The Science of Happiness

11 weeks total 4 - 5 hours each week
2244

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Course Overview

“A free eight-week Science of Happiness course that will offer practical, research-backed tips on living a happy and meaningful life.” – The Huffington Post

We all want to be happy, and there are countless ideas about what happiness is and how we can get some. But not many of those ideas are based on science. That’s where this course comes in.

“The Science of Happiness” is the first MOOC to teach the ground-breaking science of positive psychology, which explores the roots of a happy and meaningful life. Students will engage with some of the most provocative and practical lessons from this science, discovering how cutting-edge research can be applied to their own lives. Created by UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, the course will zero in on a fundamental finding from positive psychology: that happiness is inextricably linked to having strong social connections and contributing to something bigger than yourself–the greater good. Students will learn about the cross-disciplinary research supporting this view, spanning the fields of psychology, neuroscience, evolutionary biology, and beyond.

 

What You’ll Learn

  • What happiness really means and why it matters to you
  • How to increase your own happiness and foster happiness in others
  • Why social connections, kindness, and community are key to happiness
  • Which mental habits are most conducive to happiness and how mindfulness can help

Meet Your Instructors

Dacher Keltner

Director, Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley
Dacher Keltner is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, and the founding director of the university’s Greater Good Science Center. Keltner has devoted his career to studying the nature of human goodness and happiness, conducting ground-breaking research on compassion, awe, laughter, and love. He is the author of the best-selling books Born to Be Good (W.W. Norton, 2009) and The Power Paradox (Penguin Press, 2016), and a co-editor of the anthology The Compassionate Instinct (W.W. Norton, 2010), in addition to more than 100 scientific papers and two best-selling textbooks. An outstanding speaker who has earned many research and teaching awards, Keltner has received rave reviews for his “Human Happiness” course at UC Berkeley and the online "Science of Happiness" course that has reached more than 500,000 students worldwide. His work is featured regularly in major media outlets, including The New York Times, CNN, and NPR, and the Utne Reader has named him as one of 50 visionaries who are changing our world.

Emiliana Simon-Thomas

Science Director, Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley Emiliana Simon-Thomas is the science director of the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley. A neuroscientist who earned her doctorate from UC Berkeley, her research has explored the neuro-biological roots of pro-social emotion and behavior, as well as the psychosocial benefits of emotional authenticity and connection. A gifted teacher, Simon-Thomas has presented on the science of happiness and compassion to the Dalai Lama and audiences worldwide. She is a co-instructor of the online "Science of Happiness" course on edX that has reached more than 500,000 students worldwide.
2244

Duration

11 Weeks

Experience Level

Introductory

Learning Partner

University of California, Berkeley

Subject

Business & Management Social Sciences