Subject

Understanding the Origins of Crime (OrigCrim)

by Aaron Sell
Overall course rating 91%
1. The course was interesting.
4
2. The course was sufficiently challenging.
3.5
3. The course enabled me to achieve my learning objectives.
3.5
4. I had a clear idea of what I was expected to do in this course.
3.5

Learn to understand criminal behaviour by looking at our evolutionary history and animal behaviour in general.

Course starts on:

28/04/2014

Course ends on:

27/05/2014

6,139 students have taken this course

27,091 videos have been watched

3,434 classroom posts

Enrol now ...It's free!
WARNING: This course contains content that some viewers may find disturbing.

What's it about?

Criminologists, like scientists generally, agree that life resulted from a process of natural selection. But most do not use that information when studying what crime is and why it exists. In this course, you will learn the process of natural selection and how it can be used to make sense of criminal behaviour.

Criminologists, like scientists generally, agree that life resulted from a process of natural selection. But most do not use that information when studying what crime is and why it exists. In this course, you will learn the process of natural selection and how it can be used to make sense of criminal behaviour.

We will use the theory of evolution to make sense of a broad range of crimes including several types of homicide, child abuse and neglect, spousal assault and group level aggression such as warfare, hooliganism, rioting, and gang fights.

What's involved?

Module 1Evolutionary Theory
8 videos, 7 quizzes, 1 assessment28 Apr - 4 May
Module 2Families and crime
8 videos, 7 quizzes, 1 assessment5 May - 11 May
Module 3“Status” homicides
9 videos, 8 quizzes, 1 assessment12 May - 18 May
Module 4War in its natural context
9 videos, 8 quizzes, 1 assessment19 May - 25 May

What will I learn?

  • What natural selection is and how to predict what it will do
  • The definition of “biological functionality” and some of the common misconceptions about it
  • Some of the basic lessons we can learn about our species and crime from an understanding of Darwinian theory
  • Why kin murder is so rare, but the reasons it does occur
  • Some of the reasons infanticide and child neglect occur
  • The origins of jealousy and its relationship to spousal homicides
  • The characteristics of a “typical” homicide
  • Why status is so important and how it relates to aggression
  • War and warriorship, and examples from across the animal kingdom
  • How natural selection rewards warfare
  • How pathogens relate to war in the modern world

This course requires approximately 2 - 4 hours of study per week, but can vary depending on the student. This includes watching videos, and taking quizzes and assessments.

If you pass this course you'll receive a Certificate of Achievement. While this certificate isn't a formal qualification or credit, you can use it to demonstrate your interest in learning about this area to potential employers or educational institutions.

Where to from here?

If you love this course, why not take your studies further? Here are some accredited qualifications that could help you achieve your goals.

Where could this lead me?

If you're wondering what your future could look like in this area, here are some potential careers you could head towards.

  • Policing and profiling
  • Corrections officer
  • Regulatory law enforcement
  • Customs official
  • Criminal justice, prevention and corrections
  • Justice administration and policy
  • Community development & health
  • Military services
  • Legal secretary
  • Legal support officer
  • Assistant paralegal

Still looking?

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Who's the instructor?

  • Aaron Sell

    Dr Aaron Sell lectures in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Griffith University doing research on anger and aggression from an evolutionary perspective. He received his PhD in evolutionary psychology from the prestigious Center for Evolutionary Psychology at UC Santa Barbara.

    Dr Aaron Sell lectures in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Griffith University doing research on anger and aggression from an evolutionary perspective. He received his PhD in evolutionary psychology from the prestigious Center for Evolutionary Psychology at UC Santa Barbara.

    Aaron’s research relates models of animal aggression to human anger. By doing this he is able to identify variables that predict aggression and anger in humans, and study how they differ between man and woman. His research has been widely covered in the press, and he teaches several popular courses at Griffith.

168 students are taking this course