A collage shows several photographs of diverse peoples.

Figure 1.1 Psychology is the scientific study of mind and behavior.

(credit: Nattachai Noogure, et. al.)



1.1 What Is Psychology?
1.2 History of Psychology
1.3 Contemporary Psychology
1.4 Careers in Psychology

Nash was the subject of the 2001 movie A Beautiful Mind.

Clive Wearing is an accomplished musician who lost his ability to form new memories when he became sick at the age of 46. While he can remember how to play the piano perfectly, he cannot remember what he ate for breakfast just an hour ago (Sacks, 2007).

James Wannerton experiences a taste sensation that is associated with the sound of words. His former girlfriend’s name tastes like rhubarb (Mundasad, 2013).

John Nash is a brilliant mathematician and Nobel Prize winner. However, while he was a professor at MIT, he would tell people that the New York Times contained coded messages from extraterrestrial beings that were intended for him. 

Nash also began to hear voices and became suspicious of the people around him. Soon thereafter, he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and admitted to a state-run mental institution (O’Connor & Robertson, 2002). 

Nash was the subject of the 2001 movie A Beautiful Mind.

This course will introduce you to various ways that the field of psychology has explored these questions.