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PSY 17 — The Psychology of Guilt

Quarter: Spring
Day(s): Thursdays
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 5 weeks
Date(s): Apr 5—May 3
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm
Drop Deadline: Apr 18
Unit: 1
Tuition: $305
Instructor(s): Herant Katchadourian
Status: Open
7:00—8:50 pm
Apr 5—May 3
5 weeks
Drop By
Apr 18
1 Unit
Herant Katchadourian
Many of us are ambivalent about guilt. We recognize the need for it but would rather not experience it. However, guilt is an integral part of our lives, and we need to understand it in order to deal with it effectively. This course will address such questions as: What is guilt? How does it differ from shame or regret? What functions does it serve? What are its cultural and gender differences? And is the capacity for guilt part of our evolutionary heritage, or is it socially constructed? We will look at behaviors that typically induce guilt, the role of guilt in family and intimate relationships, healthy and unhealthy forms of guilt, and feelings of guilt when one has done no wrong. Finally, we will address the issue of how to deal with guilt—both as we experience it ourselves and as we induce it in others.

Grade restriction: No letter grade.

Herant Katchadourian, Professor of Psychiatry and Human Biology, Emeritus, Stanford; Former President, Flora Family Foundation

Herant Katchadourian has served as vice provost and dean of Undergraduate Studies at Stanford. He received the Dinkelspiel, Lyman, and ASSU awards and has been selected seven times as Outstanding Professor and Class Day speaker. His book Guilt: The Bite of Conscience will be the textbook for this course, and his memoir, The Way It Turned Out, will be an additional resource.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Herant Katchadourian, Guilt: The Bite of Conscience (ISBN 978-0-8047-7871-8)
(Optional) Herant Katchadourian, The Way it Turned Out (ISBN 978-981-4364-75-1)