OSHR 1328 - Psychology of Morality: In-Groups, Out-Groups, and the Liberal-Conservative Divide

  • Noncredit
  • Fort Collins

This course is offered through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Colorado State University. You must be a member of Osher to enroll in this course.

Ethics, long the domain of philosophy, is now being studied by psychology, which brings an evolutionary understanding of both the brain and moral reactions in social context. Basic features of morality have been studied in social animals such as great apes and in infants.

As shown in prisoner dilemma games and trolley dilemmas, people make rapid moral judgments based on intuition and emotion rather than rational deliberation. An important finding is that our intuitive morality leads to different reactions for in-group and out-group members. Can we reason our way to extending our pro-social moral reactions to out-groups? How do liberals and conservatives differ in moral reactions? Can we transcend our tribal differences?

Reading: Greene, Joshua; Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap between Us and Them; 2013. Available in paperback (ISBN-13: 978-0143126058), hardcover (ISBN-13: 978-1594202605), and ebook.

Please Note: Class will not be held on November 25.

Noncredit courses do not produce academic credit nor appear on a Colorado State University academic transcript.