PSY3002 : Evolutionary Psychology

  • Module Leader(s): Dr Bruce Charlton
  • Owning School: Psychology
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0

Aims

To provide an overview and systematic understanding of Evolutionary Psychology, especially in relation to human health and Medicine

Evolutionary Psychology is the application of evolutionary biology to understanding human behaviour.

The human mind has evolved in response to selection pressures acting over many past generations, and this has shaped the way that modern humans think, behave and function.

This module combines an examination of evolutionary theories with their application to a range of health and medical themes, including psychiatric symptoms and disorders – how these may have evolved, relevance to treatment, and their possible adaptive significance.

Outline Of Syllabus

Topics covered (1 hour lectures with informal discussion and quizzes)

•       Natural selection
•       Evolutionary Psychology
•       Evolutionary/ Darwinian medicine
•       Human ancestral environment
•       Agriculture and recent human evolution
•       Family size
•       Incest avoidance
•       Maternal instincts and infanticide
•       Breast feeding (co-sleeping)
•       Crying babies (colic)
•       Step parenting
•       The Paleolithic Diet
•       Dietary preferences – junk food
•       Disgust and hygiene
•       Hunger and satiety

1.       Sugar, diabetes and evolution
2.       Anxiety and female psychology
3.       Homicide, violence and male psychology
4.       Psychoactive drugs and drug addiction
5.       Psychological diseases and disorders of civilization (mismatch, averages, compromises)

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture201:0020:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity150:0050:00N/A
Total100:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Formal lectures plus informal classroom discussions and tests present an overview and specific examples of the subject area, with reference to alternative perspectives.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Exams
Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1201A100Required to answer two questions from a choice of four
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Unseen essay examination (two questions from an open choice of four) is used to allow students to demonstrate both the accuracy and extent of their factual knowledge, and – by their organization of material – abstract systematic understanding of topics in an objective and rigorous manner.

Reading Lists

Timetable

Disclaimer: The University will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver modules in accordance with the descriptions set out in this catalogue. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, however, the University reserves the right to introduce changes to the information given including the addition, withdrawal or restructuring of modules if it considers such action to be necessary.