This course will examine recent discoveries in the scientific study of happiness, and place the idea of happiness within historical and cultural context. The course will integrate findings from sociology, psychology, anthropology and the natural sciences (neuroscience, biology, behavioral genetics) to explore questions about happiness. The class will pull on these literatures to answer questions about how happiness is defined and measured, whether and why some individuals and cultures experience more happiness than others, and whether happiness is biologically determined. The class will expose the challenges and difficulties inherent in the scientific study of happiness and students will learn how to critically evaluate the research. The concrete implications of the empirical literature on happiness will be addressed and students will consider both the benefits and possible detriments of applying the research in therapeutic and/or policy settings. This course is writing intensive. Open to students in the third or fourth year of study.


4 sh

Course Types

Core Interdisciplinary Seminar

Powered by SmartCatalog IQ