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Surprise Endings: Social Science + Lit, Dan Ariely + Cathy Davidson #DukeSurprise Jan 28 Class

Surprise Endings: Social Science + Lit, Dan Ariely + Cathy Davidson #DukeSurprise Jan 28 Class

Here's what's happening in Surprise Endings:  Social Science and Literature, S 2013, Duke University.  Co-Taught by Dan Ariely, Cathy Davidson, and 32 Duke undergraduates:


Jan 28: Self Control (#1)

Monday, Jan 28:  Self Control (Group #1 Presentation)

METHOD:   Each week a team of 3-5 student peer-leaders (1) assigns readings and writing on our public class blog http:// (2) records the grades (pass/fail) for each student in the class (3) prepares questions for an in-class video interview on the topic with Profs Ariely and Davidson (4) edits the video into a 45-minute final version and puts it up on the Duke YouTube channel that can be accessed from the "Videos" tab on the class website and then (5) remixes the content, adds new content, and turns the topic into an interactive, exciting online public "course."   The whole student-created class will be released online at the end of the course.


The public is welcome to follow and participate in the conversations for each topic.  They are posted under the "Schedule" tab, by date and topic.

BELOW, is the assignment for this week's class;

Peer leaders:  Stephanie Mactas, Ross Tucker, Dylan Flye, and Jed Lavery

As we see in the famous classical story of Ulysses and the Sirens, self control sometimes can be maintained successfully only when we’ve lashed ourselves to the mast, effectively forcing ourselves not to succumb to temptation.  This topic will focus on the  difficulties we have maintaining self control in the present even when we understand it is necessary in order to care for ourselves in the future (i.e. overeating, undersaving).  We will look at the tricks we play on ourselves to make ourselves think we are doing better than we are (ex: hundred calorie snacks).



Reading Response Instructions:

  • Read the selected readings.
  • After completing the readings, (1) add a Reading Response comment to the comment space by Friday Jan. 25th at 11:59 P.M. beneath this January 28th schedule post. (2) A response to a peer’s comment must be posted by Jan. 27th at 2:00 P.M.
  • Your initial Reading Response Comment should answer these three questions for at least two of the five posted readings: 1) What did you learn in this reading? or, After reading this text, what are you inspired to learn more about? 2) What questions do you have about this reading? 3) What is a well-formed question about or related to this reading that you would like us to ask Professors Dan and Cathy?
  • Our presentation group will then use the questions to help us formulate our 45 minute class interview. Good luck!
  • Be sure that you use your login to sign in so that your Reading Response is recorded attached to your pseudonym.

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