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Harvard’s Positive Psychology 1504, taught by professor Tal Ben-Shahar (PhD), will enter the history books as the most popular course in the history of Harvard University.
Put together with the ‘Psychology of Leadership’ class that Ben-Shahar taught, over 1400 Harvard students have enrolled in this class back in the spring of ’06.
This course consists of 22 lectures that last around 75 minutes each. The course also contains a great guest lecture on humor, given by Shawn Achor, who also studied and taught at Harvard. This course is about the psychological aspects of life fulfillment and flourishing, by teaching about empathy, friendship, love, achievement, creativity, spirituality, happiness, and humor.
This article is aimed to provide you with all the necessary materials you will need to follow the course. If you have a true love of learning but are unable to attend classes check out our online learning section. Be sure to also check out our page on positive psychology courses and positive psychology degrees as they present you with all the different online and offline positive psychology courses that are out there!
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Who is Tal Ben-Shahar?
Born in 1970, Ben-Shahar is a renowned teacher and writer in the areas of positive psychology and leadership. He completed his PhD at Harvard University in Organisational Psychology, completing his dissertation on “Restoring Self-Esteem’s Self-Esteem: The Constructs of Dependent and Independent Competence and Worth.” In 2011, Ben-Shahar joined Angus Ridgway to cofound Potentialife, a leadership development program that uses science to help organisations develop ideal leadership behaviours and to bring positive psychology into daily lives.
“Attaining lasting happiness requires that we enjoy the journey on our way toward a destination we deem valuable. Happiness, therefore, is not about making it to the peak of the mountain, nor is it about climbing aimlessly around the mountain: happiness is the experience of climbing toward the peak” – Tal Ben-Shahar
Harvard’s Positive Psychology 1504 Syllabus
You can click on the link below to open this course’s syllabus in PDF-format. It contains all the necessary readings for this course and links to the free online sources for these readings.
However, some of the readings are not freely or easily available online.
Positive Psychology 1504 Lecture Videos
The lectures of this course have been put online so that people all over the world can learn about, and develop an interest in, positive psychology and it’s scientific branches. Below you will find the first lecture of this lecture series. The other lectures are also available on Youtube or elsewhere online.
Lecture slides (SlideShare & PPT)
Some of my lecture notes…
Books by Tal Ben-Shahar
Based on his positive psychology lectures, Ben-Shahar has published two books on happiness and life fulfillment.
Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment. (2007). Buy the book online from Amazon.
The Pursuit of Perfect: How to Stop Chasing Perfection and Start Living a Richer, Happier Life. (2009). Buy the book online from Amazon.
Don’t be a stranger!
I’d love to hear about your experience with this course via the comments.