The Science of Happiness|
(This course is being offered as a blend of synchronous class meetings and asynchronous work involving small group discussions.) Positive psychology is the study of human happiness. The field has compiled an enormous research base offering evidence of the fundamental components of well-being and flourishing. While former work used a narrow, Western definition of happiness, the discipline later broadened its focus to include traditionally Eastern concepts such as social harmony and compassion. More recently, the field has been redefined through second-wave and third-wave positive psychologies, both of which seek to break free from the binary concepts of "positive" and "negative" in favor of a dialectic approach, while utilizing concepts of flourishing through suffering found in indigenous psychology, and including models for systemic change found in social work, sociology, and economics.
This course will trace the history and development of positive psychology from its inception to the current state of the field, using a positive psychology text supplemented by journal articles. Core concepts will be discussed and critiqued. It will require students to keep "happiness journals" and complete out-of-class activities for personal reflection upon and practice of individual experiences of happiness. Additional course requirements include shorter and longer reflection papers, in-class discussion, and a final project.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Lecture / Discussion||Grading Mode: Student Option|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (PSYC)
||Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available
|SECTION 01 - Summer Session I|
|Major Readings: Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore
Lopez, Pedrotti, & Snyder (2019). Positive Psychology: The Scientific and Practical Explorations of Human Strengths 4th Edition.
Selected chapters will be made available on course Moodle.
Bakshi, A. (2019). Happiness is not a luxury: An interview with Ed Diener. British Journal of Guidance and Counseling, 47(2), 258-262.
Seligman, Martin. (2019). Positive Psychology: A personal history. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 15, 1-23.
Topic: Using a Wider Lens
Joshanloo (2014). Eastern conceptualizations of happiness: fundamental differences with Western views. Journal of Happiness Studies, 15, 475-493.
Joshanloo & Weijers (2014). Aversion to happiness across cultures: a review of where and why people are averse to happiness. Journal of Happiness Studies, 15, 717-735.
Oishi, Graham, Kenehir, & Galinha. (2013). Concepts of happiness across time and cultures. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 39 (5), 559┐577.
Topic: Positive Emotions
Danner, Snowdon, & Friesen (2001). Positive emotions in early life and longevity: findings from the nun study. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80, 804-813.
Fredrickson, Cohn, Coffey, Pek, & Finkel. (2008). Open hearts build lives: positive emotions, induced through loving kindness meditation, build consequential personal resources. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 1045-1062.
Schiffer, L.P and Roberts, TA. (2018). The paradox of happiness: Why are we not doing what we know makes us happy? The Journal of Positive Psychology, 13 (3), 252-259.
Tse et. al (2018). Teamwork and flow proneness mitigate the negative effect of excess challenge on flow state. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 13(3), 284-289.
Hill & Turiano (2014). Purpose in life as a predictor of mortality across adulthood. Psychological Science, 25(7), 1482-1486.
Liang et. al. (2017). The four Ps of purpose among College Bound students: people, propensity, passion, prosocial benefits. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 12(3), 281-294.
Gable, Impelt, & Asher. (2004). What do you do when things go right? The intrapersonal and interpersonal benefits of sharing positive events. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87, 228-245.
Jeter, W. and Brannon, L. (2018). ┐I┐ll make it up to you:┐ Examining the effect of apologies on forgiveness. Journal of Positive Psychology, 13(6), 597-604.
McCullough, M. (2001). Forgiveness: Who does it and how do they do it?┐ Current Directions in Psychological Science, 10(6), 194-197.
Witvliet, C et. al. (2001). Granting forgiveness or harboring grudges: Implications for emotion, physiology, and health. Psychological Science, 12(2), 117-123.
Back and Guse (2015). The effect of contemplation and meditation on `great compassion┐ on the psychological well-being of adolescents. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 10(4), 359-369.
Topic: Spirituality, transcendence, gratitude
Chopik et. al. (2019). Gratitude across the lifespan: Age differences and links to subjective well-being. Journal of Positive Psychology, 14(3), 292-302.
Emmons, R. and McCullough, M. (2003). Counting blessings versus burdens: An experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84(2), 377-389.
Piff et. al. (2015). Awe, the small self, and prosocial behavior. Journal of Personality and Prosocial Psychology, 108(6), 883-899.
Van Cappellen, P. et. al. (2016). Religion and Well-being: The mediating role of positive emotions. Journal of Happiness Studies, 17, 484-505.
Heintzelman, S. & Kushnor, K. (2020). Emphasizing scientific rigor in the development, testing, and implementation of positive psychology intervention
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Written responses to peer reflections
Class discussion. In- and out-of-class activities and exercises. Happiness journal. Final Project
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
This course counts as an elective towards the psychology major. This course will be taught by Jennifer D'Andrea.
|Instructor(s): D'Andrea,Jennifer Times: .MTWR.. 03:30PM-05:30PM; Location: ONLINE; |
|Total Enrollment Limit: 20||SR major: 4||JR major: 4|| || |
|Seats Available: 0||GRAD: X||SR non-major: 4||JR non-major: 4||SO: 4||FR: X|
|Drop/Add Enrollment Requests|
|Total Submitted Requests: 0||1st Ranked: 0||2nd Ranked: 0||3rd Ranked: 0||4th Ranked: 0||Unranked: 0|