PSYC 361
Nonviolence and Positive Psychology Fall 2023
Division III
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Class Details

In this course we will explore the theory and practice of nonviolence in the context of empirical research in Positive Psychology. Nonviolence refers to choosing not to threaten or injure others, and its practice requires cultivating personal qualities that enable such a choice. Positive Psychology refers to the scientific study of those personal qualities that enable people to live happy and fulfilling lives. We will begin by studying the history and moral theories of nonviolence. Using research from across the subdisciplines of psychology, we will then evaluate the empirical claims of those theories regarding psychological benefits of nonviolence to the practitioner, attitude change in the adversary, and effects on the larger community. An important focus of the course will be to critically assess the research methods and data analyses used in these studies. Topics will include self-control, gratitude, empathy, forgiveness, tolerance, courage, aggression, resisting violent assault, and civil disobedience.
The Class: Format: seminar; Class meetings will be primarily discussion-based
Limit: 19
Expected: 19
Class#: 1337
Grading: no pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Class attendance and participation, discussion leadership, literature searches for relevant empirical research papers, short papers in the form of research summaries, and a final paper in the form of an empirical research proposal.
Prerequisites: Any 200-level course in PSYC or permission of instructor
Enrollment Preferences: Psychology majors
Distributions: Division III
Attributes: PSYC Area 6 - Other/Interdisciplinary Psychology

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