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

5,138 ratings
1,732 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

Mar 2, 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.

Oct 25, 2020

I thought this was a great introduction to both modern Buddhist thought and evolutionary psychology. Professor Wright is an excellent lecturer, and his office hours are informative as well as amusing.

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876 - 900 of 1,701 Reviews for Buddhism and Modern Psychology

By Shruti a p

Jun 10, 2020

Thanku so much to coursera because of you we learn buddhism and modern psychology.

By Itzel H A

Feb 8, 2017

Excellent course. A great way to introduce to Buddhist with a scientific approach.

By Dijana C

Jan 9, 2017

Great course - a starting point for exploring both Buddhism and Modern Psychology!

By Jonathan G

Jun 13, 2016

Interesting course. The assignments were a little bit too redundant for my taste.

By yashwanth .

Jun 6, 2016

i need to contact porf.ROBERT WRIGHT. please let me know the email id of the prof.

By Koby B

Apr 22, 2016

Loved this course so much I finished watching the lectures in Two days! Inspiring.

By Anmol B

Feb 26, 2016

Very great insights given in this course. Thanks a lot. Great learning experience.

By Michael W

Dec 19, 2015

Loved it... would love to see additional courses relating Buddhism to modern life

By Nandini R

Jul 5, 2020

This course has been very interesting. It has taught me to be mindful and calmer.

By Esra D

Oct 28, 2019

very nice material, assignments and Robert Wright is just a delight to listen to!

By Daria P

Mar 15, 2018

Very interesting, self-reflecting and thought provoking. Thank you Robert Wright!

By Erkin K

Jan 14, 2018

Really mind opening, mind blowing, takes you to somewhere beyond your imagination

By Coleman R

Jan 7, 2018

The course was interesting and digestible, and Dr. Wright is super fun and funny!

By Andrea F

Aug 13, 2016


Explained in a comprehensible manner for all public, very interesting!

By Nenavath M

Sep 29, 2020

It's a very great experience, Thank you coursera yo offer such an amazing course

By Sandra S

Jun 16, 2020

I learned so much in a very relaxed manner. Mr. Wright is an excellent teacher.

By Ursula A T

Jun 15, 2020

Professor Wright is an amazing human on many levels. I truly enjoyed the course.

By Allison K S

Jun 3, 2018

Very informative and challenging. I learned a lot about Buddhism and meditation.

By Aja C

Feb 7, 2017

I haven't finishing this course yet but the first couple of lessons are amazing!

By Wenen Y

Oct 1, 2020

I completed this course but I didn't receive certificate from this course. why?

By Miguel F D S N

Sep 12, 2020

Curso ótimo e nos mostra perspectivas interessantes sobre a psicologia Moderna.

By Valerie G

Jun 23, 2020

Loved the course, loved the lectures, would like to do something similar again!

By Mayank K P

Jun 9, 2020

it benefitted in many ways like better mindfulness meditation and concentration

By Alondra

May 22, 2020

Excellent course! I really enjoyed. Please if you have the opportunity take it.