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Yale University

Introduction to Psychology

Yale University via Coursera


What are people most afraid of? What do our dreams mean? Are we natural-born racists? What makes us happy? What are the causes and cures of mental illness? This course tries to answer these questions and many others, providing a comprehensive overview of the scientific study of thought and behavior. It explores topics such as perception, communication, learning, memory, decision-making, persuasion, emotions, and social behavior. We will look at how these aspects of the mind develop in children, how they differ across people, how they are wired-up in the brain, and how they break down due to illness and injury.


  • Welcome to Introduction to Psychology
    • Meet Paul Bloom, your instructor.
  • Foundations
    • In this module, you will learn about foundational psychological theories and findings in psychology. We will start with the discovery that our mental lives have a physical basis, introducing the field of neuroscience. And then we will turn to two major psychological theories that have come to shape the world that we now live in—Freud’s psychodynamic theory and Skinner’s theory of behaviorism.
  • Development and Language
    • In this module, you will learn about foundational psychological research into development and language. Specifically, you will learn about methods for studying how infants and children think and the core discoveries that they have led to. Then you will learn about the structure of language, how language is learned, and end with a little bit on animal communication, language processing, and relationship between language and thought.
  • Cognition
    • In this module, you will learn about cognitive psychology. Specifically, you will learn about how we perceive the world, how attention works, and we store our experiences in memory.
  • Self and others
    • In this module, you will learn about psychology examining the self and others. Specifically, in the first half, you will learn about social and non-social emotions. In the second half, you will learn about how we deal with other people—social psychology.
  • Variation
    • In this module, you will learn human variation. The focus will focus on personality and intelligence, and the role of genes and environment in explaining individual differences. The second half will focus on clinical psychology by reviewing prominent mental illnesses and therapies.
  • The good life
    • In the final module, you will learn how psychologists measure happiness and what factors contribute to the good life

Taught by

Paul Bloom


4.8 rating, based on 17 Class Central reviews

4.9 rating at Coursera based on 27939 ratings

Start your review of Introduction to Psychology

  • This course was an excellent introduction to psychology, covering a very broad range of topics. The concepts were clearly explained with interesting examples. Moreover, the structure of the course was well developed and the relationship between diff…
  • As someone who has finished college long ago, is currently in medical & graduate school without having experienced a formal rigorous course in psychology, and is deeply interested in neuroscience, this offering by Dr. Bloom and Yale University is such a blessing. After finishing the course, I feel that I have obtained a great bird's-eye view of this vast field and have identified concepts & sub-fields that I should look into in greater depth for biomedical research and clinical practice. Furthermore, the course is well-made in terms of aesthetics and I deeply appreciate the cartoon-sketch presentation.
  • This course helped me to become more conscious not only about others' behavior, but also about myself. I improved my social skills and also became more conscious of the need of changing habits and improved also my overall well-being. The course has many reading resources to imrpove learning in additional to the lectures. Things I didn't expect to learn this course taught me, and I feel proud of achieving the goal of finishing the course before the final deadline.
  • A clear, enjoyable introduction to the subject. The amount of time I spent each week varied significantly - the first week being the longest and the last week the shortest. The presentation is animated throughout - I didn't mind that although I think some people prefer seeing the professor in person. His style is relaxed and engaging.
  • Anonymous
    This course provides a high-level overview of psychology as an academic field and covers areas including memory, intelligence, personality, and mental illness.
  • Ziqian Zhang
    This is a fantastic introduction to psychology that gives you the fundamentals of the subject. It covers a wide range of topics and the little assessments are not hard yet extremely helpful in helping you understanding the topics covered. There are also animations that are nice to have.
  • Profile image for Kim Goed
    Kim Goed
    You do get a really good introduction to Psychology. It gives you the right understanding of the basic principles, research methods and history of Psychology. I would definitely recommend this course to give you a good perspective of the field of Psychology
  • Anonymous
    boy oh boy this course is great. i sincerely recommend all interested in psychology and its fundamental beginnings to enroll in this course. professor bloom offers engaging animated videos that keep you hooked! :)
    also at the end there are quizzes to make sure you've actually learnt something and alongside that they give you reference readings from the site called "noba project" that has about everything you need to know as a budding psychologist
    in the gist of it, heck yes i really enjoyed this course, its really worth your time and hats off to prof bloom and the wonderful Coursera people who blessed us with this wonder of a course.
  • Pooja
    I am Pooja Sharma from Delhi , India. I have done my masters in Applied psychology from Delhi university, India. Currently I am working as a psychologist in a college. In further I want to do mphil in clinical psychology and want to be the best psychologist in The world.
  • Anonymous
    Excellent instructor, he gives lots of examples which makes you understand the concepts without the need for reviewing the material to memorize. Although it was my first time studying psychology, it was very easy to understand.

    The recommended readings are also great. Lots of references, so you can go further on the subjects you are more interested.

  • Anonymous
    Um curso muito interessante, principalmente nos dias atuais onde questões de saúde mental estão cada dia mais sendo colocadas em pauta.
  • Anonymous
    I'm learning alot. Loving how convenient this class is and easy to follow along with. Will be recommending this to all my friends colleagues and family.
  • Anonymous
    This is one of my favorite courses I’ve taken on coursera. Thank you professor, for creating this course and unfolding the beautiful world of human mind
    Muito bom a iniciativa desde curso para o aprimoramento do desenvolvimento do conceito da psicologia
  • Anonymous
    These lessons are good, allowing us to know this field and expand it, and for the best of that, I am also studying psychology at the University of Dahr Al-Mahraz, Fez, Morocco.
    Por quê o coração do homem é imprevisível? , Por quê ninguém conhece a alma de uma mulher?, Por quê somos seres humanos racionais porém tem atitudes humanas que prova 100% ao contrário que coloca a gente em dúvida a dúvida é essa hipótese que somos racionais eu gostaria de entender a mente humana
  • Anonymous
    This was a real eye-opening experience into the world of psychology. It will help me on my way to hopefully become a psychologist.

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