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Happiness Schedule

Wk Topics in class Readings / listenings 
 (Complete these during the week; be ready to discuss them at the next class.)
 Activities / Assignments
 (Complete these during the week; be ready to discuss them at the next class.)
 1 Introduction

Wallis, The new science of happiness (Time, 2005)

Kahneman, Experience vs Memory (TED talk) 

Begin a journal.  Record every night 2 or 3 things that gave you pleasure during the day.  (Do this every day for the whole semester.)

Assess yourself - Take the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire and try Diener's Satisfaction With Life Scale

 2Different conceptions of happiness

Fred Bryant, The art of savoring 

Martin Seligman on Positive Psychology (TED talk)
Trip to Foster Lake

Journal topic: Why do people enjoy walking around a lake?

Savoring exercise


The new science of happiness
Darrrin McMahon, "The Tragedy of Happiness" (photocopy)

Find and submit a song (with lyrics) that you think says something about contemporary conceptions of happiness.

 4Historical perspective:
How the idea of happiness has changed over time
 Daniel Gilbert, Why are we happy?  (TED talk) 
 5Film: Thirteen Conversations About One ThingA. de Botton on happiness and films

M. Gladwell on Spaghetti Sauce (TED Talk)

B. Schwartz, "The Paradox of Choice"  (TED Talk)

 6The pros and cons of choices

 M. Czikszentmihalyi on "Flow" (TED Talk)

T.B. Bowden--Commentary on the flow theory

Tracy Sheen "Finding Flow in Writing"
 1. Print out or copy the Challenge/Skill chart and plot your activities on it.

2. Try to identify which activities bring you closest to achieving flow.
 7 Flow

 9  Anton Chekov, "Happiness"

Katherine Mansfield, "Bliss"

 10 Physical Exercise & Happiness FInd one or two readings on the relation between physical exercise and happiness, preferably ones that concern issues that aren't too obvious or well-known. Exercise vigorously for at least 30  minutes at least 4 times in the week.
  Record in your journal what effect (if any) this has on your mood, energy level, productivity, etc..
 11 Mindfulness (with Ben Howard.)  Class to be held in Miller 301Jack Kornfield, "Doing the Buddha's Practice"

Matthieu Ricard (a Buddhist monk)  on the habits of happiness (TED Tallk)

 12 Gratitude"Expressing gratitude improves happiness"

Highlights from the Research Project on Gratitude

 Cultivating Gratitude: Interview with Robert Emmons

 13 No Class 

 14 Basic values Nic Marks, "The happy planet index" (TED Talk) 
Nancy Etcoff, Summary of Happiness Research (TED talk)