Foundations of Positive Psychology

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Overview

The University of Pennsylvania and Dr. Martin E.P. Seligman welcome you to Foundations of Positive Psychology. Our five-course specialization provides you with the key theories and research in the field of positive psychology as well as opportunities for application. Course topics include • Positive Psychology: Martin E.P. Seligman’s Visionary Science with Dr. Martin E.P. Seligman • Positive Psychology: Applications and Interventions with Dr. James Pawelski • Positive Psychology: Character, Grit and Research Methods with Dr. Angela Duckworth & Dr. Claire Robertson-Kraft • Positive Psychology: Resilience Skills with Dr. Karen Reivich • Positive Psychology Specialization Project with Dr. Martin E.P. Seligman

Syllabus

Course 1: Positive Psychology: Martin E. P. Seligman’s Visionary Science
- Dr. Martin E.P. Seligman—renowned worldwide as the “father of Positive Psychology”—has led visionary leaps in the scientific research, empirical data and personal understandings of human flourishing. This course explores the past, present and future of positive psychology as a journey through the key scientific leaps led by Dr. Seligman and his colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania's Positive Psychology Center and Master of Applied Positive Psychology program. There are no prerequisites.

Course 2: Positive Psychology: Applications and Interventions
- Positive interventions are one of the building blocks for the application of positive psychology in our day-to-day lives. In this course taught by Dr. James Pawelski, we explore positive interventions through theory, research and practice. We provide learners the basic tools for using and measuring positive psychology in professional or personal contexts. Suggested prerequisite: Positive Psychology: Martin E. P. Seligman’s Visionary Science.

Course 3: Positive Psychology: Character, Grit and Research Methods
- Learners discover how apply to research methods to their study of Positive Psychology. In this course, we study with Dr. Angela Duckworth and Dr. Claire Robertson-Kraft. Through an exploration their work "True Grit" and interviews with researchers and practitioners, you develop a research hypothesis and learn how to understand the difference between internal and external validity. You also begin to understand and apply the strengths and weaknesses associated with different types of measurements and evaluation designs. You then interpret the results in an empirical study. Suggested prerequisites: Positive Psychology: Martin E. P. Seligman’s Visionary Science and Positive Psychology: Applications and Interventions.

Course 4: Positive Psychology: Resilience Skills
- Learn how to incorporate resilience interventions into your personal and professional life with Dr. Karen Reivich. In this course, you are exposed to the foundational research in resilience, including protective factors such as mental agility and optimism. Several types of resilience interventions are explored including cognitive strategies; strategies to manage anxiety and increase positive emotions such as gratitude; and a critical relationship enhancement skill. Throughout the course, you will hear examples of individuals using resilience skills in their personal and professional lives. Suggested prerequisites: Positive Psychology: Martin E. P. Seligman’s Visionary Science, Positive Psychology: Applications and Interventions and Positive Psychology: Character, Grit & Research Methods.

Course 5: Positive Psychology Specialization Project: Design Your Life for Well-being
- You are encouraged to take the first four courses of the Foundations of Positive Psychology Specialization before starting this course and completing the Specialization Project. This course, taught by Dr. Martin E.P. Seligman brings all the key concepts from the first four courses to practice as you develop and test a new positive intervention for an audience of your choice. You identify opportunities in your daily life to increase the wellbeing by using knowledge you developed in the first four courses of the Specialization. In this final project, you evaluate the efficacy of a positive intervention based on subjective and objective measures. Then, you compare how empirical and non-empirically-based positive interventions can be applied to influence a person's wellbeing. Lastly, you reflect on how the fundamental elements of research methods are important in the everyday application of positive psychology. After completing all five courses, learners earn a certificate signed by Dr. Martin E.P. Seligman, Dr. James Pawelski, Dr. Angela Duckworth, Dr. Claire Robertson-Kraft and Dr. Karen Reivich.