At adulthood, a human has already spent decades defining and characterizing attributes, beliefs and preferences of the individual they call “ME,” and how we use this self to engage in social interactions, that fit within cultural settings. Where do I get the ideas I have about “who I am”? Am I more nature or nurture? Is the self malleable or fixed? How do we shape the self to optimally navigate social lives? The concept of self can be beneficial as an ally, or a confounding negative force—but how can we know which it is to be?
In this 8 credit program, we will examine historical and contemporary personality theory and social psychology, that helps describe, explain, predict and modify aspects of our individual, social, and cultural lives. From understanding the countless influences as we each develop an independent “self,” we will then explore the fundamental ways that humans interact socially, and fit within a cultural setting. We will also discover implications for essential intra-personal and interpersonal functions of the self in the domains of work, love, play, and service to others, as well as Eastern and Western perspectives on the self. After reading their work, we will Skype with several prominent personality and social psychology scholars who have examined “self and story” over the last 50 years. Credits will be awarded in Theories of Personality and Social Psychology.
50% of this course will be on-line (using Slack chatrooms, watching my lectures, posting your work to the Canvas site, and responding to peer papers). On the first night of class during Week 1 you will gain proficiency using the on-line technology. It should be possible to schedule weekly seminars taking students’ preferences into consideration. The seminar schedule will be created by the start of the second week. If you have any questions about this use of hybrid learning, you can contact the faculty. The in-class portion of the course will include 20 hours the first week (Thursday night and the first Saturday/Sunday) and 20 hours the final week of the quarter (Thursday night and Saturday/Sunday of Week 10), with the remainder of instruction on-line. Faculty will be available on a regular basis throughout each week to guide your learning.
Course Reference Numbers
This program is relevant for careers in psychology, sociology, education, media, journalism, government, criminal justice, law.