Psychology 41495
Theories of Emotion-Writing Intensive Component


David M. Fresco, Ph.D.


226 Kent Hall Annex

Office Hours:

TBA; By appointment

Email/Telephone: (330) 672-4049

Course Web Page:


Over the course of the semester, we will study many different theories of personality that I like to organize into four main paradigms (or perspectives) As the semester progresses, we will, as a class, consider all four paradigms closely.  As fulfillment of the writing intensive component of the class, I am asking you to become more expert on at least one of the paradigms. 


Papers should be approximately 8-10 type written pages plus references (10-12 point font, no bigger than 1 inch margins).  Citations in the paper need to conform to APA style. Here is great (and free) online resource for APA StylePapers are to be submitted as an electronic file (e.g., MS Word, RTF file) as opposed to printed out. Word Perfect format is also unacceptable.


In addition, writing intensive students are required to meet with me on a nearly weekly basis to discuss the progress of your paper.  For me, writing is as much a process as it is a product.  Ideally, we will find a group meeting time for all of us to discuss the progress.  You will find that meeting with fellow students will help you develop your ideas into a stronger paper.  Topics for these meetings include choosing and narrowly focusing your paper topic, developing a reference list, developing an outline for the paper, and 'putting flesh on the bone' (i.e., adding detail to your outline from the materials you have reviewed).  I also encourage you to send me drafts.  I will give you feedback that you can incorporate into your final product.  Note:  The quality of my feedback will be based on how much time you give me to see a draft before a deadline.


You must seek and properly cite outside, original source material for your paper.  It is not sufficient for you to cite our text.  There are great resources on the Kent Library web page to assist you, such as PsychINFO.  Or go to the Psychology Department web page research link.


I have been turned on to a very helpful website that gives good information on writing a research paper.  I strongly suggest that you visit for assistance in your writing.  Follow the link to the Research Room. I also want you to use APA style in your paper. For this link for a webpage that is a free an excellent resource for APA style.


As indicated above, the process of writing is just as important if not more important that the product.  Consequently, your grade for this section will be based on your progress along the way.  We will set goals and deadlines for these different components of your paper. Starting with Spring 2006, I will use +/- Grading to assess your grade. More information to follow on how I will apply this grading scheme.

Finally, and most importantly, procrastination will not be tolerated for this class. Early in the semester, we will negotiate a schedule for when the different facets of your paper will be due. That deadline is the day that the facet of your paper must approved by me. That is not the day when you first show it to me. Rather, you will want to show me your work well in advance of that deadline, get my feedback, and make any necessary adjustments. Tardiness with the deadlines we derive will cost you in terms of your final grade in the class.

Choosing a thoughtful, manageable, and appropriate topic


Quality and thoroughness of outside research


Quality, organization, thoroughness of paper outline


Grammatical, organizational quality of your paper


Content, synthesis, creativity of your paper




  1. Take one of the topics on our Reaction Papers list, and with my help, develop it into a paper length assignment. For example, an interesting paper might be to compare and contrast at least two of the prevailing theories of emotion.

  2. Pick an emotional disorder (e.g., major depressive disorder, schizophrenia, panic disorder, etc.), describe it, and discuss it from the perspective of the emotions theories we will cover during the course.

  3. Review the ways that basic theories of emotion have informed the way we treat emotional disorders (e.g., major depressive disorder, schizophrenia, panic disorder, etc.).

  4. There is increasing interest in the topic of "emotional intelligence." Pick a subject from Daniel Goleman's Emotional Intelligence and develop it into a paper topic.
  5. A Personal Emotional Experience Log. Monitor your emotions every day for a month or so. Write descriptions of important emotional events that occur during the recording period. Discuss the entries from the perspective of two or more emotion theories from the semester. When describing events, do your best to identify what started it; whether one or several emotional feelings occurred; if emotions were not expressed overtly, then why; what physiological changes you noticed, if any; and what effect the emotional reaction had on yourself and the other people involved.
  6. Naturalistic Observations of Emotion. Spend at least an hour several days a week for a month observing other people in one or more settings such as a cafeteria, gym, library, class, department store, and playground and then record incidents of emotional behavior that you observe. Discuss the emotions observed, what appeared to trigger the reaction, and the basis on for which you made this determination. Use the theories discussed this semester as a lens for your results.
  7. Propose something to me and get your topic cleared.