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Summer Career Connections at SAVY 2018: Session 6, Day 1 – Science of Emotion (Rising 7th)

Posted by on Monday, July 23, 2018 in SAVY, Uncategorized.

Dear SAVY Parents,

Our “Science of Emotion” course is off to a wonderful start!

After learning everyone’s favorite emojis and establishing community norms for the class, students discussed the similarities and differences between thinking (cognition) and feeling (emotion). They were then introduced to psychopathology and the idea of heuristics, psychological generalizations based on prior experience that generally hold true. After brainstorming a master list of emotions, students worked in groups to place these emotions into categories. Some student-devised category examples included “useful vs. not useful,” “mental vs. physical,” and “positive vs. negative”. There was much debate over which emotions belonged in which categories, which it lead to many thought-provoking questions being asked and discussed. For example, is it useful to feel guilt or pain? Is stress more physical than it is mental? Can feeling depressed be a good thing?

We went over the basic definitions of emotion, affect, and mood, and we reviewed four modern theories of emotion. Upon watching the opening scene of the popular movie Inside Out, we deduced that the movie best represented the basic emotion theory (happiness, anger, sadness, etc). At the end of the day, students received and began reading their class texts: Lisa Feldman-Barrett’s How Emotions are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain.

Tomorrow, we are headed to Wilson Hall to learn about some of the psychology labs at Vanderbilt University! Over the course of the week, we will learn about research methods, experimental design in emotion science, and will look at scientific papers. We encourage your SAVY scholars to keep asking the thought-provoking questions!

Looking forward to tomorrow,
-Marcus, Kelly, and Maya (TA)

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