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This page may be a bit outdated...check out the [[USC happiness course lab]] page for more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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* Keep it real and grounded
* Keep it real and grounded
* Include alternate ideas of the good life
* Include alternate ideas of the good life
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= Syllabus in Progress =
 
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Schedule of classes, topics, assignments, and discussion.
 
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*EXERCISES: Take Basic Needs Scales, Domain Satisfaction, Introduce Weekly Affect/PANAS
 
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*DISCUSSION: Getting to know you, Why are they taking this course?  What is Happiness?
 
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*January 15: Introduction
 
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*January 17: An Opening View from Economics – The Statistical Story of Changes in Subjective Well-Being Over Time and Across Nations
 
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*EXERCISES: Take Big 5 personality Test,  Optimism Scale, Life Satisfaction and State Happiness Scales
 
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*DISCUSSION: Present results of needs & domain satisfaction.  Talk about kinds of happiness.  Other basic needs?
 
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*January 22:  Behavior Genetics and Personality Psychology….A Grim Rejoinder?
 
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*January 24:  But Wait, What Are We Measuring Anyway?
 
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*DISCUSSION: Present results of personality/happiness data.  Can happiness change?  Elephant vs. race car analogy.
 
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*EXERCISES: Think about a vacation.  Tell us about it.  Rate the experience.  Justify your rating.  Think about actual negative experience and hypotheticals of winning lottery or losing legs.  Rate experiences and justify.
 
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*January 29:  Hedonic Adaptation – Experimental Evidence and Neurological Basis
 
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*January 31:  Emotion and Cognition –The Tangled Web of “Passion” and “Reason”
 
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*DISCUSSION: Discuss data from last exercises in light of peak/end rule and affective forecasting.  Do Brother/sister incest story to show lack of rationality.
 
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*EXERCISE: Take Maximizer/Satisficer scale.  Do some experiment where choice affects maximizers/satisficers differently.
 
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*February 5:  Affective Forecasting – Do we really known what we like, and why? 
 
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*February 7:  Some More Biases from “Optimal” Decision-Making
 
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*EXERCISES: Social Comparison and Gratitude?
 
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*DISCUSSION: Discuss Maximizer/Satisficer data with experiment.  Talk about choice in real life.  Introduce idea of self vs. other focus?
 
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*February 12:  Social Comparison – Envy or Inspiration?
 
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*February 14:  Overwhelmed by Choice?
 
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*DISCUSSION: Exam Prep.
 
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*EXERCISES: Emotional Intelligence test.  Connection to others.  Iowa Gambling Task.
 
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*February 19:  Exam 1 Covering Lecture Material up to February 14, and these readings… Goleman (1-6); Schwartz (All of it);
 
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*February 21:  Health and Happiness – A Two Way Street
 
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*DISCUSSION: Relate Iowa gambling, EI, connection, and happiness/PANAS data.  Maybe do classroom experiential on inclusion/exclusion recreating Twenge study?
 
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*EXERCISES: Exclusion experiment online?  Inclusion?
 
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*February 26: The Importance of Others – The Neurological Bases of the Pain of Social Isolation and Joy of Social Inclusion
 
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*February 28:  The Benefits of Social Connection – Giving and Getting
 
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*EXERCISES/DISCUSSION: ??  Maybe put some moral stuff here?  Does this repeat Jan 22 lectures?
 
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*March 4:  Why your Set-Point gets Set - How Genes, Parenting, and Childhood Experiences Interact to Influence Lifetime Happiness
 
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*March 6:  Depression and Anxiety – The Accidental Discovery of Anti-Depressants, and the Neuroscience of Negative Mood
 
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* EXERCISES: Self Esteem Scale.  Examine beliefs.
 
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* DISCUSSION: Talk about where beliefs hold us back.  Data from prev week.
 
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*March 11:  Belief in Change – You Are Not (Totally) a Prisoner to Your Genes (or Childhood)
 
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*March 13:  Self-Esteem – The Strange Journey of a Pop Psychology Concept
 
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*Week of March 17 – Spring Break
 
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*EXERCISE: Try to create a new habit.
 
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*DISCUSSION: Habits, Self-regulation, and procrastination.
 
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*March 25:  Positive Illusions – The Bad and the Good
 
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*March 27:  Self-Regulation, Procrastination, and Perfectionism
 
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*EXERCISE: Meditation Exercise.  Exercise to consciously remind oneself to correct bad thought patterns.
 
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*DISCUSSION: Group meditation and discussion.  Present data?
 
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*April 1:  Focusing Your Mind – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy’s Science-Tested Tricks to Beat the Thoughts that Lead to Unhappiness
 
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*April 3:  Zen Mind, Happy Mind? – The History, Practice, Neuroscience, and Consequences of Meditation and Prayer
 
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*DISCUSSION: Exam Prep
 
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*April 8:  Exam 2 – Lecture material through April 3, and these readings…Goleman (7-16); Haidt (All of it); Twenge (All of it)
 
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*April 10:  The Art of Social Negotiation – Getting What You Want and Being Nicer Too
 
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*DISCUSSION/EXERCISES: Maybe this would be a good place for the do something for others and do something for oneself exercise.  Talk about in context of self/other focus.  Present/collect data on approach/avoid motivation in relationships and altruism/gratitude.
 
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*April 15:  Money – Why Most of Us Spend Too Much and Save Too Little (and what to do about it).
 
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*April 17:  Creating Good Relationships – Some Science-Based Suggestions
 
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*EXERCISE: Flow Questionnaire?  Survey of what government should do?
 
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*DISCUSSION: Present last weeks data.
 
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*April 22:  Work and Happiness – Flowing with Csikszentmihalyi
 
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*April 24:  The Science of Happiness and the Practice of Public Policy – What (If Anything) Should Government Do?
 
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*EXERCISE: Class Projects - self improvement.
 
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*DISCUSSION: Present Class projects/papers to each other.
 
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*April 29:  The Meaning of it All – Adversity, Gratitude, and Growth
 
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*May 1:  Turn in Paper, Class Evaluation, Review for Final
 
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*May xx:  Final Exam (For the Final, read all of Easterbrook…which you should have done anyway to write a good paper)
 
= Topics we could cover =
= Topics we could cover =

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
Navigation
Interaction
Toolbox