Overview of Course
The good life is something we all want to achieve. But what determines what we mean by the good life? Psychologists have traditionally examined human behavior from a deficit perspective from damaging habits to human weakness. However, in order to achieve a more holistic perspective of human potential, psychologists must also study our strengths, optimism, happiness, hope and resiliency. Positive psychology is the scientific study of the individual characteristics, cultural influences and environmental conditions that allow human beings to flourish. This course takes an empirical and experiential approach to helping individuals understand and use course content to enhance their lives. Over the path of our voyage, we will have the opportunity to visit locations that define “the good life” in different ways and examine cultural norms and practices to help build grit and resilience including opportunities to examine Eastern versus Western methods of supporting positivity and wellness. Topics include happiness and well-being, positive emotions and thinking, character strengths and virtues, motivation and self-control, resilience and post-traumatic growth, and healthy relationships and institutions. Additionally, this course will allow students to learn about the ways in which concepts of flourishing, resilience and the good life are understood and manifested across cultures.