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Discovering the Person

PSYC 259
Spring 2012
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: AMST 259, SISP 259
Certificates: Civic Engagement

This course surveys major developments in psychology and psychiatry from 1860 to 1980. Through readings and lectures, the course introduces the major schools, theories, and systems in the American "psy" sciences. We examine the kinds of persons who were "discovered," the techniques of discovery, the extensions of psychological ideas to institutions and policy formulations, and the consequences of these discoveries for public as well as private life. We examine characteristics of the new persons who were located, catalogued, and explained by these sciences including irrationality, sexuality, cognitive powers (and fallibilities), personality types, emotional processes, neurotic behaviors, intelligence, addictive tendencies, and a receding if not nonexistent will. Attention is also given to the scientific grounds for investigating persons (from realist to dynamic nominalist and social constructionist), the evidence sought in the century-long process of finding and naming psychological kinds, and the modes of producing this knowledge (aggregate methods, case study, and theories). Readings include primary source documents, histories of the disciplines, and philosophical analyses.

Essential Capabilities: Ethical Reasoning, Interpretation
The course requires students gain skills to interpret primary source materials (psychological texts) in historical context and in terms of competing interpretations. Students will be expected to acquire the ability to present and defend historical interpretations of psychological writings. Additionally, the course emphasizes the ethical dimensions of psychological theory, research, and applications. To this end, students will acquire skills to identify the underlying values and ethical bases of psychological ideas and to consider the implications of these values and ethical presupposition.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: SBS PSYC
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: PSYC105
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (AMST)(PSYC)(SISP)
Past Enrollment Probability: 50% - 74%

Last Updated on APR-23-2014
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