9.00P Introduction to Psychology

Fall 2001

An image of multiple changing patterns showing how the brain constantly tries to organize the input from the visual system.
The multiple changing patterns show how the brain constantly tries to organize the input from the visual system. (Courtesy of Prof. Steven Pinker.)

Course Highlights

Psychology is the science of the mind. It is a science because it aims to explain the greatest number of facts with the fewest number of assumptions, its hypotheses are supposed to be falsifiable by empirical tests, and its theories are lawfully connected to other sciences, particularly biology. But psychology is also intimately connected to the social sciences, because social phenomena arise when individual people perceive and react to one another. And it is connected to the arts and humanities, because works of art and scholarship are products of the human mind.

Course Description

A first course in psychology: how we think, see, feel, learn, talk, act, grow, fear, like, love, hate, lust, and interact. The great controversies: nature and nurture, free will, consciousness, human differences, self and society. Largely experimental and social psychology, with relevant ideas from biology, philosophy, linguistics, economics, anthropology, and the arts.

*Some translations represent previous versions of courses.

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Staff

Instructor:
Prof. Steven Pinker

Course Meeting Times

Lectures:
Two sessions / week
1.5 hours / session

Level

Undergraduate

*Translations