Social Emotional Development
Full course description
Emotions are an essential part of our life and humans develop the skills to express subtle emotions and learn to recognize and understand emotions, moods and thoughts of others. They enter into extremely complex social and emotional interactions with other people. In the course, students will become acquainted with the latest theories and experimental findings related to human socio-emotional development, with an emphasis on biological and neuropsychological models. Social emotional development will be studied at four levels. Firstly on the genetic level: students will analyze the role of genes in social emotional development through the study of psychopathologies. Secondly is the level of brain mechanisms (e.g. the role of structures like the amygdala in the development of social cognition). Thirdly is the neuropsychological level: How do cognitive functions (as represented in a theory of mind) and emotional expressions develop and how is their development mediated by brain structures? Since social emotional development is not only of theoretical interest, the course also deals with practical implications of theories about social emotional development.
- Gain insight into different cognitive/neurobiological theories central to typical life-span socio-emotional development
- Will be able to explain the interactive role that environmental (peer influences/parenting-style/attachment), personal (temperament/personality) and neurobiological (genes and brain development) factors play in the typical and atypical childhood and adolescent socio-emotional development
- Will gain knowledge about the development and measurement of internalising and externalising psychopathology and the role of personal, environmental and (neuro)biological factors.
- Will get acquainted with topics such as: moral development and antisocial behavior; empathy/theory of mind development and social understanding and linked psychiatric disorders (e.g. autism)/psychopathology