The Floating University

Review Questions

  1. (1.) Modern humans are sometimes nice to strangers. We give our money, our time, even our blood, to people that we don’t know. What is the psychology behind this? How much of it reflects a universal human nature; how much of it is the product of culture? 
  2. (2.) Religions—such as Christianity, Islam, and Judaism—make strong claims about topics such as the nature of the mind, its relationship to the physical world, and the origin of morality. Do these clash with what what psychologists have to say about these topics? If so, how should we deal with this clash? 
  3. (3.) A theme of this lecture is the tension between reason and emotion. Where do you stand on this? How important do you think reason and emotion are in our everyday lives? 
  4. (4.) The lectures and readings covered three main topics—compassion, racism, and sex. To what extent are these traits special to humans, and to what extent are they shared with other creatures? 
  5. (5.) Focusing on each of these topics, can you think of practical applications for the research that we discussed?