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Purdue Offering New Course on the Science of Well-Being

Purdue University students will study the science and practice of well-being in a new course set to launch this fall.

Beyond Mental Health: The Science of Well-Being will provide a scientific and psychological account of well-being, including its definition, determinants and outcomes. The course is being taught by Dr. Louis Tay, William C. Byham Associate Professor in Industrial-Organizational Psychology in the Department of Psychological Sciences.

The course will address multiple aspects of well-being including the measurement of happiness, the effects of happiness on longevity and health, interventions that can promote happiness and the types of societies which experience more happiness. Students will discover the history of well-being research, scientific theories of well-being and the scientific processes of its study, and the application of psychological exercises in their lives. A gained awareness of campus resources which promote mental health and well-being are also part of the course.

“By understanding happiness and practicing positive psychological exercises, I hope that students, and those around them, will be able to make choices that lead to happier lives,” says Tay.

The development of the course is consistent with Steps to Leaps, a collaborative effort to foster lifelong habits and promote a growth mindset in the areas of well-being, leadership and professional development, impact, network building and grit. Steps to Leaps offers goal setting, action planning, worksheets, short motivational videos and more for self-assessment or facilitator-led assessments to help students celebrate their strengths while learning paths to improvement. Steps to Leaps was created by students for students under the care and direction of the Office of the Provost and is aligned with long-term University goals under the Provost Road Map for Transformative Undergraduate Education.