Spring 2019 - PSYC 391 D400

Selected Topics in Psychology (3)

Wellbeing Measures/Models

Class Number: 4119

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 3 – Apr 8, 2019: Tue, 2:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    PSYC 201. Other prerequisites vary by topic offering.



Course can be repeated for credit. Students may not take this course for further credit if similar topics are covered. See Psychology department website for course description.


Well-being: Issues in Measurement and Modeling

Well-being is a dominant topic in current media communications and a priority for governments, communities, universities, families, and individuals. In this course, students explore different conceptualizations of well-being, consider different research paradigms, and develop knowledge and skills with respect to different strategies to measure and model well-being. Since questionnaires are widely used in research in psychology,

students will be introduced to different questionnaires that have been designed and used in research.

Readings will include selected chapters from required textbooks, as well as regularly assigned additional articles (approximately 1-2 articles per week).


In this course, students will gain knowledge and skills in questionnaire design and evaluation of their quality and utility to measure and model well-being.

After successful completion of this course, students will be able to a) describe and explain multiple ways of conceptualizing well-being b) describe and explain the role of theoretical frameworks in measuring and modeling well-being c) describe and explain principles/issues/strategies in questionnaire design and evaluation d) describe and explain principles/issues/strategies to model well-being data e) apply principles of measurement and modeling in the study of well-being

This course will help students a) broaden research/writing skills including use of online research databases, literature review, critique, and synthesis b) deepen understanding of essential principles for the conduct of empirical research including measurement, data analysis, and results summary


  • Throughout the term, students will have a series of ungraded and graded activities (oral and written) to promote their learning. Through interaction with peers and the instructor, students will obtain feedback on their assignments and in the development of their data projects and final paper.
  • a) In-class activities: 5%
  • b) Thought papers/Reading reflections: 15%
  • d) Data project and summary: 25%
  • d) Final paper: 25%
  • __
  • * Quizzes/Tests:
  • a) Quizzes: 6%
  • b) Test: 24%
  • There is no final exam in this section of PSYC 391.



Johnson, Robert L., & Morgan, Grant B. (2016). Survey scales: A guide to development, analysis, and reporting. New York, NY: Guilford Press. ISBN: 978-1-4625-2696-3 Paperback

Cummins, Robert, A. (2018). Measuring and interpreting subjective wellbeing in different cultural contexts. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 978-1-108-46169-6 Paperback; ISSN: 2515-3986 (Online); ISSN: 2515-3943 (Print). This publication is from Cambridge University Press’s Cambridge Elements: Psychology and Culture Series.

Assigned readings (journal articles, book chapters) - Students will need to access the internet for online research using the University Library system as well as other open-access resources to retrieve, download, and print journal articles and chapters, in accordance with fair use copyright regulations


American Psychological Association (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed. Washington DC: American Psychological Association. ISBN: 978-1-4338-0561-5

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html