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Continuing Studies

Biological Foundations of Ethics and Boundaries

continuingstudies.wisc.edu/8706-C-PDAS See upcoming dates


This virtual learning class is being offered remotely at the listed day/time. Details, including instructions for accessing an online learning platform via the internet or dial-in option, will be provided to registrants. Participants earn 2 hours of ethics/boundaries continuing education. Take additional units to meet your requirements for 4 or 6 ethics/boundaries CE hours.

Studying ethical behavior in the research setting leads to some surprising insights. Notably, we humans are remarkably similar in the way we construct our moral codes and remarkably inconsistent in how we apply them. Research in economics, social science, and biology tells us that our ethical behavior is complex and our deepest motivations are not easily understood. Human history, though, provides ample evidence that learning more about what we believe and why can give us more control over our moral behavior, allowing us to become better, more ethical people.

This presentation will be about the biological origins of "ethical" behavior. The purpose of the day is to help participants understand the roots of why we believe some acts are moral and some are not and how our brains complicate efforts to solve moral dilemmas.


Learning objectives

At the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Describe several ways that experimental scientists study morality
  • Explain the unconscious yet persuasive nature of making moral choices
  • List the five components of the moral mind
  • Analyze how individuals disengage from their ethical standards

Course Outline

Course outline

  • Contributions of philosophy, economics, political science, psychology and physiology to the study of descriptive ethics
  • Empathy and fairness
  • In group/outgroup
  • Honesty and our "fudge" factor
  • Moral disengagement, money, and privilege
  • Dealing with our cognitive biases

Earn Continuing Education Hours

By participating in this class you will earn:

Instructional Hours 2
University of Wisconsin Continuing Education Units .2
American Psychological Association - Continuing Education Credit 2
Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services - Substance Abuse Counselors - Continuing Education Credit Hours 2
Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services - Marriage and Family Therapists - Continuing Education Credit Hours 2
Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services - Social Workers - Continuing Education Credit Hours 2

Explanation of Continuing Education Hours

Upcoming dates (0)

Not scheduled at this time. Join the mailing list.

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Program Questions?

Contact Meghan Wilhelmi at meghan.wilhelmi@wisc.edu or 608-263-2829

Registration Questions?

Email registrations@pyle.wisc.edu or call 608-262-2451.

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