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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Psychology (PSYCH)

PSYCH 269 Evolutionary Psychology (3) Survey of evolutionary perspectives in current psychological research.

PSYCH 269 Evolutionary Psychology (3)

(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.

This course demonstrates how knowledge and principles from evolutionary biology are used to conduct research on the design of the human mind. The course explains how evolutionary psychologists identify adaptive problems faced by our ancestors and test hypotheses about psychological mechanisms designed by natural selection to solve these adaptive problems. The psychological mechanisms discussed are involved in phenomena such as perception and the control of activity, learning and cognition, mate selection and courting, development and parenting, altruism, aggression, and social structure. Evolutionary psychology is thus not a topic area such as perception, learning, or motivation, but rather a way of thinking that can be applied to any topic within psychology. The course, therefore, shows how evolutionary psychology is (1) changing how scientists approach old topics, (2) opening up new areas of research, and (3) beginning to provide a unifying framework for integrating the various subdisciplines of psychology. Students will learn to understand and evaluate evolutionary hypotheses about a range of topics in psychology and related social sciences. Evaluation will be based on a combination of methods, including for example traditional exams, written homework, papers, and participation in class and group discussions. The course is offered as a perspective that can be used to think about the subject matter in any particular content course in psychology. Students may choose this course to fulfill a requirement in the major.

General Education: None
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: Social and Behavioral Science
Effective: Spring 2008
Prerequisite: PSYCH 100;ANTH 021, BI SC 002, BIOL 133 orBIOL 222

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.


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