How To Think Like a Psychologist: A Free Online Course from Stanford

free-course-how-to-think-like-a-psychologist-In ear­ly Jan­u­ary, we brought you a set of 15 tips to help you stick to your New Year’s res­o­lu­tions, straight from The Willpow­er Instincta best­selling book by Dr. Kel­ly McGo­ni­gal. Today, we’re high­light­ing a course that McGo­ni­gal orga­nized for Stanford’s Con­tin­u­ing Stud­ies Pro­gram, enti­tled How To Think Like a Psy­chol­o­gist. The premise is sim­ple: McGo­ni­gal intro­duces promi­nent Stan­ford psy­chol­o­gists, who pro­ceed to dis­cuss their research and explain pre­cise­ly why their field hap­pens to be so fas­ci­nat­ing, after which McGo­ni­gal leads a short dis­cus­sion with the guest. An audi­ence Q&A ses­sion fol­lows.

Each of the course’s six lec­tures is a neat­ly pack­aged primer on a researcher’s area of exper­tise: Greg Wal­ton gives a detailed talk about his work on aca­d­e­m­ic stig­ma, and the role it plays in the achieve­ment gap so evi­dent in Amer­i­can edu­ca­tion, while in lat­er lec­tures, James Gross dis­cuss­es his research on emo­tion­al reg­u­la­tion, and Brid­get Mar­tin Hard explains the ben­e­fits of study­ing ani­mals to bet­ter under­stand humans. The strength of the course lies both in its acces­si­bil­i­ty, and its lev­el of depth: one does not need a back­ground in sci­ence to learn some­thing tan­gi­ble about cur­rent psy­cho­log­i­cal research. What’s more, one gets a sense of how rel­e­vant psy­chol­o­gy is as a prac­ti­cal sci­ence, gov­ern­ing every fleet­ing thought and social inter­ac­tion.

How To Think Like a Psy­chol­o­gist is cur­rent­ly avail­able on iTune­sU. You can find it list­ed in our col­lec­tion of Free Online Psy­chol­o­gy Cours­es, part of our col­lec­tion, 4,000+ Free Movies Online: Great Clas­sics, Indies, Noir, West­erns, Doc­u­men­taries & More.

Ilia Blin­d­er­man is a Mon­tre­al-based cul­ture and sci­ence writer. Fol­low him at @iliablinderman, or read more of his writ­ing at the Huff­in­g­ton Post.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Pow­er of Empa­thy: A Quick Ani­mat­ed Les­son That Can Make You a Bet­ter Per­son

Carl Gus­tav Jung Explains His Ground­break­ing The­o­ries About Psy­chol­o­gy in Rare Inter­view (1957)

Jacques Lacan’s Con­fronta­tion with a Young Rebel: Clas­sic Moment, 1972

New Ani­ma­tion Explains Sher­ry Turkle’s The­o­ries on Why Social Media Makes Us Lone­ly

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Comments (2)
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  • Sputters says:

    Have you met one of these peo­ple? They are some of the cra­zi­est, most mis­in­formed peo­ple on the plan­et.

  • Ilia Blinderman says:

    I can’t help but feel like that the claim of “cra­zi­est, most mis­in­formed” requires some back­ing up — oth­er­wise, I could say the same thing about just about any­body else that I did­n’t like with impuni­ty.

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