MORALITY AND EMOTIONS - 2020/1
Module code: PSYM110
This module will examine critical perspectives in moral psychology, discussing critical debates about what morality is and how it should be defined and assessed. It will cover theoretical and empirical findings that explore how moral judgments are related to cognitions, behaviours, and emotions. This module will be assessed by a research proposal and an essay based exam.
RUSSELL Sophie (Psychology)
Number of Credits: 15
ECTS Credits: 7.5
Framework: FHEQ Level 7
JACs code: C880
Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A
Overall student workload
Prerequisites / Co-requisites
BSc Psychology Levels 4 and 5 or equivalent. This module has a capped number and may not be available to ERASMUS and other international exchange students. Please check with the departmental exchange coordinator
Indicative content includes:
Introduction to moral psychology
Universal truths versus cultural relativity
Rational versus Intuition explanations
Moral foundations theory
Morally condemning emotions
Exploring mental states: Responsibility, intentionality, consent, justification
Moral character and virtues
Antecedents and consequences of moral conviction
Putting morality into action
|Assessment type||Unit of assessment||Weighting|
|Coursework||RESEARCH PROPOSAL (2000 WORDS)||50|
|Examination||EXAM (90 MINUTES, ESSAY BASED)||50|
The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate
1. To build an understanding of the controversies surrounding moral psychology, specifically surrounding definitions and measurement of concepts. This learning outcome will be assessed by 1-3 of the assessment pattern. (C,K)
2. To demonstrate an understanding of the antecedents and consequences of moral judgments. This learning outcome will be assessed by 1-3 of the assessment pattern. (C,K)
3. To develop a research question that builds on prior theory and methods in moral psychology. This outcome will be assessed by 1 and 2 only.(C,K,T)
Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:
One research proposal (50%) (2,000 words)
One 90 minute essay based examination (50%) (in formal semester exam period)
Formative assessment and feedback
Written feedback on research proposal
Verbal feedback in lectures
- The module will outline theories that attempt to define what morality is. It will explore how we decide what is right and wrong. It will investigate whether moral principles are universal or culturally relative (Session 1, 2 and 4).
- The module will examine whether various cognitions and mental states are necessary for moral judgment. Previously, it was commonly emphasized that rational processes guide moral judgments; however, recent models in moral psychology have emphasized the impact of gut intuitions, affect, and emotions in guiding moral judgments (Session 3). It will then be explored whether certain mental states are crucial to determining whether something is right or wrong, and whether the mental states are necessary for different kinds of moral principles (Session 7).
- It will attempt to uncover some of the unique relationships between moral judgement and various emotions, indicating what makes an emotion a ‘moral emotion'. We will focus on defining three families of moral emotions 1) other-condemning emotions, e.g., anger and disgust (session 5); 2) self-conscious emotions (session 6), e.g., guilt and shame; 3) other-praising emotions, e.g., elevation and awe (session 8). Therefore, in this model we will not only be focusing on the negative side of morality but also positive aspects of morality, including positive moral emotions and virtues (session 8).
- The relationship between moral judgment and various behaviours will be explored, including the strength of the relationships. The implications of having moral conviction will be examined, specifically how moral conviction impacts our behaviors (e.g., political engagement, collective action, social distancing)-session 9. Previous research has uncovered that moral judgments can lead to acts of extreme goodness but it is also related to harm and destruction. Therefore, this module will explore why morality may predict such extreme actions (session 10).
|1||To build an understanding of the controversies surrounding moral psychology, specifically surrounding definitions and measurement of concepts.||KC|
|2||To demonstrate an understanding of the antecedents and consequences of moral judgments.||KC|
|3||To develop a research question that builds on prior theory and methods in moral psychology.||KCT|
C - Cognitive/analytical
K - Subject knowledge
T - Transferable skills
P - Professional/Practical skills
Methods of Teaching / Learning
The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:
- Enable students to build an understanding of the controversies surrounding moral psychology, specifically surrounding definitions and measurement of concepts.
- To enable students to demonstrate an understanding of the antecedents and consequences of moral judgments.
- To develop a research question that builds on prior theory and methods in moral psychology.
The learning and teaching methods include:
Lectures or 2hrs duration for 11 weeks
Group discussion and exercises in lectures
Surrey Learn discussion board and other materials
Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: PSYM110
Programmes this module appears in
|Social Psychology MSc||1||Optional||A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module|
Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2020/1 academic year.