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Introduction to Psychology: The History and Science of Psychology

Investigate the history and science of psychology while mastering the basic principles of the scientific method.

41,626 enrolled on this course

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  • Duration

    2 weeks
  • Weekly study

    6 hours

Learn about the origins of modern psychology and improve your science skills

Discover the roots of contemporary psychology and enhance your scientific skills

Modern psychology is a well-established science, but what are its origins?

On this course, you’ll explore how psychology became the multi disciplinary field it is today. You’ll consider psychology’s divergence from philosophy, before moving onto the study of the science’s most important figures.

Gain soft skills you can use throughout your career

Finding out how psychology has evolved and gaining an understanding of the basic scientific method will provide you with a skills-set you can apply across all areas of your working life.

Explore behavioural, cognitive and clinical psychology

This course covers a variety of psychology science topics, including the science of psychology, the origins of psychology, early behavioural psychology, cognitive psychology and clinical psychology.

Together, these topics will give you a broad overview of the fundamentals of the science, and you can identify areas where you’d like to specialise in future.

Gain a foundation in modern psychology

. Once you’ve mastered the basics of what makes psychology such a fascinating science, you’ll move on to identify and learn about key figures in the development of behaviourism, structuralism, functionalism, psychoanalysis and cognitivism.

Towards the end of this course, you’ll also learn about the core theoretical frameworks upon which contemporary psychology is based.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 12 seconds MATTHEW MUNDY: What is psychology? When did we first start studying the human mind and its functions to find out how it shapes our behaviour? Hi I’m Matthew Mundy and I’m the Director of Education at the School of Psychological Sciences at Monash University in Australia. In this course, you’ll explore the ‘History and Science of Psychology’. You’ll learn about its origins starting with the break away from philosophy, through to the early schools of thought and then its emergence as the well regarded scientific discipline that we know today. You’ll also learn about some of the early pioneers and key individuals who shaped the discipline along the way. Is psychology a science?

Skip to 0 minutes and 49 seconds In this course, you’ll find out firsthand what it means for a discipline to be a science, and to have the opportunity to master the basic principles of the scientific method that you can then apply in your academic and professional career. This introductory course is designed for everyone, regardless of experience or background. No prior study of psychology is required or expected. So if you want to learn more about the history and science of psychology, by a School of Psychological Sciences that is ranked among the best in the world. Then I encourage you to join us in this course.

What topics will you cover?

  • The science of psychology
  • The origins of psychology
  • Early behavioural psychology
  • Cognitive psychology
  • Clinical psychology

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Assess the principles by which psychology is considered a science.
  • Investigate the central tenets of the major theoretical frameworks that have shaped the modern discipline of psychology.
  • Identify the pioneers of psychology associated with structuralism, functionalism, behaviorism, cognitivism, and psychoanalysis.

Who is the course for?

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.

Who will you learn with?

I am Associate Professor and Director of Education for the School of Psychological Sciences, Monash University, Australia. My research is in the cognitive neuroscience of memory and perception.

Who developed the course?

Monash University

Monash University is one of Australia’s leading universities, ranked in the world’s top 1% by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. It was established in Melbourne in 1958.

  • Established

  • Location

    Melbourne, Australia
  • World ranking

    Top 60Source: QS World University Rankings 2021

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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Join the conversation on social media

You can use the hashtag #FLPsychHS to talk about this course on social media.