E-learning: Introduction to Psychology

Location: Online / MOOC

Dates: any time

Duration: 26 hours

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 out of 3302 ratings

Participating countries: any country

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Organizer: University of Pennsylvania at Coursera


  • FREE
  • $49 with certificate

Introduction to Psychology

his course will highlight the most interesting experiments within the field of psychology, discussing the implications of those studies for our understanding of the human mind and human behavior. We will explore the brain and some of the cognitive abilities it supports like memory, learning, attention, perception and consciousness. We will examine human development – both in terms of growing up and growing old – and will discuss the manner in which the behavior of others affect our own thoughts and behavior. Finally we will discuss various forms of mental illness and the treatments that are used to help those who suffer from them.

The fact of the matter is that humans routinely do amazing things without appreciating how interesting they are. However, we are also routinely influenced by people and events without always being aware of those influences. By the end of this course you will have gained a much better understanding and appreciation of who you are and how you work. And I can guarantee you that you’ll learn things that you’ll be telling your friends and family about, things that will fundamentally change the way you think of yourself and others. How can you resist that?!




WEEK: 1: 20 minutes to complete

Welcome and Orientation to the Course

This section is about your orientation to the Coursera interface and the logistics of the course.

WEEK 2: 2 hours to complete

History & the Scientific Method

This section is about exploring the introduction to the Science of Psychology. At the end of this first section you’ll be able to identify and discuss some of the major movements in the Science of Psychology.

Lecture 1 – Psychology Emerges… (14:38 min)14m
Lecture 2 – Before Freud (17:46 min)17m
Lecture 3 – Freud (14:26 min)14m
Lecture 4 – After Freud (16:25 min)16m
Lecture 5 – Truth Seeking (12:35 min)12m
Lecture 6 – Knowledge Association (15:49 min)15m
Lecture 7 – Knowledge by Contrast (15:23 min)15m

WEEK 3: 2 hours to complete

The Matter of the Mind

There was a time when one could study Psychology without linking phenomena back to the brain itself, but those days are slowly disappearing. Now every Psychology student, yourself included, is expected to have at least a general knowledge of brain organization and structure. At the end of this section you will be able to locate structures of the brain and discuss its organization.

Lecture 1 – Brain Matter (20:20 min)20m
Lecture 2 – Your Light Switch (12:40 min)12m
Lecture 3 – Subcortical Regions (13:27 min)13m
Lecture 4 – The Occipital Lobe (10:59 min)10m
Lecture 5 – The Temporal Lobe (14:51 min)14m
Lecture 6 – The Parietal Lobe (16:07 min)16m
Lecture 7 – The Frontal Lobe (18:10 min)18m
Lecture 8 – Split Brain (14:40 min)14m

WEEK 4: 2 hours to complete

Sensation, Perception, Attention and Awareness

This section is all about the systems our brain uses to get input from the world … you will be able to recognize what those things around us are and where they are … and be able to interpret who we are and how we fit.

Lecture 1 – Outside In (14:26 min)14m
Lecture 2 – Point of Contact (20:24 min)20m
Lecture 3 – Perceiving What: Part 1 (18:38 min)18m
Lecture 4 – Perceiving What: Part 2 (17:50 min)17m
Lecture 5 – Perceiving Where (17:35 min)17m
Lecture 6 – Selection (16:38 min)16m
Lecture 7 – Self Awareness (13:21 min)13m
Lecture 8 – Theory of Mind (13:40 min)13m

WEEK 5: 4 hours to complete


This section is all about learning and behaviourism. When you’re done the videos you’ll be able to name and describe the topic of learning and behaviour in contexts such as flirting and gambling!

Lecture 1 – Forces of Nature (15:18 min)15m
Lecture 2 – Rise of Behaviorism (15:59 min)15m
Lecture 3 – Learning (14:09 min)14m
Lecture 4 – Learning by Consequence (17:32 min)17m
Lecture 5 – How to Flirt (17:38 min)17m
Lecture 6 – Conditioned Superstition (10:02 min)10m
Lecture 7 – Passing the Test (14:40 min)14m
Lecture 8 – Observational Learning (11:52 min)11m

WEEK 6: 2 hours to complete


This topic is Memory, and it’s a big topic, and one I know a fair amount about. It was hard to figure out what to present and what to leave out. I tried to include some of the most interesting stuff. I hope you agree. After this section you’ll be able to define and summarize topics such as False Memory and Amnesia.

Lecture 1 – Memory is Not Singular: Part 1 (15:55 min)15m
Lecture 2 – Memory is Not Singular: Part 2 (24:34 min)24m
Lecture 3 – Reconstructive Memory (13:18 min)13m
Lecture 4 – False Memory (9:40 min)9m
Lecture 5 – Deja Vu (19:23 min)19m
Lecture 6 – Familiarity (12:33 min)12m
Lecture 7 – Amnesias (15:45 min)15m
Lecture 8 – What is Not Forgotten (14:39 min)14m

WEEK 7: 2 hours to complete

The Social Mind

This topic is Social Psychology and it features some of the most controversial experiments in psychology. Some of these will having you thinking very deeply for a long time after you see them. You’ll have time to analyze and interpret our experience with conformity and authority.

Lecture 1 – Conformity (13:51 min)13m
Lecture 2 – Authority (16:29 min)16m
Lecture 3 – Protecting the Self (15:04 min)15m
Lecture 4 – Good People Do Bad (16:25 min)16m
Lecture 5 – Bystander Interference (12:00 min)12m
Lecture 6 – Schemas, Stereotypes and Prejudice (16:16 min)16m
Lecture 7 – Competition, Ignorance, Fear and Prejudice (18:28 min)18m
Lecture 8 – Attraction (20:15 min)20m

WEEK 8: 3 hours to complete

Mental Illness

This topic is Clinical Psychology and you’ll learn both about various clinical disorders, and about the therapies commonly used to treat them.You’ll be able to extend this knowledge to different disorders. Be careful to not start diagnosing all your friends or family (or yourself!)

Lecture 1 – Diagnosis (21:22 min)21m
Lecture 2 – Anxiety Disorders (21:58 min)21m
Lecture 3 – Disorders of Emotion (20:32 min)20m
Lecture 4 – Schizophrenia (22:24 min)22m
Lecture 5 – Personality Disorders (15:48 min)15m
Lecture 6 – Insight Therapies (17:53 min)17m
Lecture 7 – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (20:30 min)20m
Lecture 8 – Biological Treatments (21:44 min)21m

WEEK 9: 5 hours to complete

Videos by Request

This module is all about you and is about extending our foundational knowledge in the field of psychology so you can discover and describe to others more of what’s interesting to you. These curated videos are based on past course requests. We will add new ones as well from time to time as new cohorts make requests.

Lecture 1 – Sleep (24:59 min)24m
Lecture 2 – Dreams (20:58 min)20m
Lecture 3 – Hypnosis (38:49 min)38m
Lecture 4 – Stages of Development (26:21 min)26m
Lecture 5 – Parent-Child Relationships (27:14 min)27m
Lecture 6 – Intelligence (27:29 min)27m
Lecture 7 – PTSD (23:20 min)23m
Lecture 8 – Love (31:19 min)31m

WEEK 10: 2 hours to complete

Final Assignment

Final Peer Assessment Assignment

WEEK: 11:10 minutes to complete

Links to Outside Resources

This reading item has links to resources referenced in the course

WEEK: 12: 2 hours to complete

Super Optional Videos

These are extras and side videos that you are not tested on. Feel free to watch if you’re interested.