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

5,406 ratings
1,854 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

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.

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.

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1676 - 1700 of 1,824 Reviews for Buddhism and Modern Psychology

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

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.

By Sherry S

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.

By Rosanne C

Nov 4, 2015

Buddhist lite but very interesting to consider evolutionary psychology. Excellent contributors to the course content.

By Samuvel R

May 28, 2020

Best course that I attempted so far.

It provides holistic view about brain/mind function, particularly on "suffering"

By Prachi G

Aug 18, 2020

Great insight infused. Thanks to Mr. Wright 😊. Discussing enlightenment is no less than leading paths towards it.

By Francesco B

May 26, 2020

The theme of the course is very interesting however the second part of it should have been presented more clearly.

By 雯 张

Jun 15, 2016

Very inspiring to understand my own religion,thanks a lot to the scientific contribution in this particular area。

By Fran M

Sep 8, 2020

Overall excellent course. one note for improvement some of the lectures could have been a little more concise.

By Daniela M L

Jul 15, 2020

Very interesting and well presented. But the fact that it doesn't issue a certificate it's a negative point

By Poornima H S

Sep 7, 2020

one of the best course i saw, very useful. we cam come over from many kind of problems which we are facing

By Jainik M

Jul 26, 2017

this is good course if you want to learn about buddhism techings scientifically.Good knowledge to acquire

By Wayne S J

Feb 6, 2016

I love opening my mind up to new concepts and ways of thinking. It's challenging and keeps me on my toes.

By Arkar M S

Oct 18, 2020

As the name of the course goes,a good course to tap into the realtion of buddhism and modern psychology

By Laila S M L

Sep 15, 2020

The topics covered in the course are interesting, however exposing the content is sometimes boring.

By Leslie P

Sep 20, 2016

Interesting, and more grounded than I was expecting from a class focused on meditation. Well done.

By EzhilRajan V

Aug 20, 2020

following the course is very much useful , in personal as well as discussion with our colleagues.

By Aditya L

Nov 17, 2016

It got a little confusing towards the end; I wish Robert took a little more time on those topics.

By Diane D

Apr 17, 2021

Very interesting course to gain knowledge on buddhism and how it relates to medical psychology.