Course code:



IM - Introductory/Intermediate

Class size limit:


“Risk” is an inherent feature of life, conceptualized and experienced in many different ways. In some contexts, such as embarking on a challenging sought-after change, seeking adventure, or initiating a new project or business, risk might be tolerated or seen, in balance, as desirable. In other contexts, risk may be cast primarily in negative terms, something to be avoided or minimized, such as when the outcome might be an illness or degradation of the environment. Individual choices as well as cultural and political influences and just plain “chance” are all at play. The course focuses on psychological perspectives on risk, but within an interdisciplinary framework of readings and applications. Our examination of the meanings of risk and how we as individuals respond to risk will thus draw upon psychological and other social science and policy literatures, a variety of case studies—plus reflection on our own proclivities towards risk. Evaluation will be based on engagement in class discussion and activities, brief essays applying and integrating course readings, and a project with associated paper exploring a chosen topic in more depth. Depending on class size and students’ interests, projects may be coordinated around common themes, possibly community-based, and/or undertaken in teams.



Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.