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030622 VO Evolution and Biology of Human Behavior (2021W)

3.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 3 - Rechtswissenschaften
Th 09.12. 14:00-16:00 Digital


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


Language: German

Examination dates


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Thursday 14.10: Overview on the topics of the lecture as well as an introduction in evolutionary Biology

Thursday 14.10. 14:00 - 16:00 Digital
Thursday 21.10. 14:00 - 16:00 Digital
Thursday 28.10. 14:00 - 16:00 Digital
Thursday 04.11. 14:00 - 16:00 Digital
Thursday 11.11. 14:00 - 16:00 Digital
Thursday 02.12. 14:00 - 16:00 Digital
Thursday 16.12. 14:00 - 16:00 Digital
Thursday 13.01. 14:00 - 16:00 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

The aim of the course is to demonstrate how our behavior has evolved in the course of human evolution, which genetic and epigenetic basics our behavior has in interaction with the environment. The advances in modern biology are of particular importance to criminal law, as they show that our individual choices / emotions and responses are not independent of our evolution and genetics. Our genome is interacting with the environment and affecting our behavior.
The lecture will focus on the following topics: evolution, cooperation, environment and behavior genetics; Evolution and the emergence of antisocial behavior including violence – the interaction of environment and genetics; as well as the evolutionary and genetic bases of attitudes (for instance politics and religion).
The course also teaches basic methods of evolutionary biology, genetics and molecular biology, with a special focus on “Genome Wide Association Studies” and “Polygenic Risk Scores”, as these methods will grow on importance beyond biology.

Assessment and permitted materials

Written examination on the content of the lecture, consisting of 4 broad questions.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

4 points for each of the 4 questions (16 in total), for a positive examination more than 8 points are necessary.

Examination topics

the content of the lecture- the slides will be provided

Reading list

Eckart V. Soziobiologie: Die Evolution von Kooperation und Konkurrenz. Springer 2013 ISBN-10: 9783642345401

Knopik S.V. et al. Behavior Genetics 7th Edition. Worth 2016. ISBN-10: 1464176051

Buss D. Evolutionary Psychology: The New Science of the Mind (English Edition) 6th Edition, 2019. Kindle Edition

Conley D. Fletcher J. The Genome Factor: What Social Genomics Tells Us about Ourselves, Our History, and the Future. Princeton Univers. Press (22 Feb 2017) ISBN-10: 9780691164748

Plomin, R. (2019). Blueprint: How DNA makes us who we are. Mit Press.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Mo 29.11.2021 15:08