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The Psychology of Happiness

Program dates: check-in June 21, class June 22-23, 2020

Program cost: $340

Includes lodging, all meals and any field trips.

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Course description

In this two-day workshop, students will explore scientific findings that have helped us understand what makes human beings happy. It turns out that many of the technological advancements that humans have developed to make our lives more enjoyable actually tend to make us less happy in the long run.

Through a series of mini-lectures, group discussions, video experiential exercises, and hands-on studies, students will learn what psychology has taught us about how to find more happiness in modern life, and how to help others find happiness as well. 

Tentative schedule

Sunday, June 21

  • Check-in
  • Welcome reception

Monday, June 22

  • What is happiness?
  • How do we measure happiness?
  • Lunch
  • Where does happiness come from?
  • Biological, psychological, and social determinants of Happiness
  • Cultural Differences in Happiness

Tuesday, June 23

  • How do we get happier?
  • Programs and Life Changes that Increase Happiness
  • Do they work for us? Testing out happiness interventions
  • Lunch
  • Can wanting to be happy cause problems?
  • Careers Helping Other People
  • What else do we want to learn about happiness?

Instructor: Dr. Austin Williamson

Dr. Williamson received a B.S. in psychology at Vanderbilt University, an M.A. in clinical psychology and a Ph.D. at University of Iowa. He teaches and conducts research in the clinical area of psychology and is also a licensed clinical psychologist with an active practice. Many students who take his classes are interested in careers as mental health professionals. He’s lead teams of student researchers who study the social experiences that influence a person’s risk for depression and other psychological disorders.