Folklore | Cognitive Psychology & Folklore
F738 | 25819 | El-Shamy

Meets with F430.  This course deals psychological issues in
folklore, with emphasis on cognitive approaches of learning, memory,
and other issues pertaining to the performance by individuals and
groups of various folkloric phenomena. Among the topics to be
explored are:

INTRO. Lore as a Category of Culture: the Varieties of the Folkloric
Phenomenon: the cultural, the Social, and the Individualistic.
Psychological significance of "Traditionality." Fields and Genres of

I. An overview of the non-connive approaches: S.
Freud, and C.G. Jung

II. Aspects of learning; learning 'unstructured'
materials: affective components, emotions and sentiments. The
folkloric item as cognitive system

III. The Process of communication; transmission; form
and learning: the capacity to formulate, coding and decoding, to
teach and to learn.

IV. Variables in the leaning of lore: issues of
structure, `impressiveness,' subjects' age, gender, mental set, etc.

V. Context and Learning: independent and dependent
variables in learning. Social factors; the social role, the norm.

VI. Effect and social learning.

VII. The cybernetics model, feedback theory: mere
knowledge of results; processing of information. Perceptual motor
skills; Learning and performance; kinesics and craftsmanship in
traditional culture.

VIII. Factors involved in the processes
of "recalling" / "remembering." Performance as a constituent
of "learning process."  Extinction, learning dilemma.

Text book:
El-Shamy, Hasan. "Folkloric Behavior: a theory for the study of the
dynamics of traditional culture" (1967).

Hill, W.F. Learning: A Study of Psychological Interpretations.
(Chandler Publishing Co., 1997)

Schultz, Duane. A History of Modern Psychology. (New York, 1987).

Source Work (recommended):
Archetypes and Motifs in Folklore and Literature,
Edited by Jane Garry and Hasan El-Shamy (M.E. Sharpe, 2005)

Other selected works in folklore and related disciplines, and any
relevant work you may wish to treat as part of this class.

Exams:    Two, take home
Papers: One term paper emphasizing research