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Course Information

Instructor Info:Tom Cain
Office Extension x413 559-6218
TA Info:Brenda Snyder
Term: 2014S
Meeting Info: Tuesday Thursday
10:30 AM - 11:50 AM Adele Simmons Hall (ASH) 222
10:30 AM - 11:50 AM Adele Simmons Hall (ASH) 222

This course will be an exploration, from a social psychological perspective, of how emotions and cognition interact to influence our thoughts, perceptions, and behavior. Specifically, we will be examining how they affect social perceptions, social interactions, and intergroup relations. Students will be expected to read primary research articles in psychology - prior experience with these articles, including a basic understanding of research and quantitative methods, is highly recommended. Additionally, Students will be expected to write brief reaction papers to weekly readings, as well as complete a final paper and presentation on a related topic of their choosing. PREREQUISITE: At least one prior course in Cognitive Science.

Course Objectives:

The main objectives of this course are:

-To gain a better understanding of how emotions influence thought, perception, and behavior.

-To gain a better understanding of primary research articles in psychology, including methodology, statistics, and literature citation.

-To develop clear, concise, and thoughtful writing.

Evaluation Criteria:

Students will be evaluated on written reactions to readings, class participation, and a final paper/presentation. In order to receive an evaluation in this class:

-You may have no more than 5 absences (3 or more absences will be noted on your evaluation).

-You may have no more than 2 missing 'reaction papers'.

-You may have no more than 3 late 'reaction papers'.

-Everyone must complete a final project and presentation in order to receive an evaluation.

Written reactions to readings:

Students will be expected to submit one reaction paper (via moodle) per week. This paper should be no more than 1 page (single-spaced). This paper should include: a brief summary of each reading, your thoughts/comments/questions on the readings, how the readings may relate to something you are interested in, and/or comments or questions about past class topics.

Class participation:

Students will be expected to contribute to class discussions and activities. Please be respectful of others.

Final paper:

Students will be expected to incorporate discussions and readings from this class, as well as from a topic that is of interest to you, into a final paper. Students will give a short presentation of your paper to the class (more details on this paper to come later in the semester).

Additional Info:

Required book: The Emotional Brain by Joseph LeDoux