411. Topics in Interdisciplinary
Studies. Advanced undergraduate standing. (1-3).
(HU). May be repeated for credit.
Section 001 – Emotions. This course will provide an overview of the major psychological theories of emotion from William James to the present, including physiological, cognitive, expressive, behavioral, and social factors in emotional experience. It is a survey of historical and current psychological theories of emotion, and the related empirical evidence. The interrelationship between cognition and emotion will be emphasized; neurophysiological research will be (relatively) de-emphasized. The main assignment is a 15-20 page paper. Students currently conducting research on any aspect of emotion may elect to give a class presentation in place of the paper. The following major issues will be considered and reconsidered throughout the course, along with any other issues of particular concern to the students: (1) Are emotions innate or learned? Universal or culture-specific? Or, more realistically, which aspects of emotion are innate and which are learned? (2) What roles do physiological processes (central and autonomic); expression; cognition; subjective experience or "feeling"; and behavior play in emotion? (3) How many emotions are there: two, a few, many or an infinite number? (4) (Related to 3). Are emotions primarily categorical or primarily dimensional? Is there a way of combing these two points of view. (5) Are emotions disruptive or useful and in what ways? (6) How do emotions develop in infancy and childhood? These questions are heuristic; i.e., none of them will be answered definitely. The course is open to graduate students and advanced undergraduates. There are no prerequisites, but students with no background in psychology may be given additional required readings. (Ellsworth)
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