EPOCH Psychology history timeline
EPOCH Psychology history timeline

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

EPOCH Psychology history timeline

1 Using EPoCH: an introduction

The following sections describe the Exploring Psychology's Context and History: EPoCH resource and how you might use it. You will find a series of five activities that will guide you through the actual use of the EPoCH timeline later in this course. Figure 1 shows the EPoCH timeline – the opening screen of the EPoCH resource.

Figure 1 The EPoCH timeline

Explore the historical timeline

When you open the EPoCH resource you will see a historical timeline, from around 1750 to 2000, with the names of over 1000 people (figures featured in the Open University's Exploring Psychology course material). The timeline indicates when each person, mostly psychologists, began work and when they died (although a number are contemporary). It also indicates what important social and historical events were taking place at the time of their work. To explore the timeline, you can scroll up and down the resource window. Figure 1 shows only one part of the timeline – there are entries listed from A to Z.

Explore biographies of figures

You can access a biography by clicking on the name of a figure on the timeline. Some of these accounts have been written by the person themselves and this allows a personal insight into their life and work. Where the person is not contemporary or was unable to contribute their own materials, members of the Open University's Exploring Psychology course team have written the biography, citing their sources where appropriate. There is usually a photo of the person next to their biography, and you can also learn who influenced them, who has cited them as an influence, what methods they use(d), what topics they were or are interested in and the social context in which they work(ed).

In some cases, there are also brief video clips associated with certain figures or audio clips of speech they have made. You can access video and audio clips by clicking on the relevant icons placed next to the picture of the person.

One final thing to note is that you can do the same search on individual figures by going to the ‘Figures’ icon above the timeline.

Explore methods, perspectives, topics and context

You can also search to learn more about the methods, perspectives, topics and contexts by clicking on the relevant buttons above the timeline. So, to find out more about a particular method (e.g. qualitative methods), you would simply click on the ‘Methods’ icon and then click on the ‘Qualitative’ icon from the list of methods. The icons used on the EPoCH resource are shown in Figure 2.

Described image
Figure 2 The icons used in the EPoCH resource

The material about methods, perspectives and topics has been devised in order to give you a relatively brief summary of each of these but these are not designed to give full details or critical evaluation (for that you will need to study the Open University's Exploring Psychology [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] course).

Getting started

To help start your exploration of this resource, we have devised a series of activities within this course. Once you've completed these, use the time you have left for this course to gain a sense of how diverse psychology is, to become familiar with the figures, the perspectives, the methods and the topics.


Within the EPoCH resource you'll see a help icon. If you select it you'll see information relating to the EPoCH resource. Figure 3 shows the help screen

Described image
Figure 3 The help screen

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus