David Pizarro, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychology
Fall - 3 Credits
Why are people superstitious? Why do people blush when they are embarrassed? What is intelligence (and are IQ tests a good way to measure it)? Why don't psychopaths feel guilty when they harm others? How reliable are childhood memories? Why do we laugh? Do violent video games make people act violently? Why do some people seem instantly trustworthy and others seem “creepy”? How do we choose whom to date, or marry? How does stress affect our body? While questions like these have been asked for centuries, psychology has begun to provide answers to these--and other questions about the human mind--by applying the tools of scientific investigation.
In this course you will receive a broad introduction to the science of psychology: from the history of the field and its major advances, to the latest research on topics such as perception, memory, intelligence, morality, sexuality, mental illness, religion, language, and creativity. You will also learn about the tools and methods psychologists use to investigate the mind, such as observing how the mind of a child changes and develops over time, looking at people across cultures, measuring brain activity, and experimentally manipulating everything from the shape of a figure presented on a computer screen, to the smell of a room, or the attractiveness of the experimenter.
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