Warning! This unit contains mature content and may not be suitable for some students. Any student under the age of 16 who would like to enrol in this unit must first complete a Parental Consent Form.

Subject details

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.
    • 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

      • Discussion forum/Discussion Board
      • Online Quizzes/Tests
      • Online assignment submission
      • Podcasting/Lecture capture
      • Standard Media
    • Online materials

      • Resources and Links


Students must have completed some subjects at level 1 before enrolling in this subject.

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.

  • Non-Invigilated Mid Term Exam (35%)
  • Online Discussion (15%)
  • Quiz (10%)
  • Research Paper (40%)

Textbooks are not required.

Textbook information is pending.

Related degrees

undergraduate MAQ-ART-DEG-2019

Bachelor of Arts

  • Major in Ancient History
  • Major in English
  • Major in Modern History
  • Major in Philosophy
  • Major in Politics
  • Major in Society and Culture
  • Major in Sociology
  • Major in Creative Writing