What do you want out of life? If you are like the vast majority of people who have been asked this question, your answer probably includes a desire to be happy. Often, though, we do not have a clear sense of what would make us happy. For more than thirty years, psychologists studying positive psychology have asked this very question: What makes people happy? And the research they have undertaken has provided clear answers.
In this course, you will learn about the field of study known as positive psychology, which is the scientific study of “valued subjective experiences” such as happiness, well-being, satisfaction, hope, and optimism, as well as positive traits such as creativity, courage, and wisdom that contribute to meaning in life. Positive psychology focuses on the psychological states – contentment, happiness, and hope – individual traits – intimacy, creativity, integrity, altruism, and wisdom – and social institutions — schools and places of worship – that enable us to live our best life.
In this course, you will learn about the history of positive psychology, beginning with the work of William James, continuing through the theory and research of contemporary positive psychologists. There is extensive coverage of the factors that determine our happiness, subjective well-being, and life satisfaction. Learners are given ample opportunities to engage in the activities that research has shown provide valuable self-care, including expressing gratitude, helping others, engaging in mindfulness, and finding meaning.
Later in the course, we present cross-cultural research on how well-being is measured across different societies and countries, cultural differences in desired levels of happiness, and how policy informs these factors. Last, research has demonstrated that helping others contributes to our levels of happiness. This course explains the factors that influence why we help, when we help, and how to increase helping behavior.
The course has a dual focus; in addition to learning about the field of positive psychology and its research findings, you will learn what proactive steps you can take to boost our own levels of happiness, well-being, and life satisfaction.
Dr. Susan A. Nolan, Seton Hall University
Dr. Denée Mwendwa, Howard University
Dr. Alan Strathman, American Psychological Association
Dr. Sharon Gan, American Psychological Association
- Define positive psychology, well-being, and happiness.
- Discuss simple ways to increase happiness and well-being.
- Explain how earlier psychological research fostered the development of positive psychology.
- Describe the research of the psychologists who founded positive psychology.
- Discuss the major criticisms of positive psychology.
- Identify the factors that affect subjective well-being.
- Discuss how positive psychology is used in interventions.
- Describe how well-being is measured across different societies and countries.
- Discuss cultural differences in desired levels of happiness.
- Explain how policy informs the factors that affect well-being.
- Discuss the factors that determine when individuals help others in need.
- List the steps involved in decisions to help.
- Describe ways to increase helping behavior.
The Positive Psychology Hall of Fame: Founders
The Roots of Positive Psychology
Laying a Foundation for Positive Psychology
The Positive Psychology Hall of Fame: Flag Bearers
Contemporary Positive Psychology
Critiques of Positive Psychology
Factors in Subjective Well-Being
The PERMA Theory of Well-Being
Positive Psychology Interventions
Happiness as a Policy Issue
Measuring Happiness Globally
Policies to Increase Happiness
Introduction to Helping Others in Need
Why We Help Others in Need
Psychological Factors Directing Helping Behavior
Understanding Altruism and Egoism
When We Help Others in Need
Increasing Helping Behavior
- Lectures 0
- Quizzes 0
- Duration 15 weeks
- Skill level All levels
- Language English
- Students 0
- Assessments Yes