Left Menu
Development News Edition

Psychology course strikes chord with Yale students

“Very happy people spend time with others, they prioritize time with their friends, time with their family, they even take time to talk to the barista,” Santos said.

Psychology course strikes chord with Yale students
“Very happy people spend time with others, they prioritize time with their friends, time with their family, they even take time to talk to the barista,” Santos said.(Image Credit: Reuters)

The search for life's sweetest but most elusive treasure - happiness - brings nearly 1,200 Yale University undergraduates twice a week into an enormous hall on the Connecticut school's campus for its most popular class ever.

"Psychology and the Good Life" is such a hit that one in four undergraduate students at the Ivy League university is enrolled in the spring semester course, said Laurie Santos, the psychology professor who teaches the class. It is the largest class enrollment size in the history of Yale, founded in 1701.

What is the draw? Santos says it is the hope that science can help students find blissful relief from the misery that has reached an all-time high at colleges.

"Students report being more depressed than they have ever been in history at college, more anxious," she said.

Social science has generated many new insights into what makes people happy and how they can achieve that, Santos said.

"They really want to learn those insights in an empirical, science-driven way," she said, referring to students enrolled in the course.

The third-oldest university in the United States, Yale boasts many famous alumni, including presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito and actors Paul Newman and Meryl Streep.

Santos said feelings of happiness are fostered through socialization, exercise, meditation and plenty of sleep. Money and possessions are often seen as goals in the game of life, but the route to happiness heads in a different direction, she said.

"Very happy people spend time with others, they prioritize time with their friends, time with their family, they even take time to talk to the barista," Santos said.

She points to the psychological phenomenon of "mis-wanting," which leads people to pursue the wrong goals in life.

"We work really hard to get a great salary or to buy this huge house," she said. "Those things are not going to make us as happy as we think."

Homework assignments for the class, also known as Psyc 157, include showing more gratitude, performing acts of kindness and bumping up social connections.

Due to overwhelming demand, the course is now being offered free to the public, through Coursera.org.

On campus, the class is already paying off for Yale senior Rebekah Siliezar, who described her previous mindset.

"What's most pressing on our minds is grades, it's the next job, it's a potential salary after graduation," said Siliezar, whose family lives in suburban Chicago.

Now, she said, "I really try to focus on the present moment and the people around me."

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)



JNU Administration's 100-meter challenge before JNUSU

For the first time in its history, Jawaharlal Nehru University JNU Administration is seeking permanent deployment of local police to keep protesting students at 100 meters away from the Administrative Block. It would be interesting to see h...

Sentiment Analysis of Twitter users during COP25: Governments losing trust on Climate Action

Sentiment analysis of Twitter users during COP25 in Madrid, being held from December 2-13, shows widespread fear on climate change due to global warming but almost no trust on governments in meeting the emission targets. In the analysis the...

These innovators are making humanitarian response more efficient

These alarming trends prompt a call for the world to not only address the ongoing crisis but also to adopt innovative approaches to fulfill the growing humanitarian needs in such emergencies. ...

Hyderabad Encounter: A sentiment analysis of public mood on day of encounter

Sentiment analysis of twitter users revealed that they showered salutes on Hyderabad police for eliminating alleged gang rapists of the veterinary doctor but only a few believe in cops version of successive events leading to encounter....


Latest News

Indian-Americans' startup secures additional USD 10M investment for global rapid growth

Houston-based startup company Riversand, owned by two Indian-Americans, has secured an additional investment of USD 10 million from Crestline Investors to continue its product innovation as a technology leader in the space and fund growth i...

Reports: D-backs agree with Bumgarner on 5-year, $85M deal

The Arizona Diamondbacks agreed to a five-year, 85 million deal with free-agent left-hander Madison Bumgarner, multiple outlets reported Sunday. The deal includes 15 million deferred, according to reports by The Athletics Ken Rosenthal and ...

Turkey's Erdogan meets Libyan leader as regional tensions rise

Recep Tayyip Erdogan held talks with Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj in Istanbul on Sunday, just days after the Turkish leader said he was ready to send troops into Libya if requested by Tripoli. The closed-door meeting, which was not...

Turkey's Erdogan threatens to close 2 US military bases

Turkeys President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday threatened to close two strategic military bases used by the United States in Turkey after Washington warned of sanctions over Ankara buying Russian arms. If necessary, we can close Incirlik ...

Give Feedback