What Is Preface?
Preface is a first-year reading program that introduces students to the joy of academic inquiry. As such, it combines guided reading of a selected text with co-curricular events in which students discuss questions raised by the text with University, community, and national experts. During this program, first year students read the Preface text in English 101 and most University 101 courses and attend related events in both English 101 and 102.
While Preface is geared primarily toward first-year students, it offers a calendar of events that are relevant to a wide range of University courses as well as the community. Therefore the events are planned in close cooperation with various departments and offices of USC Upstate and most events are free and open to the public. This fall, first-year writing students will read Ori and Rom Brafman’s Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior.
- Preface Events: What's happening this semester at USC Upstate?
- English 101, English 102 and most University 101 students are required to attend at least two (2) Preface events during the semester.
Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior
By Ori Brafman and Rom Brafman
Why is it so difficult to sell a plummeting stock or end a doomed relationship? Why does a sense of danger make us more likley to fall in love? Why is a job interview actually one of the worst ways to screen a prospective employee? Why would a Harvard Business School student pay $204 for a $20 bill? What would make a head of of airline safety disregard years of training and cause the deadliest plane crash in history?
Drawing on cutting edge research from social psychology, behavioral economics and organizational behavior, Ori Brafman and his brother Rom Brafman answer these qeustions and more, revealing the dynamic forces that derail our logical thinking and sabotage our decision-making. A fascinating journey into the hidden psychological forces that cause us to act irrationally in our personal and professional lives, Sway not only challenges the readers' views of the world but also changes the way they think.
On October 8th, Ori Brafman visited the USC Upstate campus to give the keynote address. He also sat down for a more in-depth interview with a few select English 101 students.
The intent of this series of programs is to help USC Upstate first-year students make connections to each other and to the University, to practice skills that contribute to success in college, and to discuss how a deeper understanding of a shared reading can inform the way we make personal decisions and influence public policy today.
For more information about previous Preface Program readings and events, see the Preface Program Archive.