ARM/ART Topics

FALL 2019

Mass Emotions in Politics

PSYC 387 – 01 |ART: Advanced Research Topics | 41882

Violet Cheung

MW 12:20 PM – 2:05 PM

While the role of mass emotions in visceral politics seems obvious, the specific ways that emotions shape political discourse are not well-understood. A case in point is Michael Moore’s 2004 documentary film Fahrenheit 911, which accused President George W. Bush of relying on fear tactics to garner public support for the invasion of Iraq. Any researcher versed in emotion theories would posit anger as the most salient emotion with regard to rallying the public behind military action. In this course, students will start by learning major emotion theories, especially the differences between the dimensional and discrete approaches. Students will then read research articles to learn the roles of specific emotions in a variety of political topics, from the wars in the Middle East to the ongoing cyberwar with China, from the Patriot Act to the migrant crisis. At the end of the course, students will write a term paper to propose an education program. Specifically, they will design ways to profile voters social media accounts, identify emotional voters, and design an education program to promote emotional awareness.

Emotional Intelligence

PSYC 387 – 02 |ART: Advanced Research Topics | 41883

Davina Chan

TR 8:00 – 9:45 AM

This course will examine research on emotional intelligence, methods for developing emotional intelligence, and controversies within the field.  It will begin with a discussion of the various components of emotional intelligence, including the ability to identify and manage one’s emotions, successfully motivate oneself to achieve one’s goals, perceive other people’s emotions accurately, and use emotions to navigate social relationships effectively.  We will then turn to look assessment of emotional intelligence, as well as assessment of the effectiveness of techniques and programs aimed at enhancing emotional intelligence in academic, work, and clinical settings.  Material will be taken from cognitive neuroscience, as well as social and clinical psychology, and will include topics ranging from brain imaging studies on truth wizards, optimists, and effects of mindfulness, to evidence-based therapeutic techniques for cultivating positive emotions and transforming negative emotions.  The course fulfills the advanced research methods requirement in the Psychology major.

Cognitive Neurotherapies

PSYC 388 – 01 |ARM: Advanced Research Methods | 41884

David Ziegler

TR 4:35 PM – 6:20 PM

This course will critically examine research on the effectiveness of different therapeutic approaches for several human neuropsychiatric, neurodevelopmental, and neurodegenerative illnesses – such as autism, ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease, and PTSD – that result from dysfunction in key brain systems. We will also discuss the use of these interventions for cognitive enhancement in healthy young adults. Therapies will include pharmaceutical agents, brain stimulation, cognitive training, lifestyle modifications (e.g., exercise and diet), and integrative practices (e.g., mind-body approaches). Students will learn about the design and conduct of Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) to evaluate the efficacy of interventions and will have an opportunity to conduct their own research project by analyzing publicly available data from one of several large-scale clinical trials of cognitive interventions.

How Technology Shapes Thought

PSYC 388 – 02 |ARM: Advanced Research Methods | 41885

Indre Viskontas

TR 9:55 AM – 11:40 AM

Socrates famously predicted that a new invention would turn our brains into mush: writing. The fear that technology will change how we think is not new. But the amount of time we now spend interacting with devices like cell phones, computers, and video games is unprecedented. What is the effect of ubiquitous technology on our brains? Is Google slowly destroying our memory? Have our attention spans been decimated by scrolling through Facebook feeds and Twitter? What does science say about the relative impact on kids of smartphones, with their constant text, Instagram, and Snapchat interruptions?  By outsourcing menial mental tasks like navigating through a city or remembering facts, are we sacrificing our brain’s potential? Or are we leaving ourselves more time for deep thinking and creativity, human traits that arguably can’t be beat by artificial intelligence? In this class, we will survey the findings in this emerging field of research, and use the internet to collect and interpret data relevant to the topic at hand.