Positive Psychology – University of Pennsylvania

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Positive Psychology: Well-being for life. Master strategies and tools that enable individuals and organizations to thrive

About This Specialization

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.

The positive psychology course online 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

Projects Overview

Learners design and justify small-scale positive interventions to enhance specific aspects of their personal wellbeing based on the skills acquired in each course of the specialization. Personal reflections are implemented provide learners with the skills to impact their personal and professional lives.

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.

Courses for the positive psychology course online

Beginner Specialization.
No prior experience required.

COURSE 1

Positive Psychology: Martin E. P. Seligman’s Visionary Science

Upcoming session: Mar 19
Commitment
4 weeks of study, 4-6 hours/week
Subtitles
English

About the Course

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.
You can choose to take this course only. Learn more.

WEEK 1

Positive Psychology Introduction by Dr. Martin Seligman
In this module, Dr. Martin Seligman introduces the scientific foundations of positive psychology and key research findings that led to a revolutionary understanding of what makes people flourish. Participants will learn about research-based skills and exercises to increase well-being and begin to practice these skills in their own lives.

WEEK 2

The Skills of Well-being Can Be Learned, Taught, and Transformative
In this module, Dr. Martin Seligman shares the great leaps in scientific understanding that created the foundation for a science of well-being at individual, communal, and global levels.

WEEK 3

Being Whole: Mind/Body Flourishing Throughout Life
In this module, Dr. Martin Seligman shares key research questions from the field of Positive Psychology, and the answers turn some conventional assumptions on their head. Are we shaped by the future vs. the past? And what does science tell us about mind/body flourishing? What gets better as we age?

WEEK 4

Future Directions in Positive Psychology
In this module, Dr. Martin Seligman discusses some of the most inspiring recent and future developments in the field of Positive Psychology, in particular those that transcend individual experience and have the potential to transform our world.

COURSE 2

Positive Psychology: Applications and Interventions

Upcoming session: Mar 26
Commitment
Four weeks of study, 4-6 hours a week
Subtitles
English
About the Course
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.
You can choose to take this course only. Learn more.

 

WEEK 1

Introducing the Course and Exploring Positive Emotions

WEEK 2

Understanding and Cultivating a Healthy Emotional Life

WEEK 4

Setting and Achieving Goals

COURSE 3

Positive Psychology: Character, Grit and Research Methods

Upcoming session: Mar 19
Commitment
Four weeks of study, 5-7 hours a week.
Subtitles
English
About the Course
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.
You can choose to take this course only. Learn more.

WEEK 1

Planning for Research

WEEK 2

Collecting Data

WEEK 3

Analyzing Data

WEEK 4

Using Research to Inform Your Work and the World Around You

COURSE 4

Positive Psychology: Resilience Skills

Upcoming session: Mar 26
Commitment
Four weeks of study, 2-5 hours a week.
Subtitles
English
About the Course
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.
You can choose to take this course only. Learn more.

 

WEEK 1

Resilience and Optimism
In this module, you will learn the definition of resilience and understand the protective factors that make one resilient. You will differentiate between helplessness and mastery orientations, and understand the thinking styles underlying each. You will summarize major outcomes of optimism, and the mediators of those outcomes, as well as assess your own levels of optimism, using a questionnaire. Finally, you will hear about personal and organizational outcomes of optimism, and will be able to apply these concepts to your own life.

WEEK 2

Cognitive Approaches to Resilience: Strategies to Increase Optimism and Resilient Thinking
In this module, you will learn about thinking traps and how they undercut resilience. You will learn about five common thinking traps and identify which you are prone to, in addition to the effects of those styles of thinking. You will practice Real-Time Resilience, a strategy to challenge non-resilient thinking. Finally, you will hear about personal and organizational outcomes of optimism, and plan how to apply these concepts to your own life.

WEEK 3

Managing Anxiety and Increasing Positive Emotions Like Gratitude
In this module, you will learn the definition of catastrophic thinking and identify the effects it has on physiology, attention and contingency planning. You will experiment with several non-cognitive strategies to decrease anxiety, including Deliberate Breathing. You will be introduced to the Broaden and Build theory of positive emotions, and will be able to describe the effects of positive emotions on resilience. Finally, you will relate research and examples of gratitude to your own life and develop a plan for a gratitude practice.

WEEK 4

Leveraging Character Strengths and Strengthening Relationships
In this module, you will identify your own character strengths using a well-validated questionnaire. Next, you will describe how to use your character strengths in stressful situations to increase resilience by creating a buffer of positive emotion. Additionally, you will learn the research on active constructive responding, and identify their predominant responding style with important people in their lives. Finally, you will hear examples of inculcating resilience into organizations, and plan how to incorporate resilience strategies into your personal and professional lives.

COURSE 5

Positive Psychology Specialization Project: Design Your Life for Well-being

Upcoming session: Mar 26
Commitment
4 weeks of study, 2-5 hours per week.
Subtitles
English
About the Course
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.
You can choose to take this course only. Learn more.

 

WEEK 1

Character Strengths: One Concept to Rule them All
Module 1 of the Positive Psychology Capstone reviews the VIA Character Strengths Classification and in particular asks the learner to identify his or her five signature strengths and assess if they are authentic.

WEEK 2

Peterson Theory on Psychological Mental Illness as defined as an Excess, an Absence, or an Opposite of a Character Strength rather than by the Presence or Absence of a Symptom in the DSM
Module 2 presents Chris Peterson’s unfinished theory on mental illness. Specifically his belief that the absence of strengths, the excess of strengths, and the opposite of strengths might define 72 conditions of character weakness, and that these shortcomings might be a better framework than the DSM which uses a checklist of symptoms.

WEEK 3

Developing a Positive Intervention using a signature strength to bolster a strength absence or strength opposite. Hypothesis & Experiment Design for Personal Positive Intervention
Module 3 has the learner target an area for remediation from among Peterson’s inventory of 72 deviant strengths and craft a positive intervention using a signature strength.

WEEK 4

Putting the Positive Intervention into Action
Module 4 has the learner put the positive intervention into action, assess and the share the results, and finally reduce the positive intervention to writing so it can be shared.





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