Social Psychology of Language (Psy 394V – 41380)

Social Psychology of Language (Psy 394V – 41380)
Tentative Syllabus – Fall, 2001
James W. Pennebaker
436 Benedict
[email protected]
Office hours: afternoons or by appointment
Class meeting times: 1-4 Mondays
Overview. The purpose of this class is to provide a very broad overview of how natural
language use reflects and affects personality, social processes, and psychological state. Given
that this approach has not been studied extensively, much of the reading and discussion will be
based on material from allied areas, such as linguistics, sociology, anthropology, psychology,
and medicine. The course is designed to be dynamic in that much of the course direction will be
established by the students.
Format. This is a discussion-based course that will be informed by weekly readings and
individual and class projects. Much of this course will be based on electronic media. A common
website will be established where everyone will be encouraged to post articles (a multi-feed
scanner is now available on the 5th floor) and include references. We will also develop a
listserve system for the class to encourage the sharing of ideas.
Grading. There will be no tests or papers for the course. Attendance and participation in
discussions are the only requirements.
Date Topic*
8/31 Organizational meeting
9/10 Computerized text analysis: LIWC and related schemes
9/17 Psychoanalytic approaches to language
9/24 Semantic, semiotics, and meaning
10/1 Sociolinguistics
10/8 Discourse – Carlotta Smith from the Linguistics Department will visit
10/15 Particles, words, and brain mechanisms
10/22 Is a theory of language possible: Discussion organized by Pat Liehr
*Readings and discussion topics will be arranged during the first two weeks of classes. At that
time a near-complete syllabus will be formed,