Yale University - Psychology 131 - Human Emotion
Dr. June Gruber - Yale Psychology - Research Methods in Happiness - Psych 231


Course Requirements & Grading

Requirements include the following three things: in-class exams, class participation, and a final outreach project. There are also several opportunities for extra credit. Details and breakdown are below:

1. Three In-Class Exams (25% each x 3 exams = 75% total)
There will be 3 non-cumulative exams in this course. Each exam will cover approximately 1/3 of the course material covered in lectures and readings. Exams may consist of multiple-choice, short-answer, and brief essay questions. The purpose of the exams is two-fold. First, you should be able to demonstrate that you have read the material and understand the factual points and arguments. Second, you should be able to synthesize and integrate the material such that this knowledge can be applied in a broader context. Exams will take place during class on the assigned date in the syllabus and will be closed book. There will be no make-up exams.

2. Outreach Project (10%)
This goal of this project is to delve into a topic in emotion from class that excites you. You have the freedom to delve into a topic of your choice, but you must make sure the topic is pertinent to the class and scientific study of emotion. A detailed project description will be provided in class. The project will include two parts:

Part I. Outreach project: The first part includes an outreach project where your goal is to help educate others about human emotion via a video, newspaper article, brochure, or a creative outreach idea of your own. The aim is to have fun with the ultimate goal of helping to educate others about human emotion. You can cover a topic of your choosing, but it must be relevant to the course and the study of emotion. There will be opportunities for top class projects to be featured in-class during the final week of the course. Group projects are encouraged. Additional details will be provided in class.

Part II. Class "Flash Talk" Presentation: The second part of the project involves putting together a brief "flash talk" presentation on your chosen outreach project topic. The goal is to provide a brief and accessible overview of the motivation and scientific background of your research project. Additional details will be provided in class.

3. Weekly Reading Reactions (15% total)
To facilitate group discussion, you will be required to submit weekly reactions and questions triggered by the assigned readings. Specifically, each week you will be assigned specific “required” readings. You should submit a 1-page max single-spaced document containing your reactions and/or suggested discussion questions to the week’s required readings. Your response should specify which reading your reaction refers to. The response will be graded ‘‘1’ (full credit), ‘1⁄2’ (half-credit), or ‘0’ (no credit). The written reaction is not a summary of the readings, but should reflect a succinct, theoretically thoughtful, and logically coherent response. All reactions should be emailed to the psych3131.emotion@gmail.com no later than Tuesday 5:00pm MT before class the following Wednesday.

Extra Credit Opportunities

Extra credit opportunities are available for interested students. Each extra credit option (Option A or Option B) is worth 5% maximum of your total grade each, for a total of 10% maximum applied to final course grade if you fully complete both Option A and B. These are the only extra credit opportunities available for this course so take advantage of them!

Extra Credit Option A: Social Media and Emotion. An important piece of participating in the emerging field of human emotion is to help disseminate information about the field. Social media is an ever-increasing way to do this. We encourage students to post "scientifically relevant" information about emotion they find on twitter and link to the course account (@psych3131). Posts should take the form of scientific articles, news websites, local events, etc. that are directly relevant to the science and psychology of emotion, are not already posted (by another student or from the course website) on the twitter account, and are recent (not older than 2015). If unsure, you can contact the course TAs (psych3131.emotion@gmail.com) before posting to ensure it fulfills these requirements. When submitting tweets, please do the following: (1) In the tweet, post the url link with a one-sentence description (e.g., "Study links meditation to increased happiness"), (2) Email psych3131.emotion@gmail.com with screenshot of posting and paste text and url from twitter posting in the body of the email. You can assume your post has been successfully received as an extra credit response unless you hear otherwise via email. For every 5 scientifically relevant responses submitted, you will receive 1% extra credit point toward your final grade, for a maximum of 5% total extra credit. All extra credit tweet assignments must be submitted before the last day of class (i.e., before 3:30pm MT on Wednesday April 27th) to receive credit.

Extra Credit Option B: Online Interviews with Emotion Experts. Each lecture module in class will be paired with a ~15-minute "Experts in Emotion Interview" containing a videotaped conversation with Professor Gruber and an expert scholar in emotion from the field freely available for viewing or download on YouTube. Some of these will be viewed during class to stimulate discussion. For extra credit, you have the option to submit a 1-page, single-spaced, 12-pt Times New Roman font, reaction to watching the online interview that accompanies the specific class lecture, discussing and critically analyzing the major themes discussed in each video. Answers will be assigned one of the following three grades: '1' (full credit), '1⁄2' (half-credit), or '0' (no credit). You can assume your response has been successfully received and graded a '1' unless you hear otherwise via email. Responses are due no later than Tuesday 5:00pm MT before the following week's class (i.e., videos watched or assigned in class Wednesday have extra credit responses due by 5:00pm MT Tuesday the following week). No late extra credit responses are accepted and only those assigned for that week will be counted for credit. You will submit your responses to: psych3131.emotion@gmail.com with: (1) Full name, (2) Paste entire response in email body, (3) Attach document to email with responses as well (.doc or .docx format only):, and (4) You MUST include the following subject line in the email: LASTNAME_EIE_LastNameExpert.doc (Example: Smith_EIE_Gilbert.doc). Failure to follow directions will result in a grade of a '0.' For every 5 full-credit responses (i.e., assigned a grade of a '1') submitted, you will receive 1% extra credit point toward your final grade, for a maximum of 5% total extra credit. A handout detailing requirements and format for this extra credit assignment will be provided to interested students by emailing psych3131.emotion@gmail.com or checking the course website.

Readings and Materials

Please read assigned chapters and/or articles before the class meeting on the assigned date.

Textbook: Understanding Emotions, 3rd Edition. Oatley, Keltner, & Jenkins. Available for purchase online (e.g., www.amazon.com).

Articles: Articles outside of textbook will be available to download as PDF files off the course website.


A rough grading scheme is below. Grades will typically be rounded up to the nearest % point. Students who actively participate and engage in the course may enhance borderline grades.

% Points