ORGSTUDY 205 - Psychology of Inequality: Causes of Inequality and Potential Solutions
Section: 001
Term: WN 2018
Subject: Organizational Studies (ORGSTUDY)
Department: LSA Organizational Studies
Requirements & Distribution:
Credit Exclusions:
No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in PSYCH 297 - Promoting Equity and Inclusion in the University and the Workplace.
Waitlist Capacity:
Waitlist Notes:
For information about the waitlist, please contact the professor Arnold Ho (
Advisory Prerequisites:
One of: PSYCH 111 or 112 or 114 or 115 or 116.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This course examines psychological theories about why intergroup prejudice, discrimination, and inequality are so ubiquitous, both in organizations and beyond. We consider the possibility that human evolution predisposes us to be biased in favor of the groups we belong to over other groups, and explore how human motivation and social context work in conjunction to produce behavior that either increases or decreases social inequality. We will also consider how the way our minds work, independent of any motivation to be prejudiced, can lead to bias and discrimination. In addition to examining the causes of discrimination and inequality, we will examine possible paths forward to greater equality and inclusion (in organizations and in society more broadly). Throughout the course, we will examine the scientific evidence (data) supporting each theory we discuss, so that we can “check” our understanding of the problems we consider, and consider the effectiveness of solutions that have been proposed.

This course has several goals:

  1. To illustrate how theories and research from psychology can inform our understanding of why prejudice, discrimination, and inequality are ubiquitous.
  2. To examine possible interventions that may reduce discrimination and bring about greater equality.
  3. To help you make sense of scientific findings, so that findings can be translated into practice.
  4. To give you a forum to develop as a critical thinker and writer.

Course Requirements:

  • Discussion Comments and Questions – 20%
  • Participation – 15%
  • QuALMRI critical reading exercises – 2 x 10% each
  • Current topics paper – 20%
  • Policy brief – 25%

Intended Audience:

Lower Division Students

Class Format:

3 hours Lecture/week

ORGSTUDY 205 - Psychology of Inequality: Causes of Inequality and Potential Solutions
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
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