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CAMSUA 9145 - Morality in Childhood

How do children come to know right from wrong? Do we enter the world as blank moral slates who must learn right and wrong, or are we born with an innate moral sense? How do parents, peers, school, culture, and the media influence and shape our moral development? To answer these questions, this course explores the science of morality, a burgeoning field that has emerged at the intersection of developmental, social, and evolutionary psychology, philosophy, and neuroscience, and now forms a core component of the scientific study of human nature.In this course, we first define morality and learn about how it is studied scientifically. We then talk about babies, beasts, and brains, and what research with each of these can tell us about morality, where it comes from, and how it develops during childhood. Next, we consider in more detail the role of parents, peers, school, and society in shaping moral development from infancy to adulthood. We will consider how today’s youth negotiate the challenges of the modern world, including bullying in school and on the Internet, the influence of the media and popular culture, and hate and prejudice.
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Fall 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2018
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