Spring 2025 | Asia, Africa, and Europe Exploration

PSY 300 Positive Psychology

Overview of Course

“If you can change your mind, you can change your life.” – William James

Positive psychology is the scientific study of the individual characteristics, cultural influences and environmental conditions that allow human beings to thrive (rather than merely survive). In this course, we will explore positive psychology cross-culturally, examining Eastern versus Western methods of supporting positivity and wellness. We’ll discuss research and theory pertaining to the study of strengths, flourishing, happiness, meaning, and well-being worldwide. Topics include happiness and well-being, positive emotions and thinking, character strengths and virtues, motivation and self-control, resilience and post-traumatic growth, and healthy relationships and institutions. Together, we will explore what it means to be happy, and how the answer to that question may depend on what country, culture, and time you live in. By the end of the course, you will build your own personal positive psychology toolkit that you will be able to draw on to help you navigate tough times.