Positive Psychology and Well-Being Theory

Spring 2021
Freshman - Senior
Class Size: 50
8 Credits per quarter
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Beyond psychology’s early focus on pathology and the negative aspects 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 investigate, and experientially increase, what “makes life worth living.” The objectives for this course include development of an 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 in 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.

This course will be on-line (using Canvas for watching live lectures and discussing movies/videos, engaging in live small group seminars, accessing video resources and articles, and posting your work). During the first weekend of classes you will gain proficiency using the on-line technology for Canvas. From there we will schedule seminar groups (you will be divided into 5 seminar groups of 5-6 students) taking students’ preferences and personal schedules into consideration.


Spring 2021 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

(8): 30167

Academic details

Preparatory for studies and careers in

This program is relevant for careers in psychology (practice, teaching, research), sociology, education (primary, secondary, and higher learning settings), technology, media/journalism, government, business, criminal justice, law.

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First Meeting