This course will introduce you to a diverse array of theoretical and empirical issues related to the study of human emotion. Some questions the course will address include: 

  • What are our emotions? 
  • What purpose do they serve? 
  • How do emotions relate to our thoughts, memories, and behaviors towards others? 
  • What happens when our emotional responses go awry? 

Although these questions date back to early philosophical texts, only recently have experimental psychologists begun to explore this vast and exciting domain of study. 

Learning Objectives

  • Discuss the evolutionary origins of distinct emotions such as love, anger, fear, and disgust; 
  • Inquire how emotions might color our cognitive processes such as thinking and memory, emotion and the brain, development of emotions in childhood, and how emotions shape our social relationships;
  • Consider how these methods can be applied to studying mental illness in both children and adults;
  • Study the pursuit of happiness and well-being, trying to understand what makes us happy.