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Subject details

  • Topics
    • Evolutionary legacy of the human brain
    • Emotions and feelings
    • Sexual variety and reproduction
    • Sensory variety, including senses you don't have
    • Do mirror neurons explain culture?
    • What makes memories?
    • Childhood across cultures
    • Does every society have a 'self'?
    • Cognitive Dissonance: explaining contradictory behaviors
    • Modes of religiosity and piousness
    • Pathology and society: dissociation, schizophrenia, Tourette
    • Exporting anorexia: globalising psychiatry
    • Introduction/Conclusion to the topic
  • Study resources
    • Instructional Methods
      • Disscusion forum/Discussion Board
      • Online Quizzes/Tests
      • Online assignment submission
      • Podcasting/Leacture capture
      • Standard Media
    • Online Materials
      • Resources and Links

During this subject students will:

  1. discover and appreciate the variety of humanity, including the peculiarity of familiar Western personality traits, ways we understand ourselves, and common social roles
  2. interrogate the concept of ‘human nature’ to better understand the relationship between the universal traits of our species and the degree of variability found in these traits, including the evolutionary implications
  3. explore the role of social setting and norms in shaping human development through comparative research
  4. actively participate in discussion and debate about a range of topics in psychological anthropology, some of which have everyday applications (such as gender roles, emotional variation, sex and gender across cultures, and child rearing)
  5. gain a greater understanding of diverse techniques for investigating individual experience, including especially anthropological techniques such as ethnography, field-based techniques, and comparative approaches
  6. investigate in greater depth one area of special interest to the student in the study of human diversity through a research paper
  7. improve writing and critical reading skills through online participation forums.
  • Assignment 1 - Non-Invigilated Mid Term Exam (35%)
  • Assignment 2 - Online Discussion (15%)
  • Assignment 3 - Quiz (10%)
  • Assignment 4 - Research Paper (40%)

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a subject

No eligibility requirements

Special requirements

No special requirements

The subject introduces psychological anthropology, including emotional, cognitive, developmental, and perceptual dynamics across cultures. Psychological anthropology studies the relation between individual psychology and sociocultural diversity, for example, between psychopathology and social structure, between personality differences and childrearing practices, or between perceptual experience and a society's ideologies about the senses. A wide range of perspectives will be explored, from evolutionary psychology to neuroanthropology, and address such topics as consciousness including spirit possession, and cultural variation in insanity and impairment.

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