The World is Going to Hell

Or is it? Are humans becoming more or less violent over time? How would we know? Human violence is, according to the news, a simple fact of life, yet the question of whether we are becoming more or less violent over time is one that is not simple to answer. This course will explore various types of violent behavior over the last several hundred years and, in doing so, will ask important questions concerning the selection, measurement, and interpretation of relevant data. Critical thinking and the objective analysis of data will be emphasized, but we will also talk about the psychological factors that are important when confronting one’s own opinions and theories with data that may or may not support them.