Psychology
Term : Winter 2020
Catalog Year : 2020-2021

PSY 397 - Evolutionary Psychology

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Description: Evolutionary psychology is the scientific study of human nature. It is based on our understanding of the psychological adaptations that our ancestors evolved in prehistory to cope with the challenges of survival and reproduction. It is a new science that arose around 1990 and that has led to new research on human sexuality, aggression, status, parenting, family life, group cooperation, emotions, and other topics that had been largely fallen to the wayside in mainstream psychology. Evolutionary psychology tries to offer a coherent framework for unifying the diverse areas of contemporary psychology research. This course is designed to teach students the basics of evolutionary psychology. This will be done through a variety of activities such as: class discussion, film clips, weekly written responses to assigned readings, in-class quizzes and lecture. Outside of class, students will read three popular press texts, and several peer-reviewed journal articles. Throughout the course students will be shown how an evolutionary approach can inform students' understanding of any area in psychology. By the end of the course it is hoped that students will have developed a lasting understanding of how the process of evolution has shaped the human mind. Letter grade only.

Units: 3

Sections offered: Spring 2021

Prerequisite: PSY 101, PSY 230, ((PSY 302W) or (PSY 290 and any JLWR course))