Dr. David Sitt, professor and deputy chairman of the psychology department at Baruch College, will introduce a course in spring 2011 that is geared towards positive psychology.
Positive psychology is based on the principle that all human beings have an innate desire to live happy, fulfilled lives. It focuses on spreading positive emotions that result in the optimal functioning of people, groups and institutions.
In an interview with The Ticker, Sitt disclosed what the course will truly entail and what Baruch students can hope to gain from taking such a course.
How did the idea of starting the positive psychology course come about?
Last spring, while studying consciousness in the Introduction to Psychology class, students were presented with one question: How can you make a positive difference on a large scale and bring people of all backgrounds together? The student response was overwhelming, and soon everything snowballed into one mission of challenging the class to elevate the consciousness of NYC. Dance.Love.Now was a direct result of that and the extensive student interest and involvement in such a project was a great push towards introducing a course primarily based on increasing general awareness towards positive emotions.
What is Dance.Love.Now? Is the group still active?
It was a movement propelled by around 30 students to generate positive energy by dancing. It was one of the most magnetic attractions of Spring Fling 2010. It was truly a mind-opening experience. To be honest, this movement has been so magnificent that it still hasn't sunk in.
The group is still active and well, and phase two is percolating. I have the blue print of an amazing event. To stay up-to-date on everything, visit www.dancelovenow.com.
What will this class encompass? What are the learning objectives for this course?
This most certainly will not be one of those classes with a sit back and listen atmosphere, and an assigned textbook. The purpose is to create an environment where everyone feels connected, and the work produced is at the optimum best. There will be readings from authors such as Edward Diener, and a huge experimental portion to the class. Students might be asked to go out and engage in acts of pleasure versus the acts of kindness. The objective would be to assess the impact of each action and how long the resultant emotion lasts. Of course, all of these are just brainstormed ideas, and are subject to change as the framework of the course develops further.
More after the jump