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This course will explore what emotions are, the evolutionary origins of emotions, and the tools and techniques researchers use to study emotions both in humans and in animal models. We will examine how brain state(s) may underlie different emotions and challenge widely held notions about how an individual’s emotion can influence behavior and social factors. Questions we will explore include: Is it better to be emotional or rational? What are ‘gut feelings’? Are there gender differences in emotionality and, if so, what are their origins? Popular press literature and scientific studies will fuel student-led discussions as we seek to develop an evidence-based understanding of emotions and how they shape the world around us.
Format: seminar; This is a hybrid course. Students who are on-campus are encouraged to attend the seminar in person. This course will meet 2 (of the possible 3) days per week; those 2 days may vary on a weekly basis. Those who are unable to attend in person will join remotely. Students should expect several additional small group meetings outside the scheduled time period for additional discussions, to plan presentations, etc.
Grading: no pass/fail option,
yes fifth course option
Course requirements include weekly readings, leading two class discussions, and writing three 5-7 page papers, including at least one newspaper-ready op-ed.
Senior psychology majors