Positive Psychology:
Psychology 382 Syllabus (Fall 2010)

Neil Lutsky

Olin 111, x4379, e-mail: NLUTSKY@CARLETON.EDU
Course Meetings: Olin 103, Tuesday and Thursday, 8:15-10:00

Organization and Requirements:

The seminar will examine the contemporary movement in psychology known as positive psychology. What is positive psychology? One of our initial and ongoing challenges this term is to address that question: to become familiar with current visions of positive psychology and to consider alternatives and future directions for positive psychology. At a quite general level, positive psychology can be described as an effort to use the tools of rigorous science to help us understand the sources and nature of positive human strengths, characteristics, resources, and aspirations. Positive psychology then seeks to apply this knowledge to help individuals and institutions function more effectively.

This is an advanced seminar. My expectation is that each of us will take responsibility for the conduct of every class meeting. In addition, I will give specific assignments to seminar members for the September 23, October 5-7, and October 26 classes. You should also submit a major final paper on a topic in positive psychology on Monday, November 15. There are a host of topics in positive psychology the seminar is not scheduled to cover in depth, including positive affect and health, flow, positive organizational psychology, consumerism and happiness, and positive psychology counseling and coaching. I hope some of these will be represented in the set of paper topics class members select. Class presentations on your paper topics will be scheduled for November 9 and 11, the week prior to the Monday on which the paper is due. Final grades for the seminar will be based on your final paper (40%), your class presentation on your topic (20%), and your other structured and unstructured participation in class (40%). Please read carefully, consider topics and readings seriously before class, identify and develop questions for class discussion, and participate in class discussion actively, thoughtfully, and critically.

Finally, please remember that I would enjoy talking to you about course-related issues outside of class time and invite you to stop by my office to do so.

Book to Purchase:

Course Topic and Reading Schedule:

September 13, 2010