PS 230 - Positive Psychology: The Science of a Good Life

While psychological science has made tremendous strides in understanding pathology, explaining weaknesses and treating illness, the past two decades have seen the birth of a new wave in psychology - one that explores human flourishing. What is a good life? What makes people flourish? How can building our strengths and virtues help us thrive? Through our exploration of the latest psychological research in Cognition (thoughts), Affect (feelings) and Behavior (actions), we will discover the science behind a good life and examine the factors that contribute to well-being.

Why Positive Psychology and why now? During their semester abroad, students often find themselves outside of their comfort zones. As they accumulate a wealth of experiences, knowledge and connections, students may naturally engage in self-reflection about their own lives. This class offers a unique opportunity to not only learn about the science of well-being, but also to put these empirical findings into practice. Each week we will consider a different intervention from Positive Psychology that the students will apply in their own lives and reflect on in their journals. The course strives to add to the students' knowledge of the psychology of happiness, but also, to their understanding of their own well-being. As a crucial insight from any study abroad program, this exploration can nudge the students to take a step closer to themselves, while being far away from home.

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