The Psychology of Good and Evil
Academy in the Liberal Arts and Sciences
Are people consistently either good or evil? Or are our actions more variable and nuanced than that? What leads people to engage in the most selfless acts of goodwill, and what leads them to commit acts of cruelty? This academy explores the biological, developmental, and social factors that contribute to prosocial and antisocial behavior. Through vibrant discussions and hands-on experiences, you will work to understand unselfish altruism and unfeeling psychopathy. You will seek answers by studying the brain, critically examining social systems, and exploring prominent psychological theories and evidence.
Class sessions may include discussions of current research on moral decision making, a reflection on the legacy of Milgram’s obedience study, a critical look at the Stanford Prison Study, exploration and dissection of the brain, examinations of predictors of altruism, a close look at what drives psychopaths, and discussions of how we can use big science to find answers.
Where and when
Schedule and Syllabus of Readings
The days activities go here…