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PSYC 100: General Psychology (Julie Reese) - Spring 2020

Picking a partner Library Assignment

General Psychology: Library Assignment


What does Science tell us about how to pick a Partner for a Happy Marriage?


Psychology is ripe with studies about attraction: what we find most attractive in physical  and personality traits. Attraction can be examined in numerous ways including an evolutionary lens (what is the survival benefits that drive attraction for a mate), self-report measures (what do people say are the reasons they were/are attracted to their spouse,economic models (what are the gains/losses in the relationship), and so on. This assignment is not focused on these areas of research. Instead, the quest is to examine the scientific evidence to discover how we can select a marital partner when our primary concern is to have a happy marriage. We all know physically attractive people in Hollywood who fell “madly in love” (read “physical infatuation”) whose marriage quickly turned from happy to unhappy, ending in divorce. What does that tell us - physical attraction is not the best factor upon which to establish a happy marriage.The good news is that we now know much about happy marriages and how we can build them, starting before we even say “I do”. 


This exploration of the research on happy marriages will require a bit of “cognitive gymnastics”. What I mean by that is you will be reading about what makes marriages happy and thinking in reverse: “What does this information tell me about what I should look for in a person BEFORE I get married? How should I work to build a relationship with a romantic partner who I may want to marry? “


  1. Begin with this list of articles from the Gottman institute. Using the library’s resources, you will need to attain at least TWO of these sources (either through interlibrary loan OR the library itself.)

  2. Look up TWO research articles in Google Scholar. They could be other articles from the above list or other research articles that you find on this topic. These articles might be available free online but most likely you will have to go through the Good Library to procure them. In addition to looking at two articles, you are to look at the “cited by” link and select TWO of those articles as well. 

  3. Go to EBSCO on the library website and select PsychInfo and PsychArticles. Use key words to find TWO research articles related to this topic.   


Now you should have a total of EIGHT articles:

  • Two from John Gottman (from the list of articles). (If you are using interlibrary loan, you may not have both of them at this time. If that is the case, please let Professor Reese know before you leave today’s class.)

  • Two from Google Scholar 

  • Two from the “cited by” link in the Google Scholar’s articles (A)

  • Two from the search on EBSCO (PsychInfo and PsychArticles) 


Writing Assignment: Guided Annotation and Reference


  1. Write the full APA reference for each article, using the correct spacing and format.

  2. Answer the following questions in paragraph format for EACH ARTICLE:


    1. Who wrote this? And what is their background or experience?

    2. Did an expert check over this work? Can these experts be trusted? 

    3. How recent is this work / research?

    4. What were the methods used in the research?

    5. How big was the sample size?

    6. What are the author(s)’s conclusions

    7. Can I use any part of this research for my paper? If so, indicate where the relevant information is in the article (in the Introduction/Literature Review, Results, Conclusion/Discussion).


  1. Notice that one of the sets of articles listed in the earlier summary (of EIGHT) has a capital letter after it. Here is an additional question to answer for those articles:

For (A):

  1. How are other researchers using this work in their own work?

                 4. Write a final paragraph at the end of the assignment:

             a. What don’t I yet know about this topic?