• University of Warwick

The Mind is Flat: The Shocking Shallowness of Human Psychology

Discover how to make better personal and professional decisions, and how the brain could be more flexible than we think.

99,231 enrolled on this course

The Mind is Flat: The Shocking Shallowness of Human Psychology

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).

What topics will you cover?

  • Why we take risks and why we fear them
  • How people succeed or fail to work with other people successfully
  • How our behaviour, governed by a plethora of complicated psychological forces, makes sense at all
  • The theory that we are creating an improvised character and trying to stay in our role
  • How we can make society more coherent and create a better world

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

Who is the course for?

No special knowledge or previous experience of studying is required.

Who will you learn with?

I have over 200 publications and four awards for my research. I’ve recently co-hosted two series of The Human Zoo on the UK’s BBC Radio 4.

Who developed the course?

The University of Warwick

The University of Warwick is forward-looking, entrepreneurial and globally connected. With new ways of thinking and achieving it stands out from its competitors as an inspiring place to study.

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  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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