PSYC 373

Evolutionary Psychology

4 Undergraduate credits
Effective May 10, 2014 – Present

Graduation requirements this course fulfills

Evolutionary psychology is a branch of psychology that explores how a variety of physiological and psychological traits have evolved through the mechanisms of natural selection and adaptation. Psychological traits such as aggression, attraction, communication, and cooperation are explored as a means of facilitating survival among humans and how human behaviors have adapted as a means of improving survival and reproductive fitness. Evolutionary psychology combines the concepts of biology, anthropology, cognitive psychology and the neurosciences to provide students with a contemporary perspective in understanding human behavior.

Learning outcomes

General

  • Students will be required to demonstrate critical thinking skills necessary to understand basic principles and processes of evolutionary theory;
  • Students will learn the genetic basis of evolution and how variability plays a critical role in evolutionary theory;
  • Students will learn the basic principles of natural and sex selection;
  • Students will learn the basic principles of reproductive fitness, sexual attraction and the psychology of social interaction;
  • Students will understand how principles of cooperation and prosocial behaviors co-existed and evolved with aggression conflict;
  • Students will describe how the psychological concepts relative to interdependency and superordinate goals have contributed to community development and influences social interaction;
  • Students will learn the role of facial and emotional expressions as key mechanisms influencing group interaction;
  • Students will learn how complex emotions and behaviors (i.e., guilt, forgiveness and empathy) have influenced and contributed to group interaction.