Development of Social Cognition (WRITING INTENSIVE)


This course explores current issues in social cognitive development. We will examine the critical issues in the field, beginning with the roots of attachment in infancy and the human propensity to connect with others. We will then consider contemporary research concerning infants' ability to navigate the social world. We will also consider what happens when the human capacity to reason about others breaks down, as in autism. Additional topics will include children's reasoning about social groups, the development of bias and prejudice, and aspects of morality. We will look at these issues in the context of innate knowledge and the effects of one's environment on children's development. Each week we will cover a topic by reading a background chapter and a set of two journal articles. Class time will be devoted to active discussion of these readings, with lecture and class activities as needed, to complement the readings and set the stage for class discussion. This is a writing intensive course, thus a second goal is to improve your writing. There will be several writing assignments of varying length, some of which you will receive extensive feedback on from the instructor, and then prepare an improved final version. You will also give two presentations to the class: one that directly addresses writing and another on a research topic of your choice relevant to social cognitive development. PREREQ: Psych 100B, and either Psych 315, 321, or 360.
Course Attributes: EN S; AS SSC; AS WI I; FA SSC; AR SSC