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Perspectives on Death/Dying

The course presents the issues relevant to the understanding and application of research methods in the study of human behavior and organizational variables. Aspects of conducting research, methodologies for analysis, and studying and preparing a research project are covered.

CAVEAT: No graduate credit will be awarded if PSY3735 has been successfully completed.


1. Describing the presence of and practices related to death and dying within various cultures, with particular emphasis upon the United States.

2. Identifying stereotypical relationships established between aging and dying.

3. Describing the multidimensional nature of death anxiety.

4. Examining links between death anxiety and psychosocial adjustment, i.e., coping strategies, pathology, and/or stress reactions.

5. Considering trends in societal attitudes toward euthanasia.

6. Exploring the responses of family, co-workers, and friends to a dying person.

7. Analyzing the psychological and philosophical foundations for dying found in the predominant literature and media of the day.

8. Examining the interrelationship between the process of living and dying.

9. Analyzing public policies and practices related to issues of dying.

10. Analyzing the personal consequences and consequences to family members of not having legal documents and funeral arrangements prearranged before death.

11. Comparing and contrasting healthy and unhealthy grieving.

12. Conducting a cross-cultural comparison of institutionalized practices for dealing with death and dying.

13. Focusing on issues of dying and grieving specific to cases of suicide.

14. Analyzing the factors that contribute to higher suicide rates in certain populations and how these rates can be lowered.

15. Examining the relationship among selected demographics such as age, gender, religious preference, educational level and one’s expressed death anxiety.

16. Developing a source of information for use by professionals and the public who are addressing issues of death and dying.

17. Exploring areas of thanatology that require further research.

18. Identifying the different cultural and religious perspectives on the meaning of death.

19. Defining and examining near-death experiences.


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