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The most 'important and greatest puzzle' we face as humans is ourselves (Boring, 1950, p. 56). Humans are a puzzle, one that is complex, subtle and multi-layered, and it gets even more complicated as we evolve over time and change within different contexts. When answering the question 'what makes us who we are?' psychologists put forward a range of explanations about why people feel, think and behave the way they do. Just when psychologists seem to understand one bit of 'who we are' up pops some new evidence to show a different side! It is not easy to pin down all the many influences. This free course, Starting with psychology, makes a start.
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- analyse a range of factors within and outside individuals which influence mind and behaviour
- consider multiple influences in case studies
- describe the way that influences are interlinked in complex ways
- discuss the multiple factors involved in what makes us happy.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Studying people
- 2 A brain of two halves
- 3 It's the thought that counts
- 4 Adult and intimate relationships
- 5 Group pressure
- 6 What makes us who we are?
- Keep on learning
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
Starting with psychology
What makes us who we are? This course will look at a number of different explanations that psychologists put forward in their attempts to understand why people feel, think and behave the way they do.
This OpenLearn course provides a sample of level 1 study in
This course is also available in Welsh on OpenLearn Cymru.
This free course includes adapted extracts from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Psychology courses or view the range of currently available OU Psychology courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Friday, 18th March 2016
Last updated on: Friday, 18th March 2016
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
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