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Free Online Resources for Psychology Beginners

By Janice Monti


This guide provides links to some of the most useful online resources for aspiring psychologists. Students just beginning their studies can use this information to acquire general knowledge about the field of psychology, its various branches of study, and the variety of issues they can study. While not an exhaustive list of available resources, this compilation guides prospective students to resources that can help them establish a strong academic foundation in the field. This guide also offers insights about careers and postgraduate opportunities.

American Psychological Association

As the leading professional and scientific organization in psychology, the APA offers the most exhaustive collection of resources for psychology students, addressing all educational levels and areas of interest. The website maintains several databases that include full-text books and journals, tests and measures, demonstration videos, and other electronic resources. Several sections address topics of interest for undergraduate and graduate students, including information on writing tutorials, internships, and accredited psychology programs.

Crash Course Psychology

This collection of YouTube videos, hosted by educator and vlogger Hank Green, covers the major subject areas that comprise a College Board-approved AP Introductory class in psychology. Students can access 40 episodes that focus on 15 central areas of psychological inquiry. The 10-12 minute videos explore the biological basis of human behavior and perception, applications of psychological theories, research methods, ethical standards, and the subfields of developmental, social, and abnormal psychology.

Psychology Today

Since it began print publication in 1968, this popular magazine has championed the field of psychology for a general audience. Its website continues to make the field accessible to the general public by providing digital news stories, essays, and blogs written by renowned scholars and practitioners. Visitors can access information about therapy, healthcare professionals, and treatment facilities. The site also features interviews with experts representing a broad variety of psychological topics, such as addiction, ADHD, and stress.

Psychology Tools

This free open-source site, founded in 2008, maintains a library of evidence-based tools and psychological self-help resources for psychologists, counselors, therapists, social workers, and students developing clinical skills. Users can download copyright-free books, articles, scales and measures, and educational worksheets available in several digital formats. Students can gain knowledge about therapies and techniques for several psychological conditions, including depression, grief and loss, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and post-traumatic stress.

MIT Open Courseware in Brain and Cognitive Sciences

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology administers OpenCourseWare for the web-based publication of over 2,400 courses representing all areas of the MIT curriculum. Students may access any course free of charge at their convenience. The Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences offers several undergraduate and graduate courses in neurobiology, neuroscience, and psychology. While course formats vary, the content includes syllabi and reading lists, lectures, video presentations, class notes, and assignments. Some courses offer free online textbooks.

Online Career-Exploration Resource for Psychology Majors

Curated by the Society for the Teaching of Psychology, this collection of resources addresses career options for undergraduate and graduate students with educational backgrounds in psychology. The content explores available career paths in psychology, the degrees needed to enter specific careers, and the key selection criteria used by employers. This resource provides information about 300 careers and over 2,400 links to specific career resources, organized in 15 searchable categories representing the major fields of employment for psychology degree-holders.

Social Psychology Network

Established in 1996, this highly regarded educational resource receives more than 20,000 visits per day by psychology educators, professionals, students, and the general public. Users of this site can access thousands of searchable links to professional journals, educational resources, online research articles, podcasts and blogs in social psychology and related fields. The site also offers a psychology career center, a mentorship program, and information on Ph.D. and clinical psychology programs. The network also maintains a Facebook page.

Theravive

Sponsored by a network of licensed therapists and psychologists, this free information site offers resources and services related to mental healthcare. Students benefit from the comprehensive encyclopedia, Therapedia, based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The news section provides a collection of articles on current events and mental health research. The site also maintains a directory of licensed therapists practicing in North America, and a guide to workshops, seminars, and continuing education opportunities.