PSY 101 (Psychological Science): A topics-based, non-lab, non-survey, question-and procedure-oriented discussion of
important perspectives in contemporary psychological science. The course will examine
origins, support for, and applications of a series of theoretical positions. In the
process, students will learn to appreciate the empirical procedures through which
psychologists formulate and evaluate hypotheses about behavior, using texts as well
as primary literature that illustrates how these procedures occur in actual practice.
PSY 311 (Origins of Moral Thought): How have humans acquired the capacity to make judgments about right and wrong? We
will address this question on three different timescales – millennia (human evolution),
centuries (modern history), and years (individual development) – to explore how morality
has resulted from natural selection, how cultural and ecological shifts bring about
new moral convictions, and how moral beliefs emerge during childhood. Readings will
combine insights from psychology, anthropology, philosophy, economics, history, and
biology in order to provide manifold perspectives on the genesis of morality.
PSY 452 (History and Philosophy of Psychology): The historical origins of contemporary psychology in European philosophy, physiology,
and biology and subsequent development of the schools of structuralism, functionalism,
Gestalt, behaviorism, and psychoanalysis. Emphasis on identifying the goals, implicit
assumptions and potential contributions of scientific psychology.
PSY 453 (Nature/Nurture): Since its advent, psychology has been embroiled in arguments about the degree to which
psychological traits are learned or innate. Are genes or socialization responsible
for heightened rates of aggression in men? How do biological and environmental factors
interact to produce language? Is culture an evolved adaptation? Does it make any
sense at all to partition the causes of psychology into “nature” and “nurture”? Throughout
this course, we will draw upon cutting-edge research to evaluate a range of theoretical
perspectives on the interplay of nature and nurture. We will also discuss the sociopolitical
ramifications of this fundamental debate.
PSY 489 (Collaborative Research in Moral Psychology): Students will conduct experimental research on relevant theoretical issues within
the field of moral psychology. Topics may include investigations of the scope of
moral concern, perceptions of moral virtue, children’s acquisition of moral beliefs,
contributions of emotions to moral judgment, and other related areas that reflect
student interest. Techniques for designing, conducting, analyzing, and presenting
empirical research will be discussed, practiced, and implemented.
SPM 100 (Minds, Machines, and Morals): This course provides an introduction to the central problems, concepts, and methods
of cognitive science and moral psychology. We will analyze questions addressing the
nature of intelligence, the relationship between minds and bodies, and the basis of
moral beliefs and behaviors. These explorations will bridge the sciences and humanities by
taking a fundamentally interdisciplinary perspective.
SPM 499 (Senior Research Seminar): Intensive research and writing on a topic of the student's choice carried on in a
seminar setting. Includes several oral presentations by each student.