Positive Psychology: What's Right With Me – psy220 (3 credits)

How much control do we have over our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors? What does it mean to be “free”? This course offers the student a contemporary and relevant approach to the study of psychology and, in the process, the opportunity to learn more about themselves. In the course, the student will be able to evaluate, understand, and build on their psychological strengths and those of others.

This undergraduate-level course is 9 weeks. This course is available to take individually or as part of a degree or certificate program. To enroll, speak with an Enrollment Representative.

Influencing Happiness

  • Describe cultural influences on happiness and self-concept.
  • Summarize the benefits of positive emotions.

  • Describe gender differences, or lack thereof, in positive emotions and reported happiness.

The Self: Who Am I?

  • Define self-esteem.
  • Explain the impact of culture on the self-concept.
  • Describe how self-esteem influences behavior.

Exploring Hope

  • Compare and contrast the concepts of optimism and hopefulness.
  • Describe the impact of optimism on physical and psychological well-being.

Introduction to Positive Psychology

  • Describe the central themes and strategies of positive psychology.
  • Describe the concept of subjective well-being.
  • Explain how the concept of subjective well-being is measured.
  • Differentiate between hedonic and eudaimonic happiness.

Exploring Love

  • Describe how early attachment styles are associated with later adult relationships.

  • Summarize Sternburg’s triangular theory of love.
  • Identify characteristics of loving relationships.

Commitment and Goals

  • Discuss the relationship between goal selection and well-being.
  • Explain the matching hypothesis.
  • Describe the role of commitment and confidence in accomplishing a goal.


  • Examine human virtues and their associated character strengths.

  • Describe the attributes commonly associated with wise people.

Exploring Happiness

  • Summarize the research on variables that are related to and unrelated to happiness.
  • Explain the paradox of affluence.

Exploring Human Strengths

  • Review and recap the major concepts of positive psychology.

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