Happiness Education Course Ideas
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Revision as of 21:18, 30 March 2007 by Ravi
- Avoid preaching
- Keep it real and grounded
- Include alternate ideas of the good life
Topics we could cover
- First section covers the basics of how we talk about/measure happiness
- Second section covers ways we can train our minds
- Third section covers alternative ideas of happiness (Morality & Flow)
What is happiness? How is it measured?
- Talk about Seligman's 3 ideas (Affect, Flow/Engagement, Spiritual/part of something larget).
- Eudamonia vs. Hedonism - Growth vs. Pleasure
- Diener's national surveys
- Remembered Happiness vs. Experienced Happiness (Show Kahneman's studies)...experience sampling..peak/end rule.
- Is morality important? introduce Altruism and Evil....
the Hedonic Treadmill
- What do we adjust to and what do we not adjust to?
- Lottery and paraplegic study
- Money and Happiness
- Study of Calcutta Prostitutes vs. Graduate Students
- Things that are not subject to hedonic treadmill/adaptation (ie. noise)
Wanting vs. Liking
- Relative vs. Absolute goods (ie. money vs. vacation)
- Dopamine system
- Heroine users
Basic Psychological Needs
- Self Determination Theory (Deci & Ryan) - Competence, Relatedness, Autonomy
- Meaning as a basic psychological need? (Kashdan ??)
- Self Esteem? Security?
- Have students take the basic psychological needs survey...
- Show pioneer network video re: loneliness, helplessness, and boredom in the elderly. relate to stats on elderly depression and suicide
- Talk about
- Maximizers vs. Satisficers
- Meditation exercise
- Explore ancient ideas about the world being a product of one's opinions.
Gratitude, Altruism & Focus
- Explore the idea of shifting a person's focus.
- Talk about Amygdala and ancient structures which make us focus on negative too much.
- Luck (Wiseman)
- Try classroom exercise of trying not to think of an elephant.
- The mind is like an animal that must be trained rather than a car that must be driven (Haidt).
Relationships & Emotional Intelligence
- Altruism and Gratitude in relationships (SPSP presentation research)
- one of the few things that does cause lasting happiness
- Maximizing and satisficing in relationships
- Companion vs. passionate love
- Take emotional intelligence test
- Relate emotional intelligence to Phineas Gage
The relationship between physical and emotional health
Self Regulation, Habits vs. Discipline, Belief
- Radish/chocolate experiement...depletion
- Tal Ben Shahar's examples (ie. 4 minute mile)
- Belief and self esteem as self fulfilling prophecies
- Challenge vs. Ability
- Intrinsic motivation
- Music, Sports
- Quotes from people who are in flow
- A different kind of happiness
Morality and Evil
- Talk about theoretical moral foundations and values (Schwartz, Shweder, and Haidt)
- Talk about how opposing groups view other people's morals
- How self serving biases lead to the idea of "pure evil" (Baumeister, Haidt)
- Morality's relation to happiness see Happiness and Values
- Have students visit YourMorals.org?
- Use moral dilemmas such as....
- Killing 5 vs. 1 person using a switch or pushing a man
- Smothering your baby to save everyone from enemy soldiers
- Brother and sister in France incest
- Outcome influencing intentionality evaluations of CEO decisions
Multimedia we could use
Books to buy/check out
- Signature Strengths book?
- Authentic Happiness - Seligman
- The Social Psychology of Altruism - Dovidio
- Evil? - Baumeister
- Mind Wide Open - Steven Johnson
- Happiness Hypothesis - Haidt
- The Question of Happiness - Tal Ben Shahar
- Happier - Tal Ben Shahar
- The Luck Factor - Richard Wiseman