Dec 01, 2021  
2021-2022 College Catalog 
2021-2022 College Catalog
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PSY 262 - Positive Psychology

3 Credits, 3 Contact Hours
3 lecture periods 0 lab periods

An introduction to research, theory and intellectual history of positive psychology. Overview and application of psychological principles relevant to the nature of happiness and psychological well- being as opposed to dysfunction and symptoms of mental disorders. Includes research methods, authenticity, happiness, mindfulness, positive interventions, emotional intelligence, character strengths, creativity, and core values and virtues.

Recommendation: PSY 101  with a C or better. If any recommended course is taken, see a financial aid or Veteran’s Affairs advisor to determine funding eligibility as appropriate.

Course Learning Outcomes
1. Discuss the research methods used in positive psychology

2. Articulate key concepts and research findings in the field of positive psychology including biological, psychological, and sociocultural influences on happiness and well-being.

3. Identify specific principles and interventions to assess and improve subjective well-being.

4. Demonstrate how the practical application of concepts and strategies in positive psychology contribute to   well-being across the lifespan.

Performance Objectives:
  1. Describe the historical development and foundations of Positive Psychology.
  2. Explain the research methods, theory, and measurement tools used in the field of Positive Psychology.
  3. Elucidate how Positive Psychology differs from other major theoretical models in the conceptualization of mental health.
  4. Describe the importance of understanding and developing strengths, character traits, values and virtues to increase and sustain well-being.
  5. Summarize and describe core concepts of Positive Psychology such as happiness, resiliency and optimism.
  6. Describe the major characteristics of mindfulness and its role in well-being.
  7. Explain the importance of healthy relationships in terms of decreasing isolation and depression and enhancing the well-being and connection with others.
  8. Identify and explain the biological, psychological, and sociocultural influences and correlates of happiness and well-being, including the role that positive emotions, meaning and purpose, and coping strategies play in creating a sense of happiness, health and well-being.
  9. Identify specific interventions and strategies that can be used to increase one’s subjective well-being.
  10. Define and explain concepts of creative inquiry, flow, self-expression and emotional intelligence to foster life satisfaction.
  11. Appraise how social, personal, and institutional factors contribute to increasing an individual’s level of motivation across the lifespan.
  12. Identify future directions of psychological research and application in the field of Positive Psychology.

  1. Positive Psychology
    1. Definition
    2. Historical developments and the Foundations of Positive Psychology
    3. Research Methods in Positive Psychology and well-being
  2. Operationalizing Positive Psychology Concepts
    1. Conceptualization of mental health
    2. Comparison of interventions
  3. Happiness and subjective well-being
    1. Causes and predictors
    2. Measurement techniques and instruments
    3. Necessary factors in the creation of subjective well-being
      1. Mindfulness
        1. Definitions
        2. Key Features
      2. Meaning and Purpose
      3. Optimism
      4. Resilience and happiness
  4. Relationships and Connection
    1. Research supporting the importance of relationships and connections
    2. Techniques to increase connections and decrease isolation

C.   Social and cultural factors related to happiness and well-being

  1. Self-Actualization
    1. Flow states of consciousness
    2. Creativity
    3. Sense of purpose
    4. Self-efficacy
    5. Transcendence
  2. Positive / Negative Emotions
    1. Trait theories
    2. Biological findings
    3. Sociocultural factors
    4. Health correlates
  3. Character Strengths and Virtues
    1. Identification and application
    2. Assessment
  4. Positive Interventions supported by research
    1. Social
    2. Affective
    3. Cognitive
    4. Behavioral
  5. Life Satisfaction
    1. Creativity
    2. Flow
    3. Emotional intelligence
    4. Self-expression
  6. Positive Institutions
    1. Families and Parenting
    2. Marital
    3. Workplace
    4. Other Organizations
  7. Research directions in the field of Positive Psychology
    1. New research methods
    2. Integration of positive psychology
    3. Cross cultural considerations

Effective Term:
Full Academic Year 2017/2018

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