Introduction to Psychology in Yale 10: Evolution&Rationality

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This lecture introduces students to the study of psychology from an evolutioinal perspective, the idea that like the body, natural selection has shaped the development of the human mind. Prominent argument for and against the theory of natural selection and its relationship to human psychology are reviewed. Students will hear several examples of how studing mental phenomenon from an evolutionary perspective can hep constrain theories in psychology as well as explain many prevalent human instincts that underlie many of our most basic behavior and decisions.

00:00 The modern biological account of the origin of psychological phenomena.

13:35 Avoiding misconceptions when applying evolutionary theory to psychology.

22:38 Claims against the evolutionary psychology.

26:42 Ways in which evolution helps describe the mind.

39:43 Heuristics: framing effects, base rates, availability bias and confirmation bias.

This course was recorded in Spring 2007.

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