Paul Bloom, Professor of Psychology, Yale University
What do your dreams mean? Do men and women differ in the nature and intensity of their sexual desires? Can you trust the testimony of a young child? Can people repress terrible memories? Why are some people depressed? Can apes learn sign language? Why can't we tickle ourselves? Are humans inherently evil? This course tries to answer these questions, providing a comprehensive overview of the scientific study of thought and behavior. It explores topics such as perception, communication, learning, memory, decision-making, religion, persuasion, love, lust, hunger, art, fiction, and dreams. We will look at how these aspects of the mind develop in children, how they differ across people, how they are wired-up in the brain, and how they break down due to illness and injury.
Gray, Peter. Psychology. New York: Worth Publishers, 2007.
Marcus, Gary, ed. The Norton Psychology Reader. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2006.
Exams: There is a mid-term and a final. The final is on the last day of class. There will be no exam during the final exam period. Sample exams will be provided on the course website. You must have a Dean's Excuse to take a makeup exam.
Reading Responses: Starting on the third week of class, you will submit a short reading response every week. These responses will be graded pass/fail. There are ten responses, but you are allowed to skip or fail one of them without penalty (you only need to pass 9 of them). Details will be discussed in class.
Book Review: You will write one book review. Details will be discussed in class.
Experimental participation: All Introductory Psychology students serve as subjects in experiments. Specific details will be discussed in class.
Reading responses: 15%
Book review: 20%
Midterm examination: 30%
Final examination: 35%
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