Learning outcomes of the course unit
- Main objective of the Course is the development of a study path that will enhance the student’s critical attitude and ability to compare recent research on animal and human behaviour with the older ones, to understand haow evolutionary psychology has in progress of time assimilated the rules of biologystudying the adaptation of species to environment. To reach this objective the acquisition of psychological and biological competences will be crucial, so these notions will be widely discussed during the lessons.
- Knowledge of the main evolutionary theories, to analyze their theoretical and conceptual frames
. - Knowledge and ability to interpretate the transformation in biologic system, including the cultural ones, in the wider frame of general transformation in animal and human societies.
- Acquire descriptive and analytical competences on the core role of biologic-behavioural and evolutionary processes.
- Ability to interpretate in psychological key, i.e. according of mental functions, the animal and human behaviour.
Course contents summary
The first section of the course will deal with the history of evolutionary psychology, how and when it is born and its most important authors in the 20th and 21th centuries.
The second section of the course will follow scientific developments and single aspects of the matter in depth.
Historical development of studies in animal and human psychology conducted by Hobhouse, Lloyd Morgan, Thorndike, Lashley, Lorenz, Yerkes, Kohler, Ladygina-Kohts, Eibl-Eibefeldt and others. Culture: men and monkeys in comparison. Mind evolution and mind theory. Environment,articulated language and sign language. Self-awareness. Selection of sexual partner in man and animals. Conflict, antagonism and conflict inhibitors. Parents-sons conflict, parenting investment, rank and matriarchate in animals and humans. The origin of inequality and equality: Homme and Enfant Sauvage in Rousseau. Group life and evolution in social organization.
A. Tartabini, Fondamenti di psicologia evoluzionistica, Liguori 2012;
David Buss, Psicologia evoluzionistica, Pearson, Milano 2012.
A. Tartabini, Uomini e scimmie in pericolo, Mursia, Milano, 2013
- The main teaching method will be frontal lesson. During the Course multimedia and interactive resources will be used to integrate contents and promote an active dialogue with students.
Assessment methods and criteria
- Final assessment will consist in oral examination on lesson’s contents and specific literature made available to the student.
- Ability to establish relationship betweenp sychological and biological aspects of animal behavour will be assessed. This ability is the main focus both of frontal lessons and bibliography.
- Written examination will be based on open questions with limitation in length for answers (7 lines). They will not be limited to content assessment, but will be formulated in order to understand if the candidate is able to establish relationships between the various theoretical and methodological frameworks, according to lessons content and reference bibliography.
- The assessment criteria are three:
1. Knowledge of the main topics of the lessons articulated in thematic paths, and of the reference bibiography.
2. Ability to understand historical, theoretical and methodological problems fo the subject matter.
3. Ability to establish relationships between the different contents and aspects of the subject matter.
If the student complies with all of these three criteria, he will be evaluated with 18/30 mark or more.