Evolution, Culture and Mind

An evolutionary approach to viewing humans as a species socialized into meaning-making, focusing on biological, cultural, and evolutionary bases of human behaviour, and on applying different approaches to culture to understand the self, and the functioning of societies and culture.

Course code

Qualifications are made up of courses. Some universities call these papers. Each course is numbered using six digits.



The fourth number of the course code shows the level of the course. For example, in course 219206, the fourth number is a 2, so it is a 200-level course (usually studied in the second year of full-time study).



Each course is worth a number of credits. You combine courses (credits) to meet the total number of credits needed for your qualification.




Course planning information

Course notes

Note: This course is Internet based. Regular internet access is required.

Assessments 2, 4 and 6 are compulsory.

Prerequisite courses

Complete first

You need to complete the above course or courses before moving onto this one.

General progression requirements

You must complete at least 45 credits from 200-level before enrolling in 300-level courses.

Learning outcomes

What you will learn. Knowledge, skills and attitudes you’ll be able to show as a result of successfully finishing this course.

  • 1 Demonstrate an understanding of how an evolutionary approach to psychology builds greater knowledge of human society and how individuals and groups act within societies and across cultures.
  • 2 Identify different approaches to culture in psychology, and use these to a) understand people from different cultures better, and b) evaluate evidence about whether psychological and behavioural phenomena are universal or culture-specific.
  • 3 Demonstrate critical understanding of how the mind and self-concept are influenced by culture, and be able to locate one’s own self in relation to others and with respect to biculturalism and the Treaty of Waitangi.
  • 4 Demonstrate skills using the internet critically as a study resource for gaining empirical evidence for and against different views of evolution, culture, and mind.

Learning outcomes can change before the start of the semester you are studying the course in.


Assessment Learning outcomes assessed Weighting
Test 1 2 3 7%
Portfolio 1 2 3 4 24%
Test 1 2 3 7%
Written Assignment 1 2 3 4 30%
Test 1 2 3 7%
Exam College/GRS-based (not centrally scheduled) 1 2 3 25%

Assessment weightings can change up to the start of the semester the course is delivered in.

You may need to take more assessments depending on where, how, and when you choose to take this course.

Explanation of assessment types

Computer programmes
Computer animation and screening, design, programming, models and other computer work.
Creative compositions
Animations, films, models, textiles, websites, and other compositions.
Exam College or GRS-based (not centrally scheduled)
An exam scheduled by a college or the Graduate Research School (GRS). The exam could be online, oral, field, practical skills, written exams or another format.
Exam (centrally scheduled)
An exam scheduled by Assessment Services (centrally) – you’ll usually be told when and where the exam is through the student portal.
Oral or performance or presentation
Debates, demonstrations, exhibitions, interviews, oral proposals, role play, speech and other performances or presentations.
You may be assessed on your participation in activities such as online fora, laboratories, debates, tutorials, exercises, seminars, and so on.
Creative, learning, online, narrative, photographic, written, and other portfolios.
Practical or placement
Field trips, field work, placements, seminars, workshops, voluntary work, and other activities.
Technology-based or experience-based simulations.
Laboratory, online, multi-choice, short answer, spoken, and other tests – arranged by the school.
Written assignment
Essays, group or individual projects, proposals, reports, reviews, writing exercises, and other written assignments.