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Investigating Psychology

Updated Monday, 3rd February 2020

Investigate the conceptual and historical issues in Psychology with this interactive feature.

Investigating Psychology is a tool to enable you to explore the development of psychological thinking not only across time, but also within the context of social, conceptual and historical changes; the development and application of different perspectives and methods; and through chains of influence between researchers.

Please note, the dates included in this interactive are relevant to a key moment in the individual's career and not necessarily their date of birth.

Note: some information given here about Hans Asperger and Asperger syndrome is now out of date. You can find more current information in Week 1 of our badged course Understanding autism.


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Playing on a tablet or mobile device?

Play in full-screen mode, select the 'Start Investigating Psychology' link and open the feature in a new browser tab.

What are we missing?

It is our hope that the Investigating Psychology resource will continue to grow over the years, so if there is a person, context, perspective or method that you feel should be included, please email us with a description and the reasons for its inclusion. Thank you.

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BSc (Honours) Psychology free course icon

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BSc (Honours) Psychology

As psychology is the study and science of human behaviour, it touches every aspect of our lives. This degree explores key questions around why we do the things we do and how we interact with others. You'll explore how psychologists use research evidence to contribute to debates on forensic science, mental health, relationships, child development, employment and much more. You'll gain knowledge and understanding of different areas of psychology; develop valuable analytical and communication skills; and enhance your ability to work both independently and collaboratively. This will put you in a strong position when it comes to employment opportunities.

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BSc (Honours) Social Psychology free course icon

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BSc (Honours) Social Psychology

In this degree you'll consider how social psychology can be applied to contemporary life. You'll explore psychology more broadly, gaining insights into people's behaviour. Why do good people do bad things? What role do digital technologies play in our relationships? Has globalisation made people across the world more similar, or do old differences persist? How have gender identities changed? What does it mean to be a good citizen? You'll examine these and many other important psychological questions about the relationship between individual psychology and the complex social world. You'll see how social psychologists use evidence from research to contribute to debates on a wide range of social issues including discrimination and equality, conflict resolution, migration, happiness and well-being. You'll also explore how psychology is critical to understanding employment, mental health, and relationships.

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Investigating psychology 1

Drawing on a wide range of studies and some classic pieces of psychological research, this OU level 1 module provides an accessible and engaging introduction to the study of psychology. You'll explore the different ways in which psychologists investigate the human mind and behaviour, and find out how psychological research addresses real-life issues with an opportunity to conduct a psychological study of your own. You'll be provided with two textbooks and access to a comprehensive website containing an online study guide, audio-visual material and interactive activities which are designed to help you develop your knowledge and skills.

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