PSY40860 Topics in Psychological Sci

PSY40860 Topics in Psychological Sci

PSY40860 Topics in Psychological Sci 150 150 Peter

PSY40860 Topics in Psychological Sci

Academic Year 2021/2022

This module is designed to develop students’ ability to appreciate the role of trade-offs in human thinking and planning. The attraction of immediate or short-term goals versus the benefits of long-term investment is explored. The capacity for humans to use ‘good enough’ but systematically biased strategies is outlined. The human tendency to make decisions that are subjectively rational but objectively biased or collectively irrational is demonstrated. Political values are unconsciously tribal, but are defended as evidence-based by their adherents. Persuasion often works best by appealing to human weaknesses rather than rational outcomes of planned behaviour.

Learning Outcomes:

This module is designed to develop students’ ability to appreciate the role of trade-offs in human thinking and planning. The attraction of immediate or short-term goals versus the benefits of long-term investment is explored. The capacity for humans to use ‘good enough’ but systematically biased strategies is outlined. The human tendency to make decisions that are subjectively rational but objectively biased or collectively irrational is demonstrated. Political values are unconsciously tribal, but are defended as evidence-based by their adherents. Persuasion often works best by appealing to human weaknesses rather than rational outcomes of planned behaviour.

Indicative Module Content:

Topics Covered, weeks and lectures:

Week 1: Introduction – Trade-Offs in Life and Nature
No student presentation in week 1

Week 2: The Trade-Off between Nature and Culture in Human life

Week 3: Social Dilemmas – when individual interests clash with group welfare

Week 4: Willpower – why is self-control often trumped by self-indulgence?

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