Jan 012010
 
Lecture 16 – A Person in the World of People: Self and Other, Part I

This is the first of two lectures on social psychology, the study of how we think about ourselves, other people, and social groups.

Students will hear about the famous "six degrees of separation" phenomenon and how it illuminates important individual differences in social connectedness.

This lecture also reviews a number of important biases that greatly influence how we think of ourselves as well as other people.

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Lecture 17 – A Person in the World of People: Self and Other, Part II

This lecture begins with the second half of the discussion on social psychology.

Students will learn about several important factors influencing how we form impressions of others, including our ability to form rapid impressions about people.

This discussion focuses heavily upon stereotypes, including a discussion of their utility, reliability, and the negative effects that even implicit stereotypes can incur.

The second half of the lecture introduces students to two prominent mysteries in the field of psychology.

First, students will learn what is known and unknown about sleep, including why we sleep, the different types of sleep, disorders, and of course, dreams, what they are about and why we have them.

Second, this half reviews how laughter remains a mysterious and interesting psychological phenomenon.

Students will hear theories that attempt to explain what causes us to laugh and why, with a particular emphasis on current evolutionary theory.

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