SCIE 614
Emotions: Motivation and Development

William Arsenso  

Additional information regarding:

a) required books, where to get them, and when to read them by
b) the written response papers

a) There are 3 required books - Emotional Intelligence by D. Goleman
Destructive Emotions by D. Goleman
Understanding Emotions by K. Oatley & J. Jenkins

All 3 books will be available at Broad Street Books (Wesleyan’s book store) or they can be ordered on the web (e.g., As described below, you are expected to finish both Goleman books by June 6th. The third book, Understanding Emotions, should be read before the first day of class (June 13th), except for chapters 10 & 12, which we will skip. Understanding Emotions is a textbook and you will need to read it smaller chunks (a maximum of 2 chapters a night) or it will all just merge together.

This is a lot of work before class! But there’s no other way to pack a real class into a single week unless you’ve done the readings before.

b) Details about the response papers -

Two written assignments are due before class meets: a five page response paper on Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence is due Monday, May 30, 2005, and a five page response paper on Goleman’s Destructive Emotions is due Monday, June 6, 2005. You can email your response papers to me as attachments at or mail them to me (2 day “express” mail please) at 335 Ridge Rd., Middletown CT 06457. I will get brief feedback to you ASAP, so please include an email address and/or your regular address.

Keep the following (from the GLSP Catalog) in mind as you write each response paper:

In his first book, Emotional Intelligence, Goleman summarizes research on how differences in children’s understanding and expression of emotions affect both their social and cognitive abilities. Destructive Emotions describes an extended seminar in which the Dalai Lama and a small group of prominent emotion researchers met and exchanged views about the nature and optimal functioning of emotions.

These books were chosen because they should help to frame two key issues that we will address during our week together. The first issue involves the difference between emotional intelligence and the intelligence of emotions. Much recent research begins with an evolutionary model of emotions that emphasizes the adaptive, functional role of emotions for human communication and motivation. As one prominent researcher put it, “emotions contain the wisdom of the ages.” In this view, emotions are seen as intelligent adaptations for addressing recurring biological and psychological challenges. In contrast with this normative account of emotions, the focus on emotional intelligence emphasizes individual differences in how people understand and control emotions. A second issue is how emotions, if they are supposedly adaptive, could then be involved in so many forms of psychological maladjustment, ranging from depression, to anxiety disorders, and behavior problems.

So what does all this mean for your response papers? All I want to see is that you’ve read each book, gotten the main “message” (what was the book about in broad terms?), and any questions, comments, objections, etc., that emerged during your reading. The review part of your paper shouldn’t go longer than 3 double spaced pages, and your comments no more than 2 pages. Your comments can be in “bullet form” (i.e., a list), but they don’t have to.

Grading for these 2 short papers (but not the final paper) will be pass/fail. The goal is to stimulate our thinking and conversation over the first day or two of the class.