Department of Global and Interdisciplinary Studies

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PSY300ZA(心理学 / Psychology 300)
Psychology of Morality

Christopher Michael KAVANAGH

Class code etc
Faculty/Graduate school Department of Global and Interdisciplinary Studies
Attached documents
Year 2022
Class code A6335
Previous Class code
Previous Class title
Term 秋学期授業/Fall
Day/Period 火2/Tue.2
Class Type
Campus 市ヶ谷 / Ichigaya
Classroom name 各学部・研究科等の時間割等で確認
Grade 3~4
Credit(s) 2
Open Program
Open Program (Notes)
Global Open Program
Interdepartmental class taking system for Academic Achievers
Interdepartmental class taking system for Academic Achievers (Notes) 制度ウェブサイトの3.科目別の注意事項 (1) GIS主催科目の履修上の注意を参照すること。
Class taught by instructors with practical experience
Urban Design CP
Diversity CP
Learning for the Future CP
Carbon Neutral CP
Chiyoda Campus Consortium
Duplicate Subjects Taken Under Previous Class Title
Category (commenced 2024 onwards)
Category (commenced 2020-2023)
Category (commenced 2016-2019)

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Outline and objectives

This course is designed to introduce students to the major theoretical perspectives and empirical research on the psychology of morality. In recent decades there has been a renaissance in research exploring morality and its associated psychological aspects. Accordingly, this course will focus primarily on psychological research on morality from a variety of fields (including cognitive psychology, comparative psychology, social psychology, developmental psychology, and evolutionary psychology) but will also include discussion of related work in philosophy, animal behavior, economics, and neuroscience. The course is intended to provide an introductory overview to the psychology of morality while also addressing core questions, such as: What is morality? Where does it come from? Do humans have core innate moral intuitions or are they socially learned and culturally dependent? Is there evidence of morality in any other species? By the end of the course, the students will have a greater appreciation of potential answers to these questions and then ongoing debates that surround them.


By the end of the course, students should be able to: (1) recognise and understand the key terms and major theoretical approaches in the psychology of morality; (2) discuss relevant studies and identify the strengths and weaknesses in their methodology and theoretical models; (3) compare and contrast different psychological theories of morality and discuss their application to selected scenarios; (4) critically evaluate the key theoretical approaches and their potential relevance to everyday life and moral judgments.

Which item of the diploma policy will be obtained by taking this class?

Will be able to gain “DP 1”, “DP 2”, “DP 3”, and “DP 4”.

Default language used in class

英語 / English

Method(s)(学期の途中で変更になる場合には、別途提示します。 /If the Method(s) is changed, we will announce the details of any changes. )

This course will be taught primarily through a combination of lectures and group discussion. In the first part of the class the lecture will introduce key topics and theories and the group discussions will focus on related readings and issues of debate. Reaction papers will be assigned for selected topics in order to encourage engagement with relevant issues. Over the course of the semester, students will be required to prepare an oral presentation that discusses the research on a topic of their choosing covered on the course. The mid term and final exams will consist of questions that will evaluate the lecture content and core readings. Exams will be conducted on and feedback will be provided through Google Classrooms.

Active learning in class (Group discussion, Debate.etc.)

あり / Yes

Fieldwork in class

なし / No


授業形態/methods of teaching:対面/face to face


1[オンライン/online]:Introduction to Psychology of Morality

Introduction to the course and review of the syllabus. Defining morality.

2[対面/face to face]:What is morality?

Introducing key psychological theories of morality, including classical approaches & moral foundations theory.

3[対面/face to face]:Where does morality come from?

Exploring the evolutionary origins of morality and comparative research on morality in non-humans.

4[対面/face to face]:Morality and religion

Examining the complex relationship between religion and morality and the impact of concepts like supernatural punishment and High Gods.

5[対面/face to face]:Person Centred Morality

Exploring how a person centred approach to morality might offer an alternative to deontological and utilitarian perspectives.

6[対面/face to face]:Developmental Psychology and Morality

Addressing the evidence for innate moral intuitions in infants.

7[対面/face to face]:Mid-Term Exam & Review

Mid-Term Exam & Review

8[対面/face to face]:Emotions and Moral Judgments

Examining the role that emotional responses, especially disgust, play in determining moral judgments and the social intuitionist model

9[対面/face to face]:Mind Perception and Moral Judgement

Reviewing how perception of intentionality & agency impact moral judgements and the Dyadic Morality model

10[対面/face to face]:Empathy: For & Against

Exploring the arguments for and against empathy as a core component of ethical moral systems.

11[対面/face to face]:The role of punishment in morality

Examining the role of punishment in moral systems and how it influences psychological responses

12[対面/face to face]:Moral Responsibility, Free Will & Determinism

Addressing the various perspectives on free will and how they impact concepts of moral responsibility.

13[対面/face to face]:Morality, Genetics, and Politics

Exploring the role that moral sentiments play in determining political beliefs and whether there is evidence these are impacted by genetic factors.

14[対面/face to face]:Final Examination & Wrap-up

Final Exam & Course Wrap Up

Work to be done outside of class (preparation, etc.)

Students are expected to complete weekly reading assignments, participate in class discussions, and prepare an oral presentation on a topic of their choice. Reaction papers will be assigned for specific weeks and can be submitted online via Google Classroom. Preparatory study and review time for this class will be at least 4 hours per week.


All readings will be distributed by the instructor.


Joshua Greene (2014). Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason and the Gap Between Us and Them (English Edition), Penguin Books.
Valerie Tiberius (2014). Moral Psychology: A Contemporary Introduction(First Edition), Routledge Contemporary Introductions to Philosophy).
These books are not necessary to buy but provide good introductions to the topics covered on the course.

Grading criteria

Presentations 20%
Mid-term exam 25%
Final exam 25%
Weekly in-class participation 15%
Reaction papers & Homework 15%

Changes following student comments

The lecture schedule has been revised to make related topics come closer together. In-class presentation of readings have been removed in order to facilitate more active group discussions. Reaction papers have been added to facilitate engagement with weekly topics.

Equipment student needs to prepare

There is no specialist equipment required beyond a PC/laptop and access to the internet. Some classes may be held online. Weekly readings and reaction papers will be distributed via Google Classroom.




You must have taken and received credits in at least 2 courses in psychology.