Welcome to

OpenPSYC

This resource was created for Introduction to Psychology students at the University of Maryland, and is designed to help you explore psychological theory, research, and practical applications of psychological science. After completing a course in psychology, you will be able to:

  • Explain patterns of thought and behavior in the context of psychological theories and provide scientific evidence to support your ideas.
  • Describe the basic ethical principles that should guide scientific research on the thought and behavior of living organisms.
  • Demonstrate analytical skills by critiquing psychological claims and designing valid research that could test your hypotheses.
  • Apply psychological concepts and research findings in a way that improves your own academic, personal, and professional life.

Each module is structured around key prompts - Learning Objective Questions - and followed by the links to articles, videos, and interactive demonstrations you will need to answer those questions. After studying the readings, videos, and presentations you should be able to answer the learning objective questions in detail without any notes in front of you. If you practice doing that regularly, you are well prepared for any assessment that your instructor can give you!

What does it take to ace this course (and every other one you ever take)? Science has some answers!

The more you understand how your brain encodes, stores, and recalls information, the better prepared you are to leverage your amazing intelligence and accomplish whatever you are trying to do.

What makes psychology a science? It's all in the methods!

How do animals (including you) adapt their behavior to meet their physical needs? Perhaps even more importantly, how can you apply science to change behavior?

Much of what you think, feel, or do can be traced back to the activity of a truly incredible network of cells in your nervous system. So how does it all work?

It's hard to imagine, but everything you perceive is based on your brain's interpretation of the sensory input your body detects and transmits. The problem is, your brain is making a lot of this up as you go!

What do you really know about yourself? Why do you sleep and dream? How do chemicals effect your thought and behavior? Why do you feel this way?

Humans (and many other species) are innately social creatures, and science has taught us a lot about how we relate to each other. Can science help you become a happier, healthier relationship partner? (Yes!)

What happens when the psychological systems we rely on every day experience some form of illness, trauma, or imbalance? The more we understand the cause of psychological disorders, the better able we are to prevent and treat them.

What makes you different than everyone else around you? How does everyone else around you influence what you think, feel, and do?

Let's take a deeper dive into how you process information about others around you, and how that influences aspects of affect, behavior, and cognition.

The brain evolves through every stage of life, and so do your abilities and motivations. So what do we know about affect, behavior, and cognition over time?