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Course Information

Instructor Info:Neil Stillings
Office Extension x5513
Term: 2012F
Meeting Info: Monday Wednesday
10:30 AM - 11:50 AM Adele Simmons Hall (ASH) 126
10:30 AM - 11:50 AM Adele Simmons Hall (ASH) 126
10:30 AM - 11:50 AM Adele Simmons Hall (ASH) 222

This tutorial introduces psychology by applying it to a significant, unfolding current event: The U.S. Presidential election. We will use psychology and allied disciplines to pose and try to answer a range of questions, including the following. How are citizens' political beliefs formed? What are the psychological factors that affect political decisions and behaviors, such as voting, responding to opinion surveys, and engaging in various forms of activism? How does the current science of mind and brain align with the psychologies that are assumed or required by different philosophies of democratic society? Our approach to these questions will introduce the academic literature and the research methods of social and cognitive psychology and of social and cognitive neuroscience. Basic concepts in hypothesis construction, research design, and data analysis for both experimental and survey/polling methods will be explored through examples and class projects.

Evaluation Criteria:

Evaluations for this course will reflect the following considerations:

  • On-time attendance
  • On-time assignment completion
  • Preparation for class and participation in class discussion
  • The overall quality of your work on the assignments. Work of good quality is required to satisfy the Mind, Brain, and Information (MBI) distribution requirement
  • Progress on the Writing and Research cumulative skill
  • Progress on the Quantitative Reasoning cumulative skill. Note that there will be little mathematical work in the course. The expectation is that you learn some of the concepts and logic involved in data collection and statistical analysis in the cognitive and behavioral sciences
Additional Info:

See readings for the first class, Tuesday, September 4 at 9:00 AM, ASH 126!

and for the 2nd class, Wednesday, September 5 at 10:30 AM, ASH 126