Yale's Most Popular Class Ever Available Free Online

  • by XpatAthens
Yale's Most Popular Class Ever Available Free Online
In the spring of 2018, the Yale psychology professor Laurie Santos unveiled a new course, Psychology and the Good Life. The subject was happiness.

The course was launched in the US at one of the nation's most elite universities. The reaction was unexpected as Psychology and the Good Life became the most popular class ever taught at Yale and garnered national and international media attention as nearly a quarter of all Yale undergraduates had enrolled in the class.

After waves of people asked to access the course, Santos designed an iteration for the online learning platform Coursera, called The Science of Well-Being, available for free to non-Yale students. There's an optional fee of $49 (about €45) to receive a certificate of completion.

The course is a combination of positive psychology and real-life applications of behavioral science. It debunks popular notions of what makes people happy and helps students understand the habits they should build to lead more fulfilling lives. It teaches practical advice such as how to choose a career that you'll love, as well as how to distinguish satisfying pursuits from hollow ones.

Now that most of us have to stay at home with plenty of free time in our hands, we have the opportunity to get creative. Taking this online course is an excellent way to promote our mental health and arm ourselves with courage and hope.

The course covers the following topics in weekly installments: 
  • Misconceptions about happiness
  • Why our expectations are so bad
  • How we can overcome our biases
  • Stuff that really makes us happy
  • Putting strategies into practice
The online course features lectures by Santos on things that bring lasting life satisfaction, optional readings, and "rewirement" activities to do each day to build happier habits. Research suggests that if you do these rewirements as prescribed, you should get a boost in your mood and overall well-being.

What To Expect From The Class 

To make the class warm and inviting, it's shot in Santos' own home, with Yale students in the audience so you can see how the material lands with other people. It feels intimate, and Santos' tone is friendly and conversational.

You will be thrilled to know that there's absolutely no required reading. All the information you need to know is summarized in the lecture. If you do want a deeper context, Santos provides links to complementary readings. Also, there's no grade penalty for a missed assignment deadline. 

However, just because it’s free it doesn’t mean it will be a piece of cake. While you can take the class at your own pace, you're encouraged to implement the rewiring techniques on a weekly schedule, since research has found that improving your well-being takes daily, intentional effort over long periods. Also, you will get 180 days from the time you sign up for the class to complete all of the work: quizzes, tests, and a peer-graded paper.

To join the Psychology and the Good Life course, please click HERE.
Article source: Business Insider