Singapore University of Social Sciences

Positive Psychology

Positive Psychology (PSY353)

Applications Open: 01 October 2020

Applications Close: 16 December 2020

Next Available Intake: January 2021

Course Types: Modular Undergraduate Course

Language: English

Duration: 6 months

Fees: To be confirmed

Area of Interest: Humanities & Social Sciences

Schemes: Lifelong Learning Credit (L2C)

Funding: To be confirmed

School/Department: School of Humanities & Behavioural Sciences


Positive Psychology is the study of how people thrive despite external obstacles and their own human frailties. This course explores concepts, issues, and processes that contribute to enhancing the quality of life, and presents scientific research highlighting the positive aspects of human nature—what leads to optimal human functioning, and how and why some humans thrive. Students will get the opportunity to study theories about cognitive patterns and behaviors that facilitate human well-being, and practical applications on how to make life fulfilling.Students will be introduced to the social psychological research and theories on well-being. They will be expected to apply some theories to their own lives, to reflect on them as part of the coursework, and to exercise their critical thinking abilities to form their own personal views on what constitutes a “good life.” By the end of the course, students should be able to understand and explain the basic theories in positive psychology, and to critically defend (or oppose) the cognitions and behaviors that serve to enhance or undermine optimal human growth.Course content will address the following questions: • What are the positive psychological mind-states and action sequences that promote flourishing lives, and how can we live life well? • What are the behaviors, cognitions, and external factors that promote or undermine well-being? This course is an introduction to the scientific research and issues in positive psychology, as well as an avenue for experiential learning towards a global understanding of human well-being.

Level: 3
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every semester
E-Learning: BLENDED - Learning is done MAINLY online using interactive study materials in Canvas. Students receive guidance and support from online instructors via discussion forums and emails. This is supplemented with SOME face-to-face sessions. If the course has an exam component, This will be administered on-campus.


  • Introduction and Overview of Positive Psychology
  • Happiness and Well-being
  • Money and Happiness
  • Personality, Self-esteem, and Optimism. Gratitude and Altrusim
  • Positive Relationships
  • Culture and Happiness

Learning Outcome

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the social psychological research and theories on well-being.
  • Examine the various social psychological research and theories and on well-being.
  • Analyze the cognitions, behaviors, and factors which enhance or undermine optimal human growth.
  • Evaluate the theories regarding the factors that influence well-being.
  • Apply positive psychology theories to your own lives.
  • Propose recommendations for improving well-being using the theories and findings from positive psychology.
  • Appraise what constitutes well-being or a “good life” based on the empirical evidence in the literature.
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