Similarly tagged 100-level and 200-level courses. Students that do not meet this prerequisite should contact the instructor regarding the required competencies before course allocation.
This course addresses the interaction of human emotion and cognition. Historically, emotions are considered the opponent of rational thinking and good decision-making, and so good decision-makers are commonly advised to not trust their affective preferences. However, recent research provides increasing evidence that emotions provide important information that can improve the quality of decision-making and allow for very quick (yet reasonable) decisions. The course provides a general introduction into the basic science of emotion, including evolutionary, anthropological, sociological, information-processing, and neurophysiological approaches, and it highlights the emotion-cognition interaction in a number of research domains.
The general objective is to provide a solid theoretical background for the understanding of emotional processes and a selective overview of some research areas investigating interactions between emotion and cognition.
Students will learn to distinguish between, and characterize the main lines of research on human emotion, appreciate the different theoretical approaches and the resulting lines of research. They will be familiarized with empirical approaches to the interaction between emotion and cognition, and they will learn to present research from that domain in accessible ways. Finally, they will learn to understand and interpret the implications of theoretical frameworks and apply them to empirical problems in writing.
Mode of Instruction
The course will consist of two parts. The first part (interactive-lectures style) will provide students with the necessary background to understand and appreciate the different approaches to emotion and cognition, the different research goals these approaches have, and the different research methods they use. The second part (interactive-seminar style) will address particular themes addressing the interplay between rationality and emotion in decision-making and social behaviour.
The final grade will consist of three components: the grades for (a) active participation, including the preparation of a discussion question for each session in weeks 4-7 (20%), (b) the presentation of two papers (20%+20%), and © the writing of an essay (40%; due in Week 8) that provides a critical treatment of one of the theoretical or empirical approaches (theories or experiments) discussed in the sessions (max. 2000 words plus references).
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Preparation for first session