Beyond Western 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 25 years to understand humans at their best. This expanding 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 meaning and purpose, self-efficacy, 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.”
This program is relevant for careers in psychology, sociology, education, media, journalism, government, criminal justice, law. Credits will be awarded in sub-disciplines of psychology (such as positive psychology, well-being theory, developmental psychology, and social psychology).
psychology, sociology, education, media, journalism, government, criminal justice, law