Happiness Education Course Ideas

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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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* Space
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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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== 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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* Things that are not subject to hedonic treadmill/adaptation (ie. noise)
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* Self Esteem?  Security?
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* Lottery and paraplegic study
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* Have students take the basic psychological needs survey...
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* 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
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== Gratitude & Focus ==
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== Meditation ==
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* Explore the idea of shifting a person's focus.
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* Maximizers vs. Satisficers
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* Meditation exercise
* Explore ancient ideas about the world being a product of one's opinions.
* Explore ancient ideas about the world being a product of one's opinions.
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* Detachment and meditation
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* Detachment
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== Gratitude, Altruism & Focus ==
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* Explore the idea of shifting a person's focus. 
* 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.
* Luck (Wiseman)
* Luck (Wiseman)
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* 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).
== Relationships & Emotional Intelligence ==
== Relationships & Emotional Intelligence ==
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* Maximizers vs. Satisficers
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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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* Take emotional intelligence test
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* Relate emotional intelligence to Phineas Gage
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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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== 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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== 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
== 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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== Sex, Drugs, and Brain Chemistry ==
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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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* Dopamine system
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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
= Multimedia we could use =
= Multimedia we could use =

Revision as of 21:18, 30 March 2007

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.

Contents

General vision

Topics we could cover

What is happiness? How is it measured?


the Hedonic Treadmill

Wanting vs. Liking

Basic Psychological Needs

Meditation

Gratitude, Altruism & Focus

Relationships & Emotional Intelligence

The relationship between physical and emotional health

Self Regulation, Habits vs. Discipline, Belief

Experiencing Flow

Morality and Evil

Multimedia we could use

Experiential Excercises

Books to buy/check out

Other thoughts/ideas

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