Positive Psychology and Well-Being Theory

Spring 2020
Evening and Weekend
Freshman - Senior
Class Size: 25
8 Credits per quarter
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Beyond psychology’s early focus on pathology and the negatives of human experience—what’s 'wrong' with us—a new science has emerged over the last 20 years to understand humans at their best. This worldwide collaborative effort has begun to empirically define, and experientially increase, what “makes life worth living.” The objectives for this course include development of a more advanced body of knowledge (and experience) regarding the positive aspects of human existence, as well as specific strategies for achieving the self-efficacy, hope, optimism, self-regulation, and resilience that serve positive emotion, positive character, positive institutions and communities, and positive organizational scholarship.

To the extent that basic psychological processes are shaped by the nuances of nature and nurture, and that living environments create the context for human expression and fulfillment, we will broadly examine the science of life satisfaction, applying practical strategies that promote wellbeing and quality of life in all social interactions, across cultures, as well as the natural world.  Students will be 'living' much of this material, devising and discovering ways to apply this new science to personal and professional development. Through the lens of love, work, play, and service to others, we will engage in activities that build what contemporary scholars have deemed the good life. Those students who have already taken the basic course in Positive Psychology, may use this 8 credit program to deepen and broaden their fundamental knowledge and skill.

50% of this course will be on-line (using Slack chatrooms, watching my lectures, posting your work to the Canvas site, and responding to peer papers). On the first night of class during Week 1 you will gain proficiency using the on-line technology. It should be possible to schedule weekly seminars taking students’ preferences into consideration. The seminar schedule will be created by the start of the second week. If you have any questions about this use of hybrid learning, you can contact the faculty. The in-class portion of the course will include 20 hours the first week (Thursday night and the first Saturday/Sunday) and the eighth weekend of the quarter (Saturday/Sunday), with the remainder of instruction on-line. Faculty will be available on a regular basis throughout each week to guide your learning.


Spring 2020 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

(8): 30283

Academic details

Fields of Study
Preparatory for studies and careers in

This program is relevant for careers in any discipline, but especially psychology, sociology, education, media, journalism, government, criminal justice, law. 

Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing


Time Offered
Evening and Weekend
Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule

First Meeting

LIB 2617 - Windows / Linux Lab