This module is a resource for lecturers  


Guidelines to develop a stand-alone course


This Module provides an outline for a three-hour class, but there is potential to develop its topics further into a stand-alone course. The scope and structure of such a course will be determined by the specific needs of each context, but a possible structure is presented here as a suggestion, based in part on the Core Readings and on the materials presented in the Module. A longer version of this Module would allow for a more in-depth exploration of the issues being raised in this Module, in addition to dealing with some other relevant issues. There is also the potential of combining material from other modules of the E4J Module Series on Integrity and Ethics, such as Module 8 (Behavioural ethics). Extending the Module to a stand-alone course could also potentially include an experiential learning component, such as community engagement, in which students are given the opportunity to engage in activities that invite reflection on the topics discussed in the course.



Brief description


The why of this course

Based on the underlying approach to ethical living described in the first three sections of this Module. One thing that needs to be stressed is how basic features about ourselves that work in our favour can play tricks on us unless we take responsibility for the shape of our lives. The idea of taking responsibility should be explored. The course could be seen as an occasion to show students the extent to which our ability to be responsible for our lives can be refined. Watch Why "Scout Mindset" is Crucial to Good Judgment. This course encourages students to develop a scout mindset.


Failing to see what is directly in front of you

Based on the Monkey Business Illusion and the Good Samaritan Experiment.


Cognitive dissonance and the confirmation bias

These two quirks of our psychology account for a large array of moral failings in addition to playing extremely important positive roles in our lives. Explore how rationalization, which also plays the important role of protecting us from the pain caused by dissonance, can play tricks on us. Read from Mistakes Were Made, But Not By Me.


Conformity: Asch's Experiment

Re-enact the experiment and use the video resource on the experiment to start a conversation.


Obedience: The Milgram Experiment

Use the video of the Milgram Experiment to trigger discussion on the power of obedience.


Stanford Prison Experiment

Watch the video resource and, if possible, the movie, The Stanford Prison Experiment, listed under Additional Teaching Tools.



Use the documentary, (Dis)honesty: The Truth about Lies. Also base discussion on readings from The (Honest) Truth about Dishonesty.


Colourism and throwing like a girl: exploring self-directed prejudice

Start by asking people to solve the following "riddle": A father and his son are in a car accident. The father dies at the scene and the son is rushed to the hospital. At the hospital the surgeon looks at the boy and says "I can't operate on this boy, he is my son." How can this be? Watch the documentary Dark Girls and the advert Always #LikeAGirl. Also watch the YouTube video Feminine Beauty: A Social Construct? and the documentary The World Before Her . Discuss.


Doll Test

See the following video showing how the Doll Test works. Discuss.


Moral Corruption

Read Rorty's 'How to Harden Your Heart' (listed above), highlight the different psychological mechanisms discussed there, and watch a selection of the following documentaries: The Armstrong Lie , Winter Soldier , Duch: Master of the Forges of Hell and The Act of Killing . Discuss these documentaries in light of what has been discussed above, paying particular attention to psychological mechanisms, highlighting how they are beneficial but can also play us tricks.



Concluding remark and discussion based on a viewing of The Push and This is Water . Discuss. How does the commencement speech in the latter film speak to the aims of the course?


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