Happiness Education Course Ideas

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This page was created for [[Ravi Iyer]] and [[Brian Lickel]] to brainstorm over ideas for a new course on "[[Happiness]]" aimed at undergraduates at USC.
This page was created for [[Ravi Iyer]] and [[Brian Lickel]] to brainstorm over ideas for a new course on "[[Happiness]]" aimed at undergraduates at USC.
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This page may be a bit outdated...check out the [[USC happiness course lab]] page for more
= General vision =
= General vision =
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= Topics we could cover =
= Topics we could cover =
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* First section covers the basics of how we talk about/measure happiness
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* Second section covers ways we can train our minds
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* Third section covers alternative ideas of happiness (Morality & Flow)
== What is happiness?  How is it measured? ==
== What is happiness?  How is it measured? ==
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== Basic Psychological Needs & the Hedonic Treadmill ==
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== the Hedonic Treadmill ==
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* What do we adjust to and what do we not adjust to?
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* Lottery and paraplegic study
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* Money and Happiness
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* Study of Calcutta Prostitutes vs. Graduate Students
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* Things that are not subject to hedonic treadmill/adaptation (ie. noise)
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* Importance of disposition, personality, and genes
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* READING: Ch 2,5 of Happiness Hypothesis
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== Wanting vs. Liking ==
* Relative vs. Absolute goods (ie. money vs. vacation)
* Relative vs. Absolute goods (ie. money vs. vacation)
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* Dopamine system
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* Heroine users
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* Money
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* Power/Status
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* Space
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* READING: See Nettle book chapter on Wanting vs. Liking
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== Basic Psychological Needs  ==
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* Self Determination Theory (Deci & Ryan) - Competence, Relatedness, Autonomy
* Self Determination Theory (Deci & Ryan) - Competence, Relatedness, Autonomy
* Meaning as a basic psychological need?  (Kashdan ??)
* Meaning as a basic psychological need?  (Kashdan ??)
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* Self Esteem?  Security?
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* EXERCISE: Have students take the basic psychological needs surveys for domains and correlate with domain satisfaction -> http://www.psych.rochester.edu/SDT/measures/word/needsful.doc
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* Elderly as a control group
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* MEDIA: Show pioneer network video re: loneliness, helplessness, and boredom in the elderly.  relate to stats on elderly depression and suicide
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* Talk about experiment with elderly and plants
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== Gratitude & Focus ==
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== Training one's focus (ie. Gratitude, Altruism) ==
* Explore the idea of shifting a person's focus.   
* Explore the idea of shifting a person's focus.   
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* Explore ancient ideas about the world being a product of one's opinions.
 
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* Detachment and meditation
 
* Talk about Amygdala and ancient structures which make us focus on negative too much.
* Talk about Amygdala and ancient structures which make us focus on negative too much.
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* Luck (Wiseman)
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* LAB: Try classroom exercise of trying not to think of an elephant.
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* The mind is like an animal that must be trained rather than a car that must be driven (Haidt).
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* READING: Ch. 1 of Happiness Hypothesis
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* Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
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* Applying signature strengths
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* EXERCISE: Find your signature strengths and apply them
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* LAB: Talk about application of strengths?
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* EXERCISE: Keep gratitude journal
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* EXERCISE: Do something altruistic and report on it
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== Relationships & Emotional Intelligence ==
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== Meditation ==
* Maximizers vs. Satisficers
* Maximizers vs. Satisficers
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* Meditation exercise
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* Explore ancient ideas about the world being a product of one's opinions.
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* Detachment
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* EXERCISE: Take the scale
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* LAB: Try meditation, report on results
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== Relationships & Emotional Intelligence ==
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* Altruism and Gratitude in relationships (SPSP presentation research)
* one of the few things that does cause lasting happiness
* one of the few things that does cause lasting happiness
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* Maximizing and satisficing in relationships
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* Companion vs. passionate love
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* EXERCISE: Take emotional intelligence test -> [[Brackett, M. A., & Mayer, J. D. (2003)]]. Convergent, discriminant, and incremental validity of competing measures of emotional intelligence. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29, 9, 1147-1158.
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* EXERCISE: Do Iowa Gambling Task
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* Relate emotional intelligence to Phineas Gage & neuroanatomy
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* READING: ch. 6 of Happiness Hypothesis
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== Self Regulation, Habits vs. Discipline ==
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== The relationship between physical and emotional health ==
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* Sleep
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* Exercise
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* Sex
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* Drugs
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** Alcohol
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** Marijuana
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** Heroine/Meth/Cocaine
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** Prozac
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** Caffeine
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* Positive Illusions? - [[Taylor, S. E., Kemeny, M. E., Reed, G. M., Bower, J. E., & Gruenewald, T. L. (2000)]]. Psychological resources, positive illusions, and health. American Psychologist, 55, 1, 99-109.**
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== Self Regulation, Habits vs. Discipline, Belief ==
* Radish/chocolate experiement...depletion
* Radish/chocolate experiement...depletion
* Tal Ben Shahar's examples (ie. 4 minute mile)
* Tal Ben Shahar's examples (ie. 4 minute mile)
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* Belief and self esteem as self fulfilling prophecies
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== Adversity and Resilience ==
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* READING: ch.7 of Happiness Hypothesis
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== Experiencing Flow ==
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* Challenge vs. Ability
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* Intrinsic motivation
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* Music, Sports
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* Quotes from people who are in flow
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* A different kind of happiness
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* READING: [[Nakamura, J., & Csikszentmiyalyi, M. (2002)]]. The concept of flow. In C. R Snyder & S. J. Lopez (Eds.), Handbook of Positive Psychology, 89-105.
== Morality and Evil ==
== Morality and Evil ==
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* Talk about how opposing groups view other people's morals
* Talk about how opposing groups view other people's morals
* How self serving biases lead to the idea of "pure evil" (Baumeister, Haidt)
* How self serving biases lead to the idea of "pure evil" (Baumeister, Haidt)
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* Morality's relation to happiness
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* Morality's relation to happiness see [[Happiness and Values]]
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* Have students visit YourMorals.org? 
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* Use moral dilemmas such as....
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** Killing 5 vs. 1 person using a switch or pushing a man
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** Smothering your baby to save everyone from enemy soldiers
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** Brother and sister in France incest
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** Outcome influencing intentionality evaluations of CEO decisions
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* Moral elevation
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* READING: Ch.8 of Happiness Hypothesis, something on Myth of pure evil?
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== Sex, Drugs, and Brain Chemistry ==
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== Wrap-up ==
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* Dopamine system
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* Class project on self improvement graded on thoughtfulness and effort rather than content...any kind of happiness is ok...
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* READING: Ch. 10 of Happiness Hypothesis
= Multimedia we could use =
= Multimedia we could use =
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= Books to buy/check out =
= Books to buy/check out =
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* Signature Strengths book?
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* Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification  by Christopher Peterson and Martin Seligman
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* Flow  
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* Happiness - Nettle
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* Authentic Happiness - Seligman
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* Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life (Masterminds Series)  by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
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* Seligman, M. E. P. (2002). Authentic happiness. New York: Free Press.
* The Social Psychology of Altruism - Dovidio
* The Social Psychology of Altruism - Dovidio
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* Evil? - Baumeister
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* The Myth of Evil - Phillip Cole
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* Evil: Inside Human Violence and Cruelty  by Roy F. Baumeister
* Mind Wide Open - Steven Johnson
* Mind Wide Open - Steven Johnson
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* Happiness Hypothesis - Haidt
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* Happiness Hypothesis - Jonathan Haidt
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* The Question of Happiness - Tal Ben Shahar
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* The Question of Happiness: On Finding Meaning, Pleasure, and the Ultimate Currency  by Tal Ben-Shahar (Paperback - Aug 2002)
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* Happier - Tal Ben Shahar
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* Happier - Tal Ben Shahar (pre-order for May 2007)
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* The Luck Factor - Richard Wiseman
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* Keyes, C. L. M., & Haidt, J. (Eds.). (2003). Flourishing: Positive psychology and the life well lived. Washington DC: American Psychological Association.
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* Buddha (1993). Dhammapada. Thomas Byrom (trans.) Boston: Shambhala (Other editions acceptable, but not as beautiful)
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* Handbook of Positive Psychology
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* Paradox of choice- Schwartz, Barry
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* Stumbling on happiness, Gilbert
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* Emotional Intelligence, Goleman, Daniel
= Other thoughts/ideas =
= Other thoughts/ideas =

Latest revision as of 16:18, 18 June 2010

This page was created for Ravi Iyer and Brian Lickel to brainstorm over ideas for a new course on "Happiness" aimed at undergraduates at USC.

This page may be a bit outdated...check out the USC happiness course lab page for more

Contents

General vision

Topics we could cover

What is happiness? How is it measured?


the Hedonic Treadmill

Wanting vs. Liking

Basic Psychological Needs

Training one's focus (ie. Gratitude, Altruism)

Meditation


Relationships & Emotional Intelligence

The relationship between physical and emotional health

Self Regulation, Habits vs. Discipline, Belief

Adversity and Resilience

Experiencing Flow

Morality and Evil

Wrap-up

Multimedia we could use

Experiential Excercises

Books to buy/check out

Other thoughts/ideas

Personal tools
Namespaces
Variants
Actions
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