Positive psychology broadly focuses on psychological thriving and how to promote it. The field aims to help individuals lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, cultivate what is best within themselves, and enhance their experiences of love, work, and play. In the first part of the course, we review the history of positive psychology, examine the meaning and measurement of happiness and well-being, explore the role of genetics and circumstances on happiness, and review the myriad benefits of happiness. In the second part of the course, we review the research detailing who is happy and why, and we explore the research on the practices and habits that facilitate happiness. Specific practice and habit topics include gratitude, mindfulness, optimism, strengths identification, meaning and purpose in life, meaningful social connections, compassion, forgiveness, positive relationships, sleep, and more. Throughout the course, we will participate in experiential learning from assessing our own happiness and strengths to engaging in practices found to facilitate happiness.
This course will not count toward major in Psychological and Brain Sciences for day students.