FYS-137 Happiness

Instructor: Adjunct Assistant Professor Natalie D. Barlett
Department: Psychology

Course Description:
What makes you happy? Can you increase happiness? Should you want to? In this course, we will explore the meaning of happiness and examine how it is defined and assessed in current research. (Interestingly, not all researchers define happiness the same way nor do they use the same assessment tools.) We will investigate the different theories for where happiness comes from (is it due to nature, nurture, or both?) and identify the possible benefits of being happy. For example, is happiness really related to having more friends, being more creative, making more money, and living longer? In an effort to understand if and how we can increase happiness in ourselves and others, we will focus on popular happiness trends found in pop culture as well as in empirical research from fields including psychology, economics, health, and religion. Being mindful, doing good deeds, having positive relationships, having money, spending money, exercising, and being religious are all topics we will consider when trying to increase happiness.