Spring 2009

The Social Function of Emotion

Listed in: Psychology, as PSYC-31


Piercarlo Valdesolo (Section 01)


Whether it involves deciding what's right or wrong, deciding who or how we love and desire, negotiating business relationships and power dynamics in the workplace, or managing intergroup competition and prejudice in the world at large, successfully navigating through the social landscape can be a complicated endeavor. Rationalist models of judgment and decision making have typically relegated the experience of emotions to, at best, an obstacle to be overcome, and at worst a necessarily biasing and corrupting force. By adopting a functionalist approach to emotion, this course will explore the ways in which emotional states shape our social interactions. In particular, we will seek to identify the conditions under which emotions can aid our decision making and facilitate social functioning. Requisite: Psychology 11 Limited to 15 students. Spring semester. Keiter Fellow Valdesolo.