Here are the two prompts for this week. Regardless of which one you choose, please use the tag “Emotion.” The first impression post will be due Friday, 3/16, at the start of class. Refinement posts for these prompts will be due Thursday, 3/22, at 7pm.
We all want to enjoy life and seek ways to make ourselves happy. Indeed, we spend much of our lives chasing the goal of happiness. But how good are we at actually finding it? Dan Gilbert discusses the ways in which we sabotage our own happiness in his TED talk. Watch the video, share your reactions, comment on the speaker’s credibility, discuss how reasonable you find its message to be, and discuss ways in which you can incorporate more synthetic happiness into your life.
A large portion of communication is non-verbal, including a lot of clues about people’s emotional states. Effective communication involves being able to read others’ emotions and take them into consideration. People express a lot of emotions through their faces. How well do are you able to read these emotional expressions? Take this test to find out. Discuss whether or not your score reflects how well you thought you would do, how credible you find the test, which emotions were the easiest and hardest to tell apart, and how you could use this information in your daily life.
Many works of art inspire a variety of emotions in people, often quite different from what the artist intended. Music in particular tends to hold very strong emotional resonance with people, but that doesn’t mean people are receiving what the artist is sending. A classic example is the song Every Breath You Take by the Police (lyrics available here). This song came out in 1983 and was instantly a hit. Many people called it a classic love ballad and it was played repeatedly at weddings, but what they didn’t realize is the band wrote the song about a fanatical stalker. What was meant to be a haunting song about the lengths stalkers go was instead immortalized as a beautiful expression of devotion. For your post I want you to think about a song you are familiar with that on the surface seems to be above love, but when you look closer at it maybe isn’t such a great example of healthy relationships. Post a link to the lyrics and music video (or some other way for us to hear the song), and explain what is problematic with the messages in the song.
I look forward to seeing what you write!