The Science of Human Flourishing: Nourishing Well-Being, Achieving Goals, and Finding Performance

Institution: Carleton University
Category: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Language: English

Course Description

The science of human flourishing course has two aims. As an academic experience, it introduces students to novel areas of psychology concerned with mental health and well-being, optimal psychological and social functioning, performance, and goal pursuit. As an applied experience, students will practice promoting well-being in their daily lives, identify their strengths, learn to set goals, and build psychological attributes that will promote future success in important areas of their lives such as education, work, and sport.

Positive psychology and individual well-being:
The history of positive psychology and the science of happiness
Eudaimonic well-being (e.g., self-actualization, finding deeper meaning in life)
Character strength building and exercises (e.g., creativity, leadership, curiosity)
Popular positive psychological interventions (PPIs) (e.g., gratitude)

Goal pursuit:
The science behind what goals are and their role in our lives:
What is motivation and where does it come from?
Self-determination theory & basic psychological needs (competence, relatedness, and autonomy)
Characteristics of goals (e.g., autonomous, controlled) and what we can do to promote more successful goal pursuit
Practical exercises such as how to set an optimal goal (e.g., SMAART goals)
Self-control strategies
Emotional regulation strategies

Mindsets – what are they, how they develop, and how can we change them (e.g., growth mindset)
Psychological skills training & mental toughness (e.g., practice positive and motivational self-talk, visualization, confidence, and self-compassion)
Performance in school, work, life