Evolutionary Psychology

Discipline: Psychology
Instructor: Lowman
Credits: 3
Day: B
Start: 1300
End: 1415
Field Class: Day 1 - Thursday, 2 April | Namibia
Prerequisites: None Download Syllabus

This course concerns new evolutionary ways of thinking about human and animal behavior and does so within the context of the Semester at Sea international experience. We will revisit some of the topics studied in the introductory psychology course, e.g. fear, emotion, motivation, personality, and language, but we will view them through the lens of an intellectual perspective that better integrates genetic and environmental evolutionary thinking than the standard social science model. Plus, our course goes into more depth into several topics not usually studied in introductory psychology. For example, we’ll cover mate selection, sexuality, and religion and morality from an evolutionary perspective. Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution or “common descent with modification” will receive attention throughout this course as it forms the foundation of how we will approach each specific topic. No single text has been adopted. Instead, individual chapters from a number of specific books will be read and discussed, especially as they fit or do not fit students’ observations in various diverse ports and cultures.

Field Class

Country: Namibia
Day: 1 - Thursday, 2 April

Mondesa Township was established in the early 1950's to provide housing for Owambo, Damara and Herero people working in Swakopmund. These were some of the original tribal groups who were brought in to work in the colonial economy.  The Mondesa Township has for half a century promoted education and employment for these peoples.  We will travel by coach for a personal three-hour tour of the township to learn about the various cultures represented and the attempts to help these people make the transition from indigenous life styles to the demands of more Western economies and settings. Academic Objectives: 1.  Expose students to people from indigenous southern African cultures 2.  Expose students to the attempts to integrate indigenous people with the more modern Namibian economy 3   Provide students an opportunity to appreciate the challenges of overcoming unemployment and poverty among native peoples.