Weekly summary: April 7 – 11

This week we looked the origins of emotion. At the end of this week you should be able to talk about the following concepts:

  • Emotions may have an evolutionary advantage for humans.
  • Ekman argues that facial expressions may be universal, showing us that there are biological roots for basic emotions.
  • LeDoux argues that emotional responses are the result of two paths to the brain. Be able to explain his model as well as how Fiske has applied the model in her research on racism and prejudice.
  • Cognitive labeling is one of the key theories of emotions. The study by Speismann is a good example of this.
  • You should also be able to describe Schachter & Singer’s study – and also be able to discuss its ethical and procedural issues.

Looking forward to moving on to our last topic of the year – the Biological Level of Analysis and the role of stress in our lives….


Weekly summary: March 31 – April 4

This week we wrapped up memory and started a discussion of emotion.  We looked at some research on happiness and finally wrote down a definition of emotion.  Here is a good video to get you ready for next week’s classes.  The final class for the CLOA and the winding down to April break.  Yahoo!


Weekly summary: March 24 – 28


This week we looked at socio-cultural effects on memory. And it seems that we spent a lot of time in Guatemala.  Above is a picture of Antigua – one of my favorite places in Guatemala.

We looked at four key areas.  You should know two of them for the exam.

  • The role of education.  For this week looked at the study by Cole & Scribner on Liberian children.
  • The role of lifestyle.  Roggoff & Waddell’s study on Mayan children who interact with their environment.
  • The role of deprivation.  In addition to the Meaney study, we also talked about Rutter’s study of the Romanian orphans.
  • The role of poverty.  The study by Pollit on the role of diet on cognitive skills.

One of the things you should realize this week is that environmental factors affect biological processes that affect memory.  This demonstrates the true interaction of the levels of analysis and why one level of analysis is rarely enough to explain a person’s behaviour.

Weekly summary: March 18 – 21

This week we focused on the role of biological factors on memory. We specifically looked at the following examples:

  • Case studies and the role of the hippocampus: Milner’s study of HM and MacGuire’s taxi cab study.
  • The role of acetylcholine on the creation of long-term memories (Martinez & Kesner)
  • The role of glucocorticoids in memory impairment (Meany)

Here is a good video that outlines how memory works.

Weekly summary: March 9 – 14

This week we examined the effect of emotion on memory – looking at research on reconstructive memory and the question of the reliability of so-called “Flashbulb Memories.” From this week, you should know the following research:

  • Brown & Kulik’s original study.  What is the key limitation of this study?
  • McGaugh & Cahill’s support for FBM. (Remember, their study had two parts – the second version involved injecting the participants with beta blockers to see if they would be able to recall details in the highly emotional setting.  They could not).
  • Berntsen & Thomsen (2005) study on Danish war veterans (homework reading)
  • Neisser’s study of the Challenger disaster as a challenge to the concept of Flashbulb Memories
  • Crombag’s study of the KLM disaster – an example of post-event interference
  • Loftus’s studies on reconstructive memory (THE study of post-event interference)