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Learn human behavior with online courses and programs

Discover the motivations behind the way people behave. Learn human behavior with online courses delivered through edX.

What is human behavior?

Human behavior is a complex study that examines how individuals and groups think, feel, and act in response to a wide array of internal and external influences. Rooted in the interconnection between biology, psychology, culture and environment, it encompasses the intricate patterns that shape our actions.

This interdisciplinary field spans across psychology, sociology, anthropology, and neuroscience. It investigates the cognitive processes, motivations, and emotions that drive human behavior. By considering all of these aspects, researchers have uncovered the underlying reasons that explain "why" people behave as they do.

Human behavior is dynamic, adapting in evolving contexts over time. It plays a pivotal role in shaping interpersonal relationships, societal dynamics, and personal development. A deeper understanding of human behavior empowers individuals to navigate complex social situations, promote positive change, and address challenges in diverse situations.

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Human behavior course curriculum

Human behavior is often characterized by its multifaceted and complex nature. Courses on the subject can vary depending on the area of focus and your level of prior education. Some of the topics that you might study in a human behavior course can include:

  • Biological foundations: Explore how biology, genetics, and the brain influence behavior.

  • Psychological theories: Learn about major psychological theories explaining human behavior, including cognitive, behavioral, and psychodynamic approaches.

  • Motivation and emotion: Study what drives human behavior and the role of emotions.

  • Social psychology: Examine how individuals interact with and are influenced by others in social situations.

  • Developmental psychology: Explore how human behavior changes and develops across the lifespan, from infancy to old age.

  • Abnormal psychology: Learn about mental disorders, their diagnosis, and treatment.

Human behavior courses can also teach you valuable skills in critical thinking, communication, and research that you can apply to your professional life. Are you ready to start learning? Explore the range of educational opportunities offered through edX that cover fields such as science, psychology, and more. Sign up for an accelerated boot camp or enroll in a full degree program and start working toward a bachelor's degree or (for more advanced learners) a master’s degree in a relevant subject. You can also explore executive education programs specifically designed for busy professionals.

Explore careers in human behavior

Studying human behavior can open up various career opportunities across different fields. Many positions will have specific professional qualifications. Careers in this field include: 

  • Psychologist: Assesses and treats individuals' mental and emotional wellbeing, helping people overcome personal challenges and develop coping strategies.

  • Social worker: Assists individuals and communities in addressing social and psychological issues, such as family dynamics, mental health, and addiction.

  • Counselor or therapist: Provides mental health support and guidance to individuals and groups to help them navigate challenges and develop coping skills.

  • Human resources specialist: Recruits, manages, and supports employees within organizations, focusing on areas like employee relations and organizational development.

  • Market research analyst: Analyzes consumer behavior to help companies make informed decisions about products, services, and marketing strategies.

  • Forensic psychologist: Applies psychological principles to legal cases, by assessing individuals' mental states and behaviors for legal purposes.

These are just a few examples of the diverse career paths that individuals with knowledge of human behavior could pursue. However, a solid understanding of human behavior can benefit nearly every professional. If you are ready to start learning, sign up for an online course through edX and build the skills you need to better understand the complexities of human interaction and motivation.