Fall 2021 - PSYC 391 D100

Selected Topics in Psychology (3)

The Science of Happiness

Class Number: 2676

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Fr 9:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    SSCK 9500, Burnaby

  • 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.


We will be exploring the emerging scientific study of happiness and well-being. The goal of this class is to introduce you to this burgeoning field of scientific study and provide you with an opportunity to try some research-supported routes to happiness.


By the end of this course you should be able to,

1. Identify the three components of subjective well-being.

2. Name and describe the three factors contributing to chronic happiness levels.

3. List at least five research-supported routes to boosting happiness and cite

specific experimental evidence to support each.

4. Describe how definitions of happiness and well-being vary across the life span

and across cultures.

5. Discuss happiness related concepts and evidence with the public.


  • Participation: 20%
  • Writing Assignments: 50%
  • Term Paper/Project: 30%
  • please note this is a tentative breakdown



No text required

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


Teaching at SFU in fall 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place.  Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the fall 2021 term.