Summer 2005
Fully Enrolled

SCIE 614
Emotions: Motivation and Development


06/13/2005 - 06/17/2005
Monday-Friday 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM

Judd Hall 214

Emotions have been described as reflecting the "wisdom of the ages" because of their biologically-rooted communicative and motivational importance. Emotions help prepare us for different courses of action - whether to run away, stay and attack, or even give up when necessary. Starting in early infancy, emotions help us communicate our basic needs and inform our efforts to make sense of why adults and other children behave the way they do. Yet, at the same time, emotions and emotional processes all too frequently become disrupted and problematic. In fact, emotional disturbances are central to how modern clinical psychologists understand a range of disorders, from anxiety and depression to behavior problems and psychopathy. The central focus of this class is on understanding how emotions can be both normative and adaptive to basic human functioning and yet also involved in almost every major form of psychopathology.

In the first part of the class we will examine functionalist, psycho-evolutionary theories of emotion (Ekman, Izard, & Plutchik) that concentrate on the adaptive side of emotions. Topics include the recognition and production of emotions, biological influences (such as temperament), emotion regulation, emotions and social competence, and methodological issues in emotion research. The second part of the class addresses some of the different ways that emotions are involved in psychopathology. Topics include emotional dysregulation, biological and socialization influences on emotional problems, and specific models of emotion disruption with a focus on angry/reactive aggression and "happier"/proactive aggression. Our discussion will also focus on both the adaptive and disruptive influences that emotions can have on academic motivation and performance.

Although only one week will be spent in class meetings, students should expect to work on this course over a six-week period. Most of the reading for the course must be completed before class meetings begin. Two assignments are due before class meets: a response paper (5 pages) on Goleman's Emotional Intelligence is due Monday, May 30, 2005, and a response paper (5 pages) on Goleman's Destructive Emotions is due Monday, June 6, 2005. During the week of class, each student will be responsible for being a discussion leader for one of the two breakout discussion groups held each day. A 12-15 page paper is due three weeks after the completion of the class. Additional details on course requirements will be distributed to all registered students.

This course may, by petition, count toward the Social Sciences concentration.

Registration and withdrawal deadline: Friday, May 27, 2005.

A syllabus for this course is available at:
Course Syllabus

William Arsenio (B.A. Brandeis University; M.A. University of California, Berkeley; Ph.D. Stanford University) is head ot he Developmental Psychology Program at Ferkauf Graduate School, Yeshiva University. He is a prolific writer in his field, with 4 articles currently in press and another 16 published recently. He is also an active speaker, having presented 16 papers during the past 9 years. Click here for more information about William Arsenio.


Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 18

Texts to purchase for this course:
Daniel Goleman, EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE (Bantam), Paperback

Daniel Goleman, DESTRUCTIVE EMOTIONS (Bantam), Paperback

Keith Oatley, UNDERSTANDING EMOTIONS (Blackwell), Paperback


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