Introduction to Psychology Now Available in MIT OpenCourseWare’s Innovative OCW Scholar Format

Introduction to Psychology is the 6th of seven courses OCW will publish this year specifically to meet the needs of independent learners.

CAMBRIDGE, MA, July 31, 2012 -- MIT OpenCourseWare has released a new version of 9.00 Introduction to Psychology in the innovative OCW Scholar format designed for independent learners. This course presents a scientific overview of how the mind works, and applies that knowledge to contemporary debates around topics like nature versus nurture, free will, consciousness, human differences, the self, and society.

“I hope site visitors come away with an appreciation of just how amazing people are,” says Professor John Gabrieli, who developed the course.  “I hope the course makes you think about yourself and your friends in a different way than you ever did before.”

Gabrieli, a renowned expert in the field of learning and memory, has used brain imaging technology combined with behavioral testing to map abstract concepts like memory, thought, and emotion to specific regions of the brain. Gabrieli’s research has significantly advanced our understanding of how learning and memory are organized in the mind. Some of his most recent research has provided insights into key aspects of autism, dyslexia, and visual memory.  Gabrieli has also received numerous awards for his teaching, including the Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching at Stanford University in 2001.

MIT’s original version of 9.00 Introduction to Psychology from 2004 has received more than 650,000 visits.  The new Scholar version provides visitors to the OCW site with an even more robust learning experience.

OCW Scholar courses represent a new approach to OCW publication. MIT faculty, staff and students work closely with the OCW team to structure the course materials for independent learners. These courses offer more materials than typical OCW courses and include new custom-created content. The Introduction to Psychology course provides a complete learning experience for independent learners, including lecture videos, reading assignments from a free online textbook and detailed notes from another book, interactive quizzes for each session, discussion content to elaborate key concepts, online resources for further study, review questions, and exams with solution keys.

The first five of a planned 15 OCW Scholar courses were launched by MIT OpenCourseWare in January 2011, and have collectively received more than 800,000 visits in less than a year. The initial OCW Scholar courses included Classical Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism, Solid State Chemistry, Single Variable Calculus, and Multivariable Calculus.

Seven OCW Scholar courses were published in 2012. Linear Algebra, Differential Equations, Principles of Microeconomics, and Introduction to Electrical Engineering and Computer Science were published earlier this year. Fundamentals of Biology, Introduction to Psychology, and Introduction to Computer Science and Programming were published this past month. OCW Scholar courses are published on the OCW site with the support of the Stanton Foundation.

About MIT OpenCourseWare

MIT OpenCourseWare makes the materials used in teaching most of MIT's undergraduate and graduate courses—more than 2,100 in all—available on the Web, free of charge, to any user in the world. OCW receives an average of 1.75 million web site visits per month from more than 215 countries and territories worldwide. To date, more than 125 million individuals have accessed OCW materials. MIT OpenCourseWare is supported by donations from site visitors, grants and corporate sponsorship, including underwriting from our Next Decade Alliance sponsors Dow Chemical, Lockheed Martin and MathWorks.

About John Gabrieli

John Gabrieli is the director of the Athinoula A. Martinos Imaging Center at the McGovern Institute. He is an Investigator at the Institute, with faculty appointments in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, where is holds the Grover Hermann Professorship. He also co-directs the MIT Clinical Research Center and is Associate Director of the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, MGH/MIT, located at Massachusetts General Hospital. Prior joining MIT, he spent 14 years at Stanford University in the Department of Psychology and Neurosciences Program. Since 1990, he has served as Visiting Professor, Department of Neurological Sciences, Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Hospital and Rush Medical College. He received a Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience in the MIT Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences in 1987 and B.A. in English from Yale University in 1978.

About the Stanton Foundation

The Stanton Foundation was created by Frank Stanton, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest executives in the history of electronic communications. During his 25 years as president of CBS, he turned a lesser-known radio network into a broadcasting powerhouse. Stanton made many historic contributions to the industry and to the society it served. In 1960, he initiated the first televised presidential debates—the famous Nixon-Kennedy "Great Debates"—which required a special Act of Congress before they could proceed. He also spearheaded the creation of the first coast-to-coast broadcasting system, allowing CBS to become the first network to present a news event live across the continental United States, a speech by President Truman at the opening of the Japanese Peace Conference in San Francisco. Frank Stanton was the commencement speaker at MIT in 1961.


Stephen Carson
External Relations Director
MIT OpenCourseWare