness? How many types of love are there? Where are the main sources of attraction? What difference does attractiveness make to people's lives? What triggers the start of romantic relationships? Why do people who once loved one another break up? Does evolution dictate the mating strategies that men and women adopt? No single theory can fully answer such questions. Nonetheless, different theories can provide partial or likely answers. The module is available as an option for Year 1 students on other degree programmes and to Erasmus students, subject to timetabling and any other conditions.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

(a) broadly survey a wide range of relevant theories crafted within a variety of more general perspectives (social, evolutionary, biological, cultural, intuitive, historical, philosophical), and then (b) examine critically how well those theories hold up in the light of findings from scientific research.

Learning Outcomes

Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • By the end of the course, students should have become acquainted with a variety of theories and perspectives about love and attraction, and should have gained insight into how love and attraction can be better understood via empirical investigation


• Week 1: Introduction and Need to Belong • Week 2: Determinants of Attraction • Week 3: Evolution • Week 4: Physical Attractiveness • Week 5: Individual Differerences in Attraction • Week 6: Midterm exam • Week 7: Cyberspace Romance • Week 8: Love Part 1 • Week 9: Love Part 2 • Week 10: Relationship Development and Maintenance • Week 11: Relationship Dissolution • Week 12: Reading week

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The unit is primarily taught via weekly lectures. These lectures are partly interactive, and students are encouraged to comment on and discuss the material presented. From time to time, students are asked to complete a small homework assignment, to make lecture material real and concrete in their everyday lives.

Independent Study128
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Other. There is no core text for this unit. Instead, readings consist of a collection of journal articles and book chapters. Key readings, lecture slides, videos, announcements, forum boards are all made available on Blackboard.



MethodPercentage contribution
Exam  (0.5 hours) 40%
Exam  (1.5 hours) 60%


MethodPercentage contribution
Exam 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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