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Online Course

The Mind is Flat: The Shocking Shallowness of Human Psychology

The University of Warwick via FutureLearn

(8)
  • Provider FutureLearn
  • Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
  • Session In progress
  • Language English
  • Certificate $54 Certificate Available
  • Effort 5 hours a week
  • Duration 6 weeks long
  • Learn more about MOOCs

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Overview

Explore the forces shaping human behaviour

We are often told that our minds are shaped by ‘deep’ factors – subconscious motives or hidden beliefs that can be uncovered through therapy, lab experiments, or brain scanning.

While not entirely incorrect, the brain also improvises – inventing these motives at the moment of decision. Understanding this could help make the world a better place.

On this course, you’ll explore why we take risks, and why we fear them. You’ll learn from top behavioural experts in numerous fields about how our minds are ‘flatter’ than we think, uncovering the influence of marketing and peer behaviour in the process.

Now an award-winning book: The Mind is Flat: The Illusion of Mental Depth and The Improvised Mind (Winner, American Association of Publishers PROSE award for best book in Clinical Psychology, 2019).

No special knowledge or previous experience of studying is required.

Taught by

Nick Chater

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Reviews for FutureLearn's The Mind is Flat: The Shocking Shallowness of Human Psychology Based on 8 reviews

  • 5 star 0%
  • 4 stars 38%
  • 3 star 0%
  • 2 star 13%
  • 1 stars 50%

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  • 1
Peter H
Peter completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
At the end of the first week I wrote that I found this course 'frustrating, infuriating, unconvincing'. I still felt that way at the end. Halfway through the course I gave up posting any comments because they were all negative. The impression given was that we always think in the same way. We were...
11 people found
this review helpful
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Stephen L
by Stephen completed this course.
I found this course disappointing. I can accept the 'flat mind' idea, but as I see it, it implies that we are influenced by others much more than we think, and our trust may be misplaced. I was expecting illustrations of this, e.g. we trust banks even if they are gambling with our money, we tend to trust people similar to us leading to racism, sexism and so on. We are also very bad at putting forward persuasive arguments, relying instead on authority and emotional appeal.

The course didn't really deal with anything like this. Instead we were supposed to think it strange that not everyone has perfect pitch and that if house A is twice as big as house B then it will cost about twice as much. Then at the end we saw how people put a lot of mental effort into coordinating their behaviour with others, going against the idea of a flat mind.
2 people found
this review helpful
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Natrina N
by Natrina completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.
"The Mind is Flat" is a course focused on arguing a certain type of conceptualization about the human mind. In the process, good psychological research is presented, which is good for beginners who just have had introductory classes to general psychology. As I have studied Psychology in college, the contents were not groundbreaking to me (and I did not reach the conclusion that the mind is flat either), but it be so for the few people out there that might still think that human beings (including you, dear reader and myself!) are rational in the Homo œconomicus sense.
1 person found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
Anonymous is taking this course right now.
Example of UK's rotten class system. Laughably bad professor and laughably bad class because it tries so hard to be "intelligent" but comes off as pompous. I was really amused how this class was so obviously bad and how people finally called out the professor out in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. I was amused when there was a Skype call (as a part of the class) with some "classy" friend of the professor which went along the lines "Oh dare say Old Chap how about Electro Physics chakras of Siberian tunradas?" I'd give it 10/10 as pure comedy gold, 1/10 as educational value. Shameful
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Marcus M
by Marcus completed this course, spending 1 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
Found it boring. Too much reading. Insufficient number of videos. Probably one of the worst MOOCs I have been on.
3 people found
this review helpful
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Sue S
by Sue completed this course.
Pretentious BS. I felt like it was more Nick Charter & Co trying to show off one pretentious idea after another. When you listen to someone talk about something for 20 minutes and you realise nothing has really been said.
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Will G
by Will completed this course.
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Pamylle G
by Pamylle completed this course.
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  • 1

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