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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Buddhism and Modern Psychology by Princeton University

4,632 ratings
1,498 reviews

About the Course

The Dalai Lama has said that Buddhism and science are deeply compatible and has encouraged Western scholars to critically examine both the meditative practice and Buddhist ideas about the human mind. A number of scientists and philosophers have taken up this challenge. There have been brain scans of meditators and philosophical examinations of Buddhist doctrines. There have even been discussions of Darwin and the Buddha: Do early Buddhist descriptions of the mind, and of the human condition, make particular sense in light of evolutionary psychology? This course will examine how Buddhism is faring under this scrutiny. Are neuroscientists starting to understand how meditation “works”? Would such an understanding validate meditation—or might physical explanations of meditation undermine the spiritual significance attributed to it? And how are some of the basic Buddhist claims about the human mind holding up? We’ll pay special attention to some highly counterintuitive doctrines: that the self doesn’t exist, and that much of perceived reality is in some sense illusory. Do these claims, radical as they sound, make a certain kind of sense in light of modern psychology? And what are the implications of all this for how we should live our lives? Can meditation make us not just happier, but better people? All the features of this course are available for free. It does not offer a certificate upon completion....

Top reviews


Nov 16, 2015

I have been practicing meditation for two years already.In so far I have attended all Deepak Chopra meditation experiences which I found very helpful but not as helpful this course provided me so far.


Mar 03, 2016

Engaging content and excellent pace. While the level is introductory (I'd have liked a bit more depth), I would expect this from a lower-division/breadth course—and even more so from a MOOC like this.

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576 - 600 of 1,477 Reviews for Buddhism and Modern Psychology

By Michael S

Feb 17, 2018

This was an excellent course. It really opened my eye to concepts that I had never considered! Watch the office hours videos!

By Shaylee R H

May 23, 2016

Awesome ideas and great presentation. the lectures remain lectures but without the drowsiness commonly associated with them. :)

By David L

May 11, 2016

Professor Wright was incredible, learned a lot from this class in such a condensed period of time. Couldn't be happier with it.

By Abraham M R B

Jul 21, 2020

Excellent for persons that start to learn how the mind functions, how to meditated and want the scientific background of that.

By Arianna D

Feb 18, 2019

Thank you Prof. Wright for creating this course! It has brought a whole new in-depth understanding on Buddhism and Psychology.

By Laura

Oct 24, 2016

Amazing teacher, very charismatic, good examples, easy to understand. Congratulations for putting together this lovely course!

By Viktoria

Jul 26, 2016

Very interesting course, really made me look at "things" differently. Pleasant professor, it was always a pleasure listening.


Aug 12, 2020

Loved it, thank you! The intertwining of evolutionary psychology and the ancient practice of Buddhism. Utterly fascinating.

By Pedro G D

May 23, 2020

Lo que me desmotiva es tener que hacer las pruebas en Ingles, una sugerencia deberian ser en el idioma nativo de cada alumno.

By Mauricio J D M

Aug 10, 2020

Este curso desde el principio me llamó la atención y es muy interesante en general todo lo que enseñan aquí, muchas gracias.

By Chris H

Mar 06, 2018

Informative take on how principles from Buddhism relate to modern science, evolutionary psychology and can be applied today.

By Rahul S

Dec 24, 2015

Wonderful Discussions! I loved the small interviews of experts to complement the discussions as the best part of the course.

By Suranjana R

Oct 18, 2015

I hope to gain insight of my own and others view of the world enjoying it so far would like more life examples in the videos


Aug 03, 2020

excelente curso, me encantó, el profesor Robert Wright , explica muy bien la clases, volveria a escucharlo varias veces mas

By Jeremy E B

May 15, 2020

Excelente curso, la teoría muy bien explicada y sobre todo con ejemplos para hacerlo mas dinámico y mas fácil de entender!.

By Marihan U

Apr 06, 2020

I thoroughly enjoyed the course and I wish there was a certification for it as it would've helped me in my career. thankyou


Jul 15, 2020

It was very excellent course. I like the way professor designed and explained the concept. Thanks one and all who made it.

By Janet C

Jul 03, 2020

If you want to have a glimpse of Buddhism and meditation and how they are interpreted by modern science , look no further.

By Sudharaka P

Dec 24, 2018

Incredible course. A great and wonderful introduction to meditation and Buddhism in general in a psychological standpoint.

By Deleted A

Aug 21, 2016

This course takes a very interesting approach to compare Buddhism against modern psychology, and the professor is awesome!

By Lindsey T

Mar 15, 2016

I really, really enjoyed this course. Professor Wright is thoughtful and hilarious! I would love to take more courses from

By Xanthi R

Feb 06, 2016

i learned a lot from this course and helped me a lot. the course was very well structured and the instructor was very good

By Odin E

Feb 03, 2016

The course have made my life so much easier! Both on a professional and a personal plane. Highly recommended for everyone!

By Frank P C

Jun 21, 2020

Me gusto mucho el curso, me hubiera gustado que hubieran agregado más lecturas o bibliografía para complementar el curso.


Sep 19, 2018

This course is lead by an excellent, engaged professor. That he spent the time putting this together is a gift to us all.