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Introductory Seminars for First-Year Students
The Psychology of Stoked: An Investigation of the Art and Science of Joy and the Exploration of Happiness
This is a class about the biological, psychological, and social aspects of what it means to live a positive, life-affirming existence. Are there universal markers for human happiness or do we need an individual "economic happiness plan" for life? What is the difference between joyful moments and life satisfaction? How do we prioritize our values? Are the choices we make consistent with our own true selves? This seminar of critical analysis and discussion can help us answer these and other questions.
Drawing from a wide range of sources, from psychiatry and psychology to spirituality, we will inform you about the latest thinking on the psychology of happiness, and also challenge you to rethink your assumptions about personal happiness. We will explore the new field of positive psychology examining life satisfaction and happiness from many perspectives—Sigmund Freud and Friedrich Nietzsche to Walt Whitman and Ernest Hemingway. We will also examine the psychiatry of stimulation including substance, human sexuality, and healthy methods of attaining happiness.