Fall 2009

Psychology of Morality

Listed in: Psychology, as PSYC-45


Piercarlo Valdesolo (Section 01)


Morality can guide our behavior, stifling self-interest and promoting altruism. Yet, we can also point to many examples when our moral sense fails us--instances of hypocrisy, iniquity, or violence. This class will apply current psychological research to explore how and why morality influences our judgments and actions. We will place a specific emphasis on the relative roles of emotions and of principled reasoning in these processes. We will incorporate evidence and argument from the fields of evolutionary biology, philosophy, anthropology, social neuroscience, and social psychology to explore the effects of moral thinking and feeling on topics such as economic and legal decision making, political affiliation, helping behavior, aggression and social deviance.

Limited to 15 students. Fall semester. Keiter Visiting Professor Valdesolo.


2020-21: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2008, Fall 2009