• 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.

The Mind is Flat: The Shocking Shallowness of Human Psychology
  • Duration6 weeks
  • Weekly study5 hours
  • LearnFree
  • Extra BenefitsFrom $54Find out more

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?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more

Who is the course for?

No special knowledge or previous experience of studying is required.

Who will you learn with?

Nick Chater

Nick Chater

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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