PSYCHOLOGY OF HUMAN-ANIMAL RELATIONSHIPS

PSY3HAR

Not currently offered

Credit points: 15

This subject addresses La Trobe's Sustainability Thinking Essential. Sustainability Thinking entails deep appreciation of how the choices we make affects the natural, economic, social, political and cultural systems — now and in the future.

Subject outline

This subject provides students with the knowledge and critical thinking skills required to analyse and address questions concerning how non-human animals can and might co-exist within modern human societies, in an informed, objective and unbiased manner. Throughout the subject, students are provided with a broad and critical overview of theories and methods of scientific inquiry as they apply to the study of human-animal relationships,with an emphasis on developing practical solutions to challenging social issues. Online learning materials are used to provide current information about animal issues, with tutorials providing opportunities for students to engage in discussion, debate and further analysis. PSY3HAR addresses La Trobe's Sustainability Thinking Essential. Sustainability Thinking includes thinking critically, and developing well-informed views, about questions concerning how non-human animals can and might co-exist within modern and future human societies.

SchoolSchool of Psychology & Public Health

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorPauleen Bennett

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 3 - UG

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites Successful completion of 90 credit points of subjects OR coordinator's approval

Co-requisitesN/A

Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Describe the principles of adaptation, evolution and domestication and outline the significance of reciprocal human-animal relationships in shaping the development of human sensations, thoughts, language and culture, as well as physical and psychological characteristics of many animals

Activities:
Review written materials about adaptation, evolution and domestication, watch videos concerning prehistoric human-animal relationships, and respond to quiz questions about these issues. Formative Feedback: Tutorial Activities Summative Feedback: Quiz questions
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Inquiry/ Research
Discipline-specific GCs
Critical Thinking

02. Critically evaluate many of the current roles that animals play within human societies, including their roles in human health and well-being, education, sport, recreation and entertainment, and as pets and companions, resources, co-workers, units of exchange, pests and competitors.

Activities:
Investigate and analyse written and visual information about current roles for animals in society. Consider aspects of animal use and respond to quiz questions and interview style qusetions about these issues. Formative Feedback: Tutorial Activities Formative and Summative Feedback: Class Participation, Theoretical Essay Summative Feedback: Quiz questions
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Inquiry/ Research
Discipline-specific GCs
Writing
Creative Problem-solving
Critical Thinking

03. Debate the potential costs and benefits to humans and animals of having animals embedded within future societies in various different ways, including examination of the notion that some community members believe that animals should be valued independently of their utility for humans. Implications of these views for sustainability of current practices will be considered.

Activities:
Debate future roles for animals in society and explore a diverse range of views concerning how animals should be regarded by humans. Respond to questions in class and via a quiz about these issues Formative Feedback: Tutorial Activities Formative and Summative Feedback: Class participation. Summative Feedback: Quiz questions
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Creative Problem-solving
Critical Thinking
Ethical Awareness
Speaking

04. Demonstrate an understanding of the behavioral, cognitive and emotional capabilities of non-human animals, the applicability of science and applied ethics to 'animals in society' issues, and limitations to our current knowledge about animals through critical review of research, class discussion and interactive learning tools.

Activities:
Watch contemporary videos about animal cognition and review recent studies exploring animal minds. Consider diverse ethical perspectives, undertake interactive online activities and responding to quiz questions about these issues Formative Feedback: Tutorial Activities Formative and Summative Feedback: Interactive online activities. Summative Feedback: Quiz questions
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Discipline-specific GCs
Inquiry/ Research
Critical Thinking
Ethical Awareness
Creative Problem-solving

05. Use the knowledge of animal and human interactions acquired in the course to objectively and critically evaluate a current issue involving animals in society, particularly sustainability of various categories of animal use.

Activities:
Consider a range of controversial issues concerning animals in society and discuss these within class, and extend the concepts mastered to two novel issues by writing a reaction paper and answering interview-style questions. . Formative Feedback: Tutorial Activities Formative and Summative Feedback: Reaction Paper.
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Ethical Awareness
Critical Thinking
Speaking
Writing
Inquiry/ Research

06. Examine cross-cultural perspectives regarding animal use and evaluate diverse societal and personal values relating to issues regarding uses of animals in human society in order to demonstrate an appreciation of these issues and their relevance to Sustainability Thinking.

Activities:
Cross-cultural perspectives concerning animal use will be presented and analysed through reading exercises and class discussions. Students will be required to incorporate these ideas into their theoretical essay and and respond to quiz questions about these issues. Formative Feedback: Tutorial Activities Formative and Summative Feedback: Theoretical Essay Summative Feedback: Quiz questions
Related graduate capabilities and elements:
Critical Thinking
Writing
Speaking
Ethical Awareness

Subject options

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