Folklore | Folklore & Cognitive Psychology
F738 | 24926 | 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 Lore.
I. An overview of the non-connive approaches: S. Freud, and
II. Aspects of learning; learning 'unstructured' materials:
affective components, emotions and sentiments. The folkloric item as
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
VIII. Factors involved in the processes
of "recalling" / "remembering." Performance as a constituent
of "learning process." Extinction, learning dilemma.
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