Overview of Course
This course introduces students to the rapidly growing field of positive psychology. Positive psychology encompasses the study of positive experiences, character traits, relationships, and institutions and practices that facilitate psychological development. Although positive psychology is a growing subfield within American psychology, ancient practices throughout the globe have taught values that pertain to positive psychology such as contentment, benevolent action, and gratitude. We will review the history of positive psychology, empirical support for the field, including research methods, and cultural practices that increase happiness and well-being. Students will explore philosophies such as Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism to deepen their understanding of course content. We will engage in experiential learning and practical exercises throughout the course to increase well-being, which will inform our theoretical and empirical understanding of positive psychology.