|Instructor Info:||Neil Stillings|
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Human behavior and culture have displayed remarkable variation across groups and over time, yet the human brain is highly similar to the brains of other primates, and it has not evolved significantly since the ice age. In this course we will consider contemporary approaches to the question of how the human mind/brain evolved to support cultural variation. We will consider how processes of individual neurological and psychological development are related to processes of cultural stability and change. We will attempt to integrate insights from neuroscience, psychology, evolutionary theory, and anthropology to develop a more subtle account of human nature than any of these disciplines has been able to give on its own. We will explore these possibilities by reading and discussing key recent work. A major term paper and several shorter essays will be required. This course is restricted to advanced Division II and Division III students in relevant fields.
You are expected to devote 6 hours per week outside of class to reading and writing for this course. For further information, see the pdf document Notes About the Course below.
The powerpoint slides from the first class meeting, below, list the standard topic areas in evolutionary and cultural psychology. These might help you find a topic.
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