Collins Living Learning Center | The Rhetoric of Racial Comedy
L320 | 25160 | Jonathan Rossing


Our survival depends on effective gathering of huge amounts of information,
adequate processing, fast learning, and controlling the environment to secure
predictability and adjustment.  Our brain selects what to attend to, categorize
and integrate perceptual input, makes inferences, establishes emotional and
physical reactions to environmental cues, and activating all other systems
(affective, behavioral, and physiological) with staggering speed and
efficiency.  These cognitive feats are executed extremely quickly and
accurately with the help of mental short cuts called “heuristics”.  The concept
of cognitive heuristics has caught on fire recently, infiltrating areas such as
economics, music, ethics, social behavior, perception, problem solving, legal
reasoning, categorization, rationality, mental health, attention and learning,
and even some self-help literature.  This course presents the student with an
opportunity to investigate this relatively new and highly useful theoretical
construct, from its conceptual analysis to theoretical and pragmatic
applications of its models to self-awareness as a cognitive agent.