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Introduction to Psychology: Sensation and Perception

Monash University via FutureLearn

This course may be unavailable.


Explore the role of touch, sight, hearing, taste and smell in our behaviour

Discover the part played by sight, touch, taste, smell and hearing in shaping human behaviour

How do our five senses work together to help us understand our environment and the behaviour of others?

This course explores the psychology of sensation and perception, how it differs, and how they combine with attention to determine exactly how we perceive our environment. You’ll also look at why psychologists look at sensation when they study perception, which is a key component of our behaviour and mental processes.

Understand the principles of perception

In order to properly study perception, you’ll need to understand the function and structure of sensory systems and compare the pros and cons of the main psychological methodologies. This course will build this knowledge, as well as an understanding of the mechanisms of perceptual constancies. You’ll be able to interpret the ways that perceptual elements are grouped, and learn how to speak about the Gestalt principles confidently.

This introductory course is for anyone interested in psychology - you don’t need any past experience.

It might be of particular use to learners who have already completed a Bachelor degree in other disciplines who are interested in expanding their science and research skills.


  • Sensation, perception and the visual and auditory system
    • Getting started
    • Sensation versus perception
    • The visual system
    • End of week review, and preview
  • The senses
    • Welcome to the week
    • The senses
    • Illusions and psychology, and principles of perception
    • End of course

Taught by

Assoc Prof Matthew Mundy


4.2 rating, based on 4 Class Central reviews

4.6 rating at FutureLearn based on 149 ratings

Start your review of Introduction to Psychology: Sensation and Perception

  • Profile image for Max Chau
    Max Chau
    There is a clear explanation of what is sensation and perception and the perception of our five senses in this course. However, it talks too much about the physical structure of our eyes and ears, which doesn't meet my expectation of psychology.
  • Anonymous
    A bulk of information for an introductory course. I have enjoyed it. I would like more courses like this to be offered by the same university.
  • Profile image for Luis Ribeiro
    Luis Ribeiro
    As with other Introduction to Psychology courses offered by Monash, Introduction to Psychology: Sensation and Perception is well put together and has plenty of objective, albeit limited, information on the topic. Its main weakness is having no video lessons; it has only one/two videos at the beginning and end of the MOOC, which means that there are tons of reading activities. Fine by me, but it gets boring after some time. There are many quizzes, which contribute to student learning, and links to journal articles. Overall, it's a good MOOC if you like its reading-based format.
  • I am a history teacher as background and the course from Monash is the first course and moment which I am learning about perceptions. I didn't have that specific biology knowledge.

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