About The Course
As several scholars have documented, the desire to lead a happy and fulfilling life is a universal one – and one that even our ancestors had. However, while the topic of happiness has traditionally attracted the attention of philosophers and religious leaders, it has, more recently, started attracting the attention of social scientists. These scientists’ findings reveal that there are two major – and inter-related – reasons why people aren’t as happy as they could be.
First, people have erroneous theories about the determinants of happiness. Most people, for example, expect an increase in material possessions (e.g., wealth) to have a bigger impact on happiness than it actually does. Likewise, most people do not expect pro-social behavior (e.g., generosity) to enhance happiness-levels as much as it actually does. Second, even when people’s lay-theories about what will make them happy are accurate, they often can’t bring themselves to make happiness-maximizing decisions. There are several reasons for this, including the desire to pursue more quantifiable goals at the expense of less quantifiable, but more happiness-enhancing, goals.In this course, we’ll explore empirical findings and theories that: a) document support for both reasons why people aren’t as happy as they could be, b) reveal why people exhibit these happiness-eroding tendencies, and c) what people can do to overcome these tendencies to enhance their happiness levels.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will I get a certificate after completing this class?
This course only offers a Verified Certificate. It will not offer the Statement of Accomplishment. You can start verifying your work for free and pay anytime before the final week of the course. Coursera Financial Aid is also available for learners with limited economic means.
Do I earn credits upon completion of this class?
No. The Verified Certificate is not part of a formal qualification from the school.
What resources will I need for this class?
No resources needed, except an open-minded curiosity about human nature.
What are the learning outcomes of this course and why should I take it?
You will learn why people aren’t as happy as they could be, why we exhibit behaviors that lower our happiness levels, and what we can do to overcome these tendencies to enhance their happiness levels.
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