PSYCH 317 : Evolution, Behaviour and Cognition
2021 Semester One (1213) (15 POINTS)
This course is for those interested in 'big questions' about the evolution of human behaviour and cognition. How can evolution help us understand what it is to be human? How did human intelligence evolve? Why did human behaviours such as culture and religion evolve? Do other animals have language, tool use, culture and consciousness? In the course, we address these questions and the methods that can be used to answer them, emphasizing the importance of a comparative, evolutionary approach. Specific areas that will be discussed include the evolution of cognitive biases, language, technical intelligence, social learning, culture, cooperation, religion, and consciousness. The course connects psychology to other disciplines including biology, anthropology, economics and philosophy and will be valuable for those hoping to pursue professional or research careers concerned with why humans behave and think the way we do.
Capabilities Developed in this Course
|Capability 1:||Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice|
|Capability 2:||Critical Thinking|
|Capability 3:||Solution Seeking|
|Capability 4:||Communication and Engagement|
- Develop insight into how evolutionary thinking can improve our understanding of behaviour and cognition (Capability 1 and 2)
- Analyse debates in comparative cognition about the relative abilities of humans and other animals (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
- Understand how to design behavioural experiments in comparative psychology (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
- Understand and explain how insights from evolutionary theory can be used to understand human and animal behaviour (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 4)
|Assessment Type||Learning Outcome Addressed|
This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.
For this course, you can expect 36 hours of lectures, 18 hours of lab tutorials, 36 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 48 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.
Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including tutorials/labs will be available as Powerpoint presentations but not full recordings.
The course will not include live online events.
Attendance on campus is required for the quiz and exam.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.
During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.
At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.
Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.
Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).
Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.
The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.
The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.
You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.
All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.
Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website http://disability.auckland.ac.nz
If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.
If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/academic-information/exams-and-final-results/during-exams/aegrotat-and-compassionate-consideration.html.
This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.
In the event of an unexpected disruption we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and your assessment is fair, and not compromised. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the University Website for information about how to proceed.
Student Charter and Responsibilities
The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/students/forms-policies-and-guidelines/student-policies-and-guidelines/student-charter.html.
Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.
In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.