Course Descriptions

PSY 222 - Social Psychology of the Holocaust

3 Credits

This course takes an unflinching look into the darkest corners of human nature, explored through the social psychological lens. Using the Holocaust as a stark example, we will learn how powerful social psychological phenomena can contribute to the human capacity for brutality and cruelty. We will explore the roles of attitude formation, propaganda, prejudice, discrimination, scapegoating, aggression, bystander behavior, and more as we seek to come to terms with the events of the Holocaust and the behaviors of the individuals caught up in those events. Along the way we will learn lessons applicable to modern-day acts of human cruelty both large and small, and identify characteristics of societies that either facilitate or deter mass killings and genocides. 3 credits. (SUNY-SS)

Course Learning Outcomes
1. Describe the methods used in key social psychological research investigating acts of human cruelty.
2. Describe the specific contextual factors that are central to facilitating evil interpersonal acts, using the Holocaust as an example.
3. Describe the specific person-based factors that are central to facilitating evil interpersonal acts, using the Holocaust as an example.
4. Describe the specific contextual factors that are central to understanding the behaviors of victims, bystanders, and rescuers.
5. Describe the specific person-based factors that are central to understanding the behaviors of victims, bystanders, and rescuers.
6. Discuss the models that social scientists have constructed to explain how a society can develop systems for mass killing and genocide.
7. Discuss the models that social scientists have constructed to explain how a society can rationalize mass killing and genocide.
8. Explain how lessons learned from studying the Holocaust are applicable to modern-day events.
9. Outline factors that have been identified as deterrents to mass killings and genocide.

Course Offered Fall and Spring

Use links below to see if this course is offered:
Intersession 2019
Spring Semester 2019
Summer Session 2019