Positive Psychology

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Positive Psychology 3350.701.2162

University of Texas of the Permian Basin

Spring 2016 Syllabus

Instructor: Stephanie Fife

Office: 3rd floor - Rm 3246

Phone: 432-552-3347

Office Hours: Wed.1-2:00 p.m., Tues. & Thurs. 2:00-4:00 p.m.

E-Mail: Fife_S@utpb.edu
Text: Snyder, C. R., Lopez, Shane J. and Jennifer Teramoto Pedrotti, 3rd Ed. (2015) Positive Psychology: the scientific and practical explorations of human strengths. Sage Publishers.
Course Description: Positive psychology is a 3 credit course that fulfills requirements for both a major or a minor in psychology. It is also a very good elective for students studying any other discipline as it examines how people succeed in life which is applicable to the scientific world, the business world and the world of the individual.

Positive Psychology examines human behavior that allows for success in life, that empowers performance and that demonstrates resilience in the face of the adversities of life. Its view is different from the view psychology has had of problem behavior and how to change it. Rather, it seeks to find out what makes individuals flourish under both positive and negative circumstances.

Course Purpose: The purpose of this course is twofold. First, it will familiarize the student with the scientific research that has been done examining what constitutes the good life and how "authentic happiness" might be enjoyed by all. Important topics will be discussed such as emotions, traits and character strengths and positive institutions such as schools, family and the workplace with an emphasis on cultural diversity. The second purpose is a more personal one for the student. Through the experiential homework, the student will discover personal signature strengths and will understand how these strengths can be used to increase happiness, resilience and success.

Course (LEARNING) Objectives:

By the end of this course students will be able:

    • to critically examine the goals of the new movement of positive psychology and compare them to what is thought of as "psychology as usual".

    • to differentiate Eastern and Western cultural views and how they impact research in positive psychology.

    • to make an appraisal of personal signature strengths as seen in the Values in Action assessment.

    • to distinguish what maturation issues impact the development of resilience, optimism and hope in a person's life.

    • to examine the role emotions play in the search for authentic happiness.

    • to examine and compare prevention programs that enhance positive strengths and increase life satisfaction.

    • to actively evaluate the role positive institutions such as family, schools and the workplace play is both individual strengths and collective well-being.

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