Critical Thinking Seminar

Welcome to Harnessing Emotion and Reason to Achieve Goals

Emotion and reason can help or harm our ability to achieve goals in daily life. This course will introduce you to research on the best ways to identify and achieve goals (in other words, what to want and how to get it). The goal is to provide you with a foundation to continue your college career and to think critically about psychological research and its relationship to your daily life. This class will teach you to: neither fear nor revere emotion or reason and to think critically about how to set goals and strategies that will enhance your ability to achieve them. Given that happiness, health, and relationships are often listed as life goals, the course will also focus on factors that impact success in these areas of life. You will also develop the ability to engage with other learners during discussion and synthesize diverse perspectives.

**Syllabus

***Office hours are Thurs 10-11 in Psychology 233, or by appointment (email to set one up)

***Because of the nature of this course, I will not regularly release grades (you will know if you did or did not turn in an assignment or took part in a debate), but if you have questions about your grade at any point, please contact me to find out your scores or check.

Week 1

Class: Introduction

Reading: None (can read foreword of text)

Homework: None

Week 2

Class: Deciding what to want

Reading: Main text, chapter 1 & Wilson & Gilbert paper

Homework: Develop list of goals

Additional Links:

Week 3

Class: The impact of different goals

Reading: Main text, chapter 2 & Kahneman & Deaton

Homework: Revise list of goals

Week 4

Class: Developing cognitive strategies

Reading: Main text chapter 4 (optional chapter 3) & Seligman et al. paper

Homework: Pick one activity and implement it once a day for the week

Week 5

Class: Developing relationships

Reading: Main text chapter 5 & Klimecki et al.

Homework: Pick one activity and implement it once a day for the week

Week 6

Class: Developing coping efficacy

Reading: Main text chapter 6, & Wortman & Silver

Homework: Pick one activity and implement it once a day for the week

Week 7

Class: Managing emotional responses

Reading: Main text, chapter 7 & Stolarski et al.

Homework: Pick one activity and implement it once a day for the week

Week 8

Class: Committing to Goal Pursuits

Reading: Main text, chapter 8, & Duckworth et al.

Homework: Pick one activity and implement it once a day for the week

Week 9

Class: Taking time out

Reading: Main text, chapter 9 & Kozhevnikov et al.

Homework:Pick one activity and implement it once a day for the week

Week 10

Class: Maintaining goal pursuits

Reading: Main text, chapter 10 & Polivy et al.

Homework: None

Week 11

Class: The paradox of choice

Reading: Schwartz et al. & Dar-Nimrod et al.

Homework: None

Week 12

Class: Self-study presentations

Reading: None

Homework: None

Week 13

***Thanksgiving, no class

Week 14

Class: Self-study presentations

Reading: None

Homework: None

***ALL PAPERS ARE DUE BY THE END OF CLASS

 

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Useful class links and information

If you need writing help or consulting, it is available at the University Writing Center