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A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment


Provider
coursera

Price
Free

School
Indian School of Business

Type
University

Instructor
Rajagopal Raghunathan

Categories
Humanities, Business, Social Sciences

Duration
6 weeks

Format
Video

Language
English

Description
As several scholars have documented, the desire to lead a happy and fulfilling life is a universal one – and one that even our ancestors had. However, while the topic of happiness has traditionally attracted the attention of philosophers and religious leaders, it has, more recently, started attracting the attention of social scientists. These scientists’ findings reveal that there are two major – and inter-related – reasons why people aren’t as happy as they could be.   First, people have erroneous theories about the determinants of happiness. Most people, for example, expect an increase in material possessions (e.g., wealth) to have a bigger impact on happiness than it actually does. Likewise, most people do not expect pro-social behavior (e.g., generosity) to enhance happiness-levels as much as it actually does. Second, even when people’s lay-theories about what will make them happy are accurate, they often can’t bring themselves to make happiness-maximizing decisions. There are several reasons for this, including the desire to pursue more quantifiable goals at the expense of less quantifiable, but more happiness-enhancing, goals. In this course, we’ll explore empirical findings and theories that: a) document support for both reasons why people aren’t as happy as they could be, b) reveal why people exhibit these happiness-eroding tendencies, and c) what people can do to overcome these tendencies to enhance their happiness levels.