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

4,884 ratings
1,617 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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676 - 700 of 1,591 Reviews for Buddhism and Modern Psychology

By Alina M

Oct 06, 2016

This is a wonderful course which gives you are chance to see the connection between religion and modern science.

By brenda d

Sep 08, 2016

As a retiree, it was great to listen to college lectures again on a topic of particular interest to me. Thanks.

By V S R

Jul 26, 2020

It is a wonderful outlay for understanding of humans particularly self. I learned self control, meditation too.

By sharon a

Jan 25, 2017

havnt finished yet but it is great, interesting and meaningful.

i recomend to whom like psychology and buddhissm

By Lee, J

Jan 30, 2016

Buddhism is difficult area to understand. However this course helped a lot for me to understand about Buddhism.

By Miekhail (

Jul 30, 2020

This was a very informative course and I enjoyed it greatly. I am glad that I got to take part in this course.

By Christian H

Jul 22, 2020

This class opened my eyes to a lot of issues regarding how Buddhism is now scientifically studied.. Thank You.


Jun 30, 2019

Those who are practicing meditation seriously and on their spiritual journey, those must complete this course.


Apr 01, 2018

Then when you study about the buddhism , your life change, thank you so much for every special day of my life

By David W

Jan 31, 2018

A comprehensive and clear examination of secular Buddhism and the support for it from evolutionary psychology.

By Fernando M

Nov 24, 2016

A perfect scientific analysis of buddhist philosophy. It truly awakes your mind and the way you see the world.

By John C

Mar 18, 2016

Very well done! Robert Wright is a talented professor who causes one to think more about the essence of life.

By Sebastian B

May 04, 2020

Very interesting material and well taught. I found the guest speakers especially interesting and informative.

By Merve H

Dec 11, 2019

Very inspiring and enlightening course taught by a great instructor that makes everything easy to understand.

By Monica G

Mar 21, 2019

Excellent course. Professor Wright is an excellent lecturer. I especially enjoyed office hours with his dogs.

By Carlos J R R

Jan 18, 2016

Muy buen curso, muy ligero y profundo a la vez. Puedo tomar varias clases seguidas sin sentirme sobrecargado.

By Andrea c V D

Jul 21, 2020

Excelente curso. Da la apertura para continuar investigando tanto de la psicologia moderna, como el budismo.

By Raymond D

Sep 12, 2017

Excellent course. Robert Wright maintains the interest level and really knows his stuff. Highly recommended.

By Rajdeep K

Aug 09, 2020

It was an insightful experience. Left an impression that will lead to many explorations further. Thank you!

By Arlynn G

Apr 27, 2020

Loved this course! I really learned a lot and the videos and offices hours with Milo and Fraser were great!

By Danjovert R

Oct 24, 2019

Buddhism and science are deeply compatible. The Professor thought clearly and easy to understand the topic.

By parag a

Apr 02, 2018

Excellent course. Well designed with high quality content. I would recommend a sequel that goes deeper into

By Jorge C

Oct 16, 2016

Great course. Everyone interested on a scientific comprehension of buddhism and mindfulness should take it.

By Kelly S

May 01, 2016

Very informative and a great starter on anyone wishing to delve into the practices and beliefs of Buddhism.