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  • How Digital Technology Shapes Us

    Professor Indre Viskontas, Ph.D.

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD
    Many of us are concerned about the amount of technology in our lives these days and whether or not we are spending way too much time on screens. In How Digital Technology Shapes Us, Professor Indre Viskontas provides a scientific approach to judging the true pros and cons of our interaction with technology in the digital age. With this information, we can focus on the positives of digital media, empowering us to connect with others to find purpose, motivation, and support. Digital technology definitely shapes us. But once we learn how it does so, we can make good decisions for our ourselves and our children.
    View Lecture List (24)
    Many of us are concerned about the amount of technology in our lives these days and whether or not we are spending way too much time on screens. In How Digital Technology Shapes Us, Professor Indre Viskontas provides a scientific approach to judging the true pros and cons of our interaction with technology in the digital age. With this information, we can focus on the positives of digital media, empowering us to connect with others to find purpose, motivation, and support. Digital technology definitely shapes us. But once we learn how it does so, we can make good decisions for our ourselves and our children.
    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  How Digital Technology Shapes Us
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      How Experience Alters the Brain
      It is the adaptable nature of the human brain that has allowed us to become who we are today and dictates who we will become in the future. Learn how our lived experience changes our brain wiring as well as the relative sizes of different brain regions. Each of these changes is susceptible to alterations resulting from our use of technology. x
    • 2
      Are New Media Shortening Attention Spans?
      Teachers claim that students' attention spans have drastically changed because technology is eroding their ability to focus. But what about adults? Explore the impact of technology on our own ability to perform "deep work" and whether or not multitasking is even a neurological possibility. x
    • 3
      Does the Internet Make Us Shallow Thinkers?
      While our brain circuitry evolved to support speech, reading is not an innate, passively acquired skill. Instead, the connections in our brains are shaped and reinforced as we learn to read. Compare the neurological difference between reading on the internet and reading a physical book—and understand why we need to ensure that the next generations acquire the skill of “deep reading.” x
    • 4
      Outsourcing Our Memory
      Has our ability to remember details declined as more and more information becomes instantly available on the internet? After all, why bother memorizing a fact you can so easily look up? Explore the positives and negatives of the internet with respect to memory creation, and learn how the latest technology might help us expand our memories to take full advantage of our human potential. x
    • 5
      Human versus Digital Content Curators
      Recommendations, whether from a real person or an algorithm, have an enormous influence on our behaviors. Consider how much of your digital content—e.g., social media, books, movies, political ads—is determined by an algorithm that might or might not have goals aligned with your own. Recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of these algorithms will help you make more informed choices. x
    • 6
      Virtual Realities and Our Sense of Self
      Given that our experiences affect not only how are brains are activated but also their structural anatomy, explore the many ways in which virtual reality can affect us. Learn why leaders of VR research are calling for a code of ethics, and why VR could also be a place where human imagination could thrive, leading to new ideas and inventions. x
    • 7
      Screen Time's Impact on Kids
      Does increased screen time enrich or impoverish children’s environments and how are their emotions influenced by digital media? You might be surprised to learn that “it depends”—just like almost every other aspect of parenting. Explore the many factors scientists are studying to help answer these crucial questions. x
    • 8
      Video Games and Violence
      We might easily assume that those who play violent games would be more likely to perpetrate violent acts than non-players—but the scientific research is less conclusive. Dig into the fascinating studies that have been addressing this issue for decades and learn how playing violent video games factors into overall cognitive development and perceptions of the world. x
    • 9
      Is Digital Technology Ruining Sleep?
      Although studies show we are not sleeping fewer hours than before the days of technology on the nightstand, the quality of our sleep has likely been affected—especially for young people. Better understand the lifesaving functions your brain performs while you sleep and how technology, used the right way, just might help you sleep better, allowing your cognitive functions to be stronger the next day. x
    • 10
      How "Dr. Google" Is Changing Medicine
      Have you ever used a search engine for medical advice? If so, you're certainly not alone. But how often does that search result in more harm than help? Consider the many ways in which technology has impacted the practice of medicine and the doctor-patient relationship, and the moral dilemmas that have resulted. x
    • 11
      The Virtual Therapist
      Is on-screen talk therapy as effective as in-person therapy? Studies show it is. And in some respects—with the addition of virtual reality, for example—it can be more helpful than in-person talk therapy alone. Explore the many ways in which technology can help both mental-health patients and researchers, as well as the associated risks. x
    • 12
      How Big Data Can Predict the Future
      Learn how big data is changing scientific research and deepening our view of ourselves and the world around us. But does the ability to process previously unimaginable amounts of data and jump from one finding to the next really help us understand the relationships between variables? What risks might we be taking without realizing it? x
    • 13
      Is Privacy Dead in the Information Age?
      Examine the privacy paradox, our increasingly lax attitude toward our own privacy and its many implications for our future. How often do you unwittingly sell your privacy for a store discount, a few more social media “likes,” or the convenience of choosing specific amenities at a vacation spot? Learn about the complex relationship between privacy and trust in the digital age. x
    • 14
      The Emotional Effects of Social Media
      Studies have shown that the use of Facebook (more than 1 billion users worldwide) often results in increased feelings of sadness, jealousy, and envy. Explore the neurological basis of our social interactions-where we focus our attention and why, how we make choices, and what is required for humans to maintain stable relationships. How do those factors interact with our social media usage? x
    • 15
      How Online Dating Transforms Relationships
      Examine the potential differences between relationships that begin through online dating services versus those that begin more traditionally. Discover which neurological processes we use in making our choices—whether a new car, new house, or a mate. How can we make sure we assess potential mates with careful deliberation if we use an online service? x
    • 16
      Technology and Addiction
      Substance addiction leaves traceable changes in the brain, from the structure of brain cells and regions to their connections. Learn how technology can “supercharge” experiences to affect us neurologically and biologically overall, particularly with respect to one of our strongest motivational drives: sex. x
    • 17
      Is the Internet Hurting Democracy?
      It is well established that the internet and other technologies can shape our political behavior and give one candidate an advantage over another. But what are the mechanisms by which we make our political decisions? You might be surprised to learn that differences between different political alignments can be seen in our brains. x
    • 18
      The Arts in the Digital Era
      In the digital age, who decides which art is of the best quality? Or rather, who builds the algorithms that decide? In a time of almost infinite choices, is there greater or lesser opportunity for unknown artists to put their work out there? And how has technology affected the artist's ability to learn deliberatively and experiment with all options? x
    • 19
      How AI Can Enhance Creativity
      Can artificial intelligence (AI) help us realize our fullest creative potential in the future, or will it become a hinderance we nevertheless can't live without? Learn about the many ways in which AI might help us become more creative than ever before. How could we harness the strength of machines to enhance our creativity, a trait we often consider one of our most revered human characteristics? x
    • 20
      Do We Trust Algorithms over Humans?
      No one deliberately taught you how to speak. After hearing and processing millions of words over many months—and with a brain that is wired for speech—you started talking. Dive into the world of machine learning to discover whether or not machines can teach themselves, the way we do, and what the implications might be both for machines and for ourselves. x
    • 21
      Could Blockchain Revolutionize Society?
      Learn what makes blockchain a social technology and why some researchers say it could be a force for good, bringing together disparate elements in a framework of trust. Could blockchain represent a giant leap forward in allowing us to be more confident in online transactions and lessen constant concerns about hacking? Explore the potential of this technology to take us both back to basics and into the future. x
    • 22
      Effects of Technological Metaphors on Science
      The metaphors we use when talking about the brain can limit our ability to think “outside the box” and perceive the real workings of the brain in all its complexity. Consider the many ways in which the computer metaphor, although popular, is a poor match for the human brain, and what scientists might miss by continuing to use it. x
    • 23
      Robots and the Future of Work
      What skills for success will the next generation need in a society with automation and robots as commonplace in the home as in the factory? Should everyone learn coding to prepare for work? Discover why many scientists discourage that outlook and why they believe an age of robots might help us learn more about ourselves than ever before. x
    • 24
      Redefining What It Means to Be Human
      A society with increased AI and robotics is not necessarily a dystopian environment with increased human isolation and decreased human activity. Explore our current definitions of human life and death to better understand where we are now and where we might be headed. x
  • White Collar Criminal Law Explained

    Professor Randall D. Eliason, JD

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD
    In White Collar Criminal Law Explained, join Professor Randall D. Eliason of The George Washington University Law School for an in-depth investigation of how federal white collar crime prosecutions work—and why they sometimes don’t. Over 24 lessons, you’ll learn how prosecutors pursue white collar crimes, including fraud, bribery, obstruction of justice, extortion, perjury, money laundering, and more.
    View Lecture List (24)
    In White Collar Criminal Law Explained, join Professor Randall D. Eliason of The George Washington University Law School for an in-depth investigation of how federal white collar crime prosecutions work—and why they sometimes don’t. Over 24 lessons, you’ll learn how prosecutors pursue white collar crimes, including fraud, bribery, obstruction of justice, extortion, perjury, money laundering, and more.
    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  White Collar Criminal Law Explained
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      Defining White Collar Crime
      There’s no section in the US criminal code captioned “white collar crimes.” So what, exactly, is a white collar crime? What sets white collar apart from other areas of criminal law? Why do these crimes—and the criminals who commit them—captivate the public? In this lecture, establish a solid legal framework for the lessons ahead. x
    • 2
      Anatomy of a Federal White Collar Case
      In this lesson, study the federal prosecution of former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, as a window into how a federal white collar case works its way through the criminal justice system. Topics include the structure of the federal courts and Department of Justice and the critical role of federal prosecutors. x
    • 3
      The Power of the Federal Grand Jury
      The federal grand jury has tremendous power in the US justice system-yet for many of us, the grand jury process remains shrouded in mystery. In the first of two lessons on what a federal grand jury is and how it operates, Professor Eliason pulls back the curtain and reveals the inner workings of this important institution. x
    • 4
      Grand Jury Procedure and Search Warrants
      Continue your look at federal grand juries by considering one of their most distinctive features: secrecy. Along the way, consider why a good federal prosecutor should disclose exculpatory information to a grand jury; what information qualifies as protected grand jury material; and the importance (and practical limitations) of another investigative tool, search warrants. x
    • 5
      Mail and Wire Fraud and the Nature of Fraud
      Two of the most popular statutes that federal prosecutors of white collar crime have at their disposal are mail and wire fraud. After considering the relatively straightforward elements of mail and wire fraud, turn to the heart of both crimes: the scheme or artifice to defraud. x
    • 6
      The Limits of Mail and Wire Fraud
      One area that defines the outer boundaries of mail and wire fraud involves the definition of “property.” After examining Supreme Court cases that sought to answer the question of what qualifies as property, focus on the “in furtherance” requirement and its role in the landmark 1989 case of Schmuck v. United States. x
    • 7
      Honest Services Fraud and Its Evolution
      In an honest services fraud case, there's no need to show that victims suffered a monetary loss; instead, a prosecutor has to show they were deprived of their intangible right to honest services. As you explore the evolution of this criminal theory, learn why its most common use is to prosecute political corruption. x
    • 8
      Conspiracy: A Partnership in Crime
      Conspiracy is one of the most common types of federal crimes charged. Professor Eliason reveals the benefits of a conspiracy charge for the prosecution, the reasons why we prosecute conspiracy, the elements of a conspiracy charge, and the two prongs of the primary federal conspiracy statute: 18 U.S.C. section 371. x
    • 9
      Common Issues in Conspiracy Cases
      In this lesson, consider the elements of a criminal conspiracy in greater detail. Central to the discussion are common issues that arise in conspiracy cases, including proving the agreement, proving the scope of the conspiracy, the “overt act” requirement, and the possibility of withdrawing from a conspiracy. x
    • 10
      Public Corruption: Bribery and Gratuities
      Bribery is the quintessential public corruption offense: a public official who accepts something of personal value to be influenced in the performance of some official act. After discussing bribery and the related offense of gratuities, Professor Eliason also covers two major Supreme Court decisions that dramatically limited the scope of these statutes. x
    • 11
      Extortion by Public Officials
      The Hobbs Act defines extortion as the “obtaining of property from another, with his consent, induced by wrongful use of actual or threatened force, violence, or fear, or under color of official right.” What elements of extortion must prosecutors prove beyond a reasonable doubt? And why is the phrase “under color of official right” so controversial? x
    • 12
      The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
      One of our most important laws for fighting corruption overseas was born in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal. In this lesson, unpack the importance of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the basis of prosecutions (sometimes of non-US companies) that have resulted in some of the largest financial settlements in US history. x
    • 13
      Securities Fraud and Insider Trading
      To many people, insider trading is the textbook example of a white collar crime. Go inside the somewhat controversial legal theories involved in these prosecutions, which seek to maintain investor confidence in the securities market and establish (and maintain) a somewhat level playing field for investors. x
    • 14
      Perjury and the Law of Cover-Up Crimes
      In the first of several lessons on “cover-up crimes” (crimes committed to conceal other misconduct), examine the topic of perjury, or lying under oath. Unpack the two principal federal perjury statutes; learn the elements required to prove a charge of perjury; and consider the role ambiguity plays in perjury cases. x
    • 15
      False Statements and Concealment
      When you lie to the federal government, it’s not just wrong—it could land you in prison. Learn why charges of giving false statements are extremely common in white collar cases; analyze the breadth and simplicity of the federal false statements statute; and explore how this charge can help the government prove criminal intent or guilty knowledge. x
    • 16
      Obstruction of Justice
      Obstruction of justice covers a wide variety of misconduct, including tampering with witnesses, threatening jurors, and destroying evidence. After examining the primary obstruction of justice statutes, probe leading Supreme Court cases dealing with this white collar crime, including United States v. Aguilar and Arthur Andersen LLP v. United States. x
    • 17
      Money Laundering Basics
      Prosecuting money laundering continues to be a major priority for the Department of Justice. In the first of two lectures on this crime, examine the elements of domestic money laundering, then explore them in the context of two early cases: United States v. Jackson and United States v. Campbell. x
    • 18
      Laundering Money across the US Border
      Turn now to the international money laundering statute, 18 U.S.C. section 1956(a)(2), which requires that the funds in question be transported across the US border. One area of international money laundering you’ll investigate is cash purchases of US real estate by corrupt foreign officials—a primary laundering vehicle. x
    • 19
      Conspiracy on Steroids: The RICO Statute
      When Congress passed the RICO statute—short for the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act—it primarily had organized crime in mind. First, see the benefits and drawbacks of the statute through the eyes of a white collar prosecutor. Then, better understand the specific elements of a RICO charge. x
    • 20
      Hacking and Other Computer Crimes
      In our increasingly digital age, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act is a powerful tool for federal prosecutors to combat cyberattacks against individuals, organizations, and even the entire country. Review the seven different sections of the CFAA, each of which applies to a different type of computer crime and comes with different requirements. x
    • 21
      Corporate Criminal Liability
      Today, many legal experts question the rationale for corporate criminal liability, and some even suggest it should be abolished altogether. How did a Supreme Court case over 100 years old set the standards that still govern corporate criminal liability today? And why is there a growing reluctance to indict and prosecute companies for criminal activity? x
    • 22
      Plea Bargains and Immunity Deals
      Over 95% of all criminal prosecutions, including white collar prosecutions, are resolved short of trial by way of a plea bargain. In this lesson, focus on three tools critical to the white collar prosecutor seeking to build a case involving serious criminal misconduct: plea agreements, cooperation agreements, and immunity deals. x
    • 23
      Defending the White Collar Case
      Professor Eliason sits down with Michael N. Levy for a look at white collar crime from the perspective of a defense lawyer—another critical legal player in any white collar case. It’s a chance for you to eavesdrop on an insightful, extemporaneous Q&A session that will add to your understanding of the nuances of white collar crimes. x
    • 24
      Sentencing White Collar Criminals
      Once guilt is established by a plea or a trial, the last part of the criminal process remains: sentencing. Start by examining the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which help the court fashion an appropriate sentence; then, look at United States v. Booker, the Supreme Court case that turned these guidelines from mandatory to merely advisory. x
  • Understanding the US Government

    Professor Jennifer Nicoll Victor, PhD

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD
    By gaining a clear grasp of political institutions, we’re better equipped to engage with government and politics. In this course, you’ll explore essential topics such as how the federal bureaucracy is organized, the intricacies of Congress and the legislature, the operations of the Supreme Court, the challenge of campaign finance, the media and politics, and America’s deep political polarization.
    View Lecture List (24)
    By gaining a clear grasp of political institutions, we’re better equipped to engage with government and politics. In this course, you’ll explore essential topics such as how the federal bureaucracy is organized, the intricacies of Congress and the legislature, the operations of the Supreme Court, the challenge of campaign finance, the media and politics, and America’s deep political polarization.
    View Lecture List (24)
    24 Lectures  |  Understanding the US Government
    Lecture Titles (24)
    • 1
      Why Have Government?
      As context, begin by looking into the nature of governments, and the major types of government. Consider why governments exist and how major political theorists have viewed the roles of government. Examine the founding of the United States and the creation of the Constitution through the lens of “collective action theory,” which helps explain why the US government is structured as it is. x
    • 2
      The Framework of US Federalism
      Study the system of federalism, where sovereign power is divided between the national and state governments. Trace the history of federalism in the United States, as it protects individual liberties, checks government power, and allows for the resolution of political conflicts. Note how the balance shifted in the 20th century, from greater state authority to a much-expanded power of the federal government. x
    • 3
      Civil Liberties: Freedoms from Government
      Probe the concept of civil liberties, as they delineate restrictions that government cannot impose. Learn about “selective incorporation,” the process through which civil liberty protections at the state level have been guaranteed through Supreme Court rulings. Then look at how the judicial system has interpreted and upheld freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press. x
    • 4
      Civil Rights: Fairness under Government
      Consider how America's historic record on human rights continues to impact modern politics. Study the equal protection clause in the 14th Amendment and how it has been applied. Examine the history and the current landscape of human rights with regard to African-American rights, affirmative action, and women's rights, as well as Native American, Asian American, and LGBTQ+ rights. x
    • 5
      How a Bill Becomes a Law
      Observe how a congressional bill originates, and how legislators formally submit a bill. Then follow the various stages through which a bill is acted upon by the House, the Senate, by presidential review, and the process of ultimate adoption into law. Finally, learn about the “cloture rule,” a mechanism that forces bills to a vote, and the strategic tactic of filibustering in the Senate. x
    • 6
      Why Congress Is Such a Puzzle
      Explore core issues in the functioning of Congress. First, take account of the inherent tension for legislators between serving their constituents and serving their party. Investigate procedural challenges within this unwieldy organ of government, tasked with solving massive social problems, whose institutional design is in some ways an impediment to progress. x
    • 7
      How Congressional Elections Work
      Learn how congressional elections are structured, and differences between the House and Senate. Examine key factors in the politics of congressional campaigns, such as the high cost of campaigning, the role of incumbency, and how congressional campaigns have become increasingly nationalized. Then delve into the issue of gerrymandering, and the varied record in the United States of the practice of gerrymandering. x
    • 8
      The Powers of the Presidency
      Identify the powers granted to the president by the Constitution, versus other powers that have been implied or have developed over time. Assess the roles of the president as both head of state and head of government, and delve into core topics that include the budget process, the exercise of executive privilege, impeachment, and the president's role as commander-in-chief of the armed forces. x
    • 9
      How Presidential Elections Work
      Grasp the ways in which presidential elections differ from congressional elections. Take an in-depth look at the Electoral College, and the sometimes odd consequences of the system. Observe how presidential nominations are made, and assess election forecasting and the indicators that are most predictive of election outcomes. Also, examine the phenomenon of “fake news” and misinformation. x
    • 10
      A Road Map of the Federal Bureaucracy
      Take an overview of how the vast systems of the federal government operate. First, trace how and why the United States developed such a massive bureaucracy. Study how the executive branch is structured, highlighting the cabinet departments, independent agencies, and government corporations. Finally, analyze the theory of the “principal-agent problem,” which gives insights into bureaucratic control. x
    • 11
      How the Judicial Branch Works
      Investigate the sources of judicial authority that underlie our legal system, and the judicial system's organization according to three types of legal cases. Learn about the structure of the federal court system, comprising three types of federal courts. Conclude with a detailed look at the Supreme Court, how a case gets to the Supreme Court, and how cases are heard and adjudicated. x
    • 12
      Where the Supreme Court Meets Politics
      Follow the very politicized process that takes place when a president appoints a justice to the Supreme Court. Then look at four categories of influences that bear on the Court and its decisions. Examine how the Court plays a role in policymaking through its decisions and precedents. Finally, trace how the Court's role in politics and government has changed over the course of US history. x
    • 13
      The Challenges of Polling Public Opinion
      Define “public opinion,” in its various forms, both individual and aggregate. For the measuring of public opinion, note the difference between the theory of the “wisdom of crowds,” and what’s called “groupthink.” Explore the sources of individual opinion and political identity. Then look at what polls are and what they do, highlighting the polling controversy of the 2016 presidential election. x
    • 14
      How Political Parties Organize Democracy
      Why do political parties exist? Dig into this question, and grasp how parties solve three categories of problems for three different groups of political “actors.” Investigate why it is that the United States has two, and only two, major political parties. And, to better understand how parties operate today, trace the history of political parties in the United States, and how they have changed and realigned over time. x
    • 15
      How Americans Became So Polarized
      Delve into the factors that underlie the extreme partisan polarization of current US politics. Define what polarization is, as distinct from partisanship. Focus on three main sources of polarization, and explore how and why polarization tends to self-perpetuate. Examine false assumptions about polarization, its dangers, and consider how possible reforms might break the cycle. x
    • 16
      The Fundamentals of Elections and Voting
      Look first at suffrage (the right to vote) in the United States, including the history of women's suffrage, African-American suffrage, and suffrage for 18 year olds. Study voter turnout in elections, and how we can account for consistently low voter turnout. Consider what determines a person's likelihood to vote, the gender gap in voting, and the need of candidates to be appealing to median voters. x
    • 17
      How Does American Democracy Work?
      In assessing the US democratic system, dispel the common myth of a single “will of the people.” Grasp how institutions such as Congress provide stability and an agreed-upon procedure for making major group decisions. Review several fully democratic ways of counting votes, which provide different outcomes, and look into the use and possible benefits of ranked-choice voting in the United States. x
    • 18
      The Ins and Outs of Campaign Finance
      Witness how campaigns have been financed throughout US history. Trace the many campaign finance reforms enacted since the 1970s, which aim to curb corruption and unequal influence on elections. Take account of the problems that arise when sources of campaign funding do not represent the broader population, and the repeating cycle of reforms followed by attempts to work around campaign finance limits. x
    • 19
      The Pros and Cons of Organized Interests
      Revisit the theory of collective action as you chart the seven types of organized interest groups that figure in American politics, and the huge proliferation of interest groups since the 1960s. In grasping how interest groups form and operate, and the problems they address, weigh the valuable things these groups can do for society against the tendency for the power of organized interests to be skewed toward the wealthy and privileged. x
    • 20
      Politics and the Media
      To better understand the complex relationship between media, politics, and government, investigate public trust and distrust of journalism, and the ideological positions of news sources themselves. Note how social media can exacerbate political polarization. Finally, grasp the ways in which the political environment is ripe for conspiracy theories and misinformation, and how we can best respond. x
    • 21
      How Government Affects the Economy
      Examine the US system of free market economics, and the fiscal and monetary policies our government employs to correct for market failures. Learn how Congress and the president address problems such as high unemployment and inflation through government spending and taxation, and how the Fed uses interest rates and the sale of treasury bonds to stimulate or de-stimulate the economy. x
    • 22
      How the US Social Safety Net Works
      The federal social safety net is designed to alleviate poverty among the elderly, needy families, and the disabled. Learn about the TANF program, or “welfare,” and the institutions of Social Security, disability insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid. Take account of the financial strains on these programs, questions of their future solvency, and the political controversies that surround them. x
    • 23
      The Major Shifts in American Foreign Policy
      Trace the history of the United States in international politics, from early isolationism through America's global role in the 20th century, to today's post-9/11 political climate. Observe US participation in international institutions aimed at peacekeeping, trade, and economic growth, and note current US policy trends regarding trade conditions and the negative effects of globalization. x
    • 24
      The Changing State of American Democracy
      Conclude with a look at the biggest challenges that American politics and government will face in the coming years, such as racial, environmental, and economic justice. Assess possible reforms for greater income and racial equality, and the benefits of a stronger role for political parties. Consider the dangers of the current degradation of democratic norms, and how they might be restored. x
  • Your Public Persona: Self-Presentation in Everyday Life

    Professor Mark Leary, Ph.D.

    Available Formats: Instant Video, DVD
    In Your Public Persona: Self-Presentation in Everyday Life, Professor Leary brings you to the forefront of recent studies in self-presentation. After more than 40 years of experience in psychology and neuroscience—and with wry humor and a talent for distilling difficult concepts into manageable parts— he makes this fascinating topic accessible to audiences everywhere. Step up to a thought-provoking journey into the workings of the human social mind filled with self-discovery and insights into the other people in your life.
    View Lecture List (12)
    In Your Public Persona: Self-Presentation in Everyday Life, Professor Leary brings you to the forefront of recent studies in self-presentation. After more than 40 years of experience in psychology and neuroscience—and with wry humor and a talent for distilling difficult concepts into manageable parts— he makes this fascinating topic accessible to audiences everywhere. Step up to a thought-provoking journey into the workings of the human social mind filled with self-discovery and insights into the other people in your life.
    View Lecture List (12)
    12 Lectures  |  Your Public Persona: Self-Presentation in Everyday Life
    Lecture Titles (12)
    • 1
      Self-Presentation in Everyday Life
      Follow Professor Mark Leary of Duke University through the basics of self-presentation, his primary area of scholarship for more than 40 years in the field of social psychology. Discover both how we form impressions about other people in everyday life and how we attempt to manage their impressions of us. x
    • 2
      Tactics for Managing Impressions
      Professor Leary takes viewers into the compelling world of impression management—from physical appearance and body language to verbal cues and explicit statements about ourselves. Learn about the wide variety of tactics we use to get people to see us in particular ways in our efforts to reach the goals we would like to attain. x
    • 3
      Fitting In and Playing Roles
      The balance that all humans strike between conformity and individuality has critical bearing on the quality and happiness of our lives. Although we are often reminded of the importance of individuality, it is actually conformity that allows us to function as social animals. Explore the role that self-presentation plays in finding “optimal distinctiveness.” x
    • 4
      Playing to the Audience's Values
      Know your audience. Learn why their impressions matter and how we shift from one self-presentational performance to another, depending on the values of the people with whom we interact. In our efforts to be seen as likable, competent, and virtuous, we tailor our self-presentation to the preferences of those around us. x
    • 5
      When Undesirable Personas Are Deliberate
      Generally, we want to be perceived in positive ways. What happens when, in pursuit of a particular goal, we manage impressions to look aggressive, incompetent, or ill instead? Professor Leary unpacks our motivations for presenting socially undesirable impressions, and the antisocial behavior that such impression management can generate. x
    • 6
      Your Public Persona and Your Self-Image
      People differ in the kinds of impressions they try to create and the tactics they use to do so. From the publicly self-conscious, to those who rarely seem to care what others think, discover several psychological characteristics that influence self-presentation. x
    • 7
      Self-Presentation in Close Relationships
      Our friends, family, and romantic partners hold tremendous sway over the outcomes of our lives—a reality reflected in the ways we use self-presentation to manage these critical associations. From first impressions to final conflicts, see how we present ourselves to create, manage, improve, and even end our closest relationships. x
    • 8
      Managing Your Image at Work
      Most of us are deeply concerned with our image in the workplace, and with good reason. How people see us determines much in our professional lives. In this lecture, Professor Leary delves into the challenges of workplace self-presentation, and how we use impression management to get, keep, and even do our jobs. x
    • 9
      Social Anxiety and Self-Presentation
      Sometimes other people’s impressions of us are particularly important—for example, when we are on a first date, in a job interview, or giving a public speech. In these cases, we might feel the warning pangs of social anxiety because the fear of making an undesired impression is both real and justified. Although social anxiety is certainly uncomfortable, learn why it is essential to our social well-being. x
    • 10
      Self-Presentation Dilemmas and Disasters
      Everyone has said and done things that constitute what Professor Leary calls “self-presentational disasters.” Generally, the consequences are minor, if uncomfortable. Discover common mishaps, as well as more critical, life-changing mistakes, and the many strategies we employ to mitigate the damage to our image once it has been done. x
    • 11
      The Dangers of Self-Presentation
      Have you ever done something dangerous or stupid to impress the people around you? Self-presentation, often so beneficial, can also be hazardous to your health. Delve into the dark side of impression management as Professor Leary explains the risky, foolish, and damaging choices we make to appear attractive, adventurous, young, healthy, and even “cool.” x
    • 12
      Behind the Mask: Who Are You Really?
      In this final lecture, Professor Leary reviews the role of self-presentation in our social lives—and our frequent discomfort with it. How can we both manage impressions and be authentic individuals? Is impression management just another form of dishonesty, or an essential tool? The study of self-presentation can reveal to us not just how we want to be seen, but at a much deeper level, who we actually are. x