Smolny Beyond Borders

A Liberal Arts Initiative

Cognitive Aspects of Conflict Resolution

Cognitive Aspects of Conflict Resolution


Course Schedule:

Spring 2023 | Mon Wed 10.10 - 11.30 Eastern (GMT-5)

Semester: Spring 2023 | Monday, January 30 – Tuesday, May 23
Schedule: Mon Wed 10.10 – 11.30 New York 
Language of Instruction: English
Course Prerequisites: English B2 / Equivalent or higher
Subject: PSY (Psychology) | Cross-Listing(s): POL (Politics)
Distribution Area: Social Analysis
Max Enrollment: 21
Level: 100
Credits: 4 US / 8 ECT
Course Time Zone: Eastern Time (US/NY)
Professor’s Location: Erevan, Armenia

Course Description
Do you find conflicts fascinating? How often do you experience them? While we are usually efficient at avoiding things that we do not like, such as pain or eating disagreeable food, ditching conflicts is not humanity’s strongest skill. This course aims to analyze the cognitive nature of conflict and discuss the pathways to conflict resolution. First, we will study the process of communication and its contribution to conflict interaction. Then we will talk about communicating with others as an acquired skill, which is no different than baking a cake or riding a bike, trying to understand why, for example, people are more forgiving of a terrible cake than an offensive pronouncement. Other elements of the course will include conversations about conflict initiation, the most common causes that lead to confrontations, and the productive methods of managing and resolving adversity. The “microscope” of cognitive and social psychology will help us understand fundamental mechanisms underlying conflict behavior. Among research methods employed in this course, group work, analysis of case studies, and practical approaches to conflict resolution will predominate.

PPT Presentation about the course

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