Psychology 398. Experimental Course
Examines the major theoretical approaches to moral reasoning and moral development, along with the most current advances in a range of new lines of psychological investigation. Readings and discussion examine the fundamental issues of development, including: how morality is acquired (origins), how it changes over time (sequence), and its expression throughout the lifespan (ontogenesis), as well as the role of culture and context in moral development. The development of judgments related to human rights, social justice, individual autonomy, as well as resistance and subversion serve as the central topics around which the course is structured.
This course is a critical examination of the relationships between psychology, its practice, theory and research, and the law. Psychology has been applied in legal contexts for over a century, but only in recent decades has it gained widespread familiarity and been defined as a specialty area within psychology. This seminar will survey the major topics represented in the field of psychology and law, including eyewitness identification, jury decision-making, criminal behavior, criminal and civil forensic assessment, and how psychological research impacts law and public policy. Students will be expected to understand the case law governing and influencing criminal and civil practice, the ethical principles that guide evaluation, report writing, consultation and expert testimony and the social psychological influences on the legal system.
The focus of this course will be on the role of hormones in mediating behaviors through hormones effects on the brain. A vast number of behaviors crucial for survival are mediated through hormones actions in the brain and the peripheral nervous system. Hormones act on systems throughout the body to initiate fight or flight responses, feeding behaviors, reproduction, aggression and parenting behaviors, to name a few. This upper-level seminar will explore the basics of the endocrine system, the interaction between hormones and neurotransmitters, and how hormones shape behaviors across species. Relying on a combination of a central text and current primary literature, this course will provide both broad perspective on the field as well as in-depth focus on student-selected topics.