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The Science of Well-Being

Coursera · Yale University · 6 HN points · 8 HN comments

HN Academy has aggregated all Hacker News stories and comments that mention Coursera's "The Science of Well-Being" from Yale University.
Course Description
In this course you will engage in a series of challenges designed to increase your own happiness and build more productive habits. As preparation for these tasks, Professor Laurie Santos ...
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  • Ranked #5 this year (2020) · view
Provider Info
This course is offered by Yale University on the Coursera platform.
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Hacker News Stories and Comments

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The Science of Wellbeing[1] taught by Yale’s Dr. Laurie Santos lives up to the hype. It’s been discussed on HN a few times[2] which is how I stumbled upon it.

If you don’t mind my asking, did your school give you access to coursera to earn credit while the campus is shut down? Or is it just something interesting and fun for students who might be inclined to learn something new while they’re stuck at home? Either way, props to your school! And enjoy whatever classes you decide to take!



Coursera for Campus for the time being is free. You need to ask your school to apply:

EdX also has something similar.

NYU's Tandon School Engineering is doing the same with edX (since it is part of the organization), but students won't earn credits.
Thanks for the recommendation, sounds great!

As mentioned above, I think the credit is due to Coursera more than my university; either way, at least they've let me know that something like this is possible.

It's just for fun; most of our courses are now taught over Zoom or similar services, assignments are handled digitally and if it wasn't for the low-quality webcams, you'd almost forget something is out of the ordinary.

The link to the course is in the article, but I will post it here too: .
It looks like it's also available on YouTube (if you don't want to register on Coursera):

Correction: This YouTube link is just the first lecture of the course.
Mar 28, 2020 · 5 points, 0 comments · submitted by ValentineC
Mar 25, 2020 · 1 points, 0 comments · submitted by simonpure
I'm currently in week 4 of the most popular course in Yale [0], but was made available online on Coursera[1].

I think for the most part I've learnt I've learnt that much of what we think about happiness is consistently shown not to work. And that many of our expectations of what we think will make us happy, simply won't. If we want genuine happiness, it takes an honest self-assessment of what we're doing, what's stopping us from being happy and what would be the best way to map the parts of our life we can control to actually make us happy.

Anyway, the course seems well respected and highly recommended [2]. But I hope you're doing ok, and whatever you choose to do next, you find what you're looking for. Best of luck.




I wish I had the time to watch this. What are the biggest ideas that you've learned?
Highly reccomend this course. Free on coursera

The Science of Well-Being

In this course you will engage in a series of challenges designed to increase your own happiness and build more productive habits. As preparation for these tasks, Professor Laurie Santos reveals misconceptions about happiness, annoying features of the mind that lead us to think the way we do, and the research that can help us change. You will ultimately be prepared to successfully incorporate a specific wellness activity into your life.

The class starts today if anyone is interested in enrolling:
Going to recommend the most widely taken course at Yale at the moment, which fortunately is now available as a MOOC on coursera, "The Science of Well Being":

This is a positive psychology course based on work by Seligman et al.

Would this be Seligman of "none of my positive psychology results replicate" fame?
Does this mean you're not signing up for the course? :D
Could you provide more information or sources about that?
Do Positive Psychology Exercises Work? A Replication of Seligman et al. (2005)

Results: Repeated measures analyses showed that the PPEs led to lasting increases in happiness, as did the positive placebo. The PPEs did not exceed the control condition in producing changes in depression over time.

Conclusions: Brief, positive psychology interventions may boost happiness through a common factor involving the activation of positive, self-relevant information rather than through other specific mechanisms. Finally, the effects of PPEs on depression may be more modest than previously assumed.

My point exactly.
Thanks for the link. The four treatment conditions look REALLY similar to me (see pages 384-285). They're all exercises that make you think about good things in your life:

Expectancy control (early memories): “[...]Every night over the next week, set aside about 10 minutes before bed [...] to log on to this website to write about an early memory.”

Positive placebo (positive early memories, in addition to rationale above): “[...] Every night over the next week, set aside about 10 minutes before bed [...] to log on to this website to write about an early positive memory.”

Three good things (Seligman et al., 2005): “[...] log on to the website daily for seven days to list three things that went well on that day and why they happened.”

Using signature strengths in a new way (Seligman et al., 2005): “This exercise consists of two parts. You will take a questionnaire that gives you feedback about your strengths. This will take about 45 minutes. The next day you will be asked to use these strengths in new ways every day for one week [...]”

So regardless of whether the specific exercises are uniquely useful, it seems like it's valuable to make yourself focus on the positive stuff.

I just listened to a podcast with Laurie Santos, all about her course on happiness research, which quickly became the most popular course ever taught at Yale.

A shortened version of the course is available on Coursera:

It's surprising how much the research validates things we all intuitively know or suspect about happiness, but routinely fail to put into practice. Exercise. Sleep. Mindfulness. Human interactions. Have some free time. "Avoid news" seems like it might fit too.

Thanks for this. Watched the course intro and I'm definitely enrolling for April 9th.
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