Chevron Left
Back to Buddhism and Modern Psychology

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

5,261 ratings
1,789 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.

Nov 15, 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.

Filter by:

1601 - 1625 of 1,761 Reviews for Buddhism and Modern Psychology

By Douglas M

May 7, 2016

Very interesting topics are discussed in this course. I walked away with some new thoughts and ideas about modern science and how they compared to ancient teachings. Well worth the time.

By Mirjam B

Apr 8, 2019

very interesting, and high level of teaching. The only downside is that the course is mainly talking heads, and some dogs :-) . It could be improved with some more reading material.

By kusuma a

Aug 29, 2017

very clear and more importantly it keeps me engaged through the instructor delivery -- he presents the content in his own word and brings modern evolution perspectives on Buddhism

By Noelia E R

May 24, 2020

Interesting course, specially because it's focused in a scientific (not mystic) way, and approaches the Buddhist doctrine from a very academic point of view. Very educative!

By Lara R G

Mar 23, 2021

Thank you very much Coursera for leeting us to acquire more knowledge about the buddhism and modern psychology. I learnt a lot in this course and I highly recommend it :)

By Claudia I H

Mar 1, 2019

Course un general isla interesting althoug I think that videos are too long and the part of moduls Is not very hypnotizing to me, a but slow in that part.

The rest Is ok.

By Bilal J

Nov 25, 2015

Very interesting course. Good depth into the subject matter, a bit more enthusiasm from the professor could go a long way into making the course a bit more vibrant.

By Georgie J

Sep 4, 2020

Very interesting course. Well worth my time and effort.

I’ve just ordered your book, The Moral Animal, after reading chapter 13 which you provided the link to.

By Phurba Y S

Jul 30, 2020

It is a great course. It helps understand the buddha's teaching in context to the modern science.

But we don't receive a certificate at the end of the course

By Dayenne S

Apr 13, 2020

Very interesting course that thoughtfully reviews the naturalistic aspects of Buddhism in the light of evolutionary psychology and related disciplines

By Amanpreet S

Mar 5, 2017

A nice course to take on a hard subject of Mind, Moral Truth. Found it enlightening thanks all the team for bringing such a course out to the world.


Jan 11, 2017

The content is great but it would be great to have a booklet or something writing in addition because the teacher style is very much conversational.

By Steve L K

Jul 6, 2020

Good course with interesting insights and interviews. I particularly enjoyed the various interviews with people that gives everything a nice touch.

By Aldo C

Nov 14, 2017

An excellent insight into evolutionary psychology and how modern science seems to lend credit to Buddhist theory of the min and meditation practice

By Jessica L

Aug 24, 2020

Great course when you have nothing to lose, i recommend this course especially if you have an interest in psychology or abnormal psychology!

By Jothika.D

Jun 14, 2020

As I finished this course and also got mail from you regarding the completion of this course, but still now i didn't receive my certificate.

By Niccolò M

Oct 16, 2018

There are many arguments really interesting to know, yet I feel as it isn't complete, even the explanations don't contemplate the antithesis

By Lucie C

Sep 14, 2020

Amazing course, great content - I would have given this a full five stars review if there had been a "purchase course certificate" option.

By Karen W C

Nov 27, 2016

Me gusto mucho el curso, es muy interesante la similitud del budismo con la psicología moderna. Aprender sobre los nuevos paradigmas.


May 5, 2020

Good courses. More practical examples will make the course more interesting. Mediation techniques could have been given more time.


Dec 24, 2019

The course was insightful. The lectures offered guidance and opposing views. I highly recommend the additional reading materials.

By Luz R

Jul 4, 2020

Creo que lo que me permitió terminar el curso fueron las fuentes a las que pude acceder, y la forma de explicarse del profesor c:

By Ian M

Sep 22, 2017

A very good introduction to Buddhism and modern science's view of Buddhist beliefs and how Buddhist practices affect the brain.

By Alina D

Feb 1, 2016

Concise and full of interesting ideas - a great introduction to many topics that are worth exploring, and think through.