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Intro

Coursera: A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment

 with  Rajagopal Raghunathan
Class Central Course Rank
#2 in Subjects > Humanities
#1 in Subjects > Humanities > Philosophy

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What are the determinants of a happy and fulfilling life?

This is surely one of life’s biggest questions, and a question that has interested many of our ancestors. Buddha famously gave up his kingdom in search of happiness. Several Greek philosophers (from Aristotle to Epicurus and Plato to Socrates) had their own views on what it takes to be happy. And of course, we all have our own theories about happiness too.

How valid are our theories?

Until recently, if you wished for an answer to this question, you would've been forced to base it on discussions with spiritual leaders. Or, if you were lucky, you could've based it on late-night (and perhaps intoxicant-fueled) conversations with friends and family. Happily, all that has changed now. Over the past decade-and-a-half, scientists have gotten into the act big time. We now have a pretty good idea of what it takes to lead a happy and fulfilling life.

This course, based on the award-winning class offered both at the Indian School of Business and at the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin, developed by Prof. Raj Raghunathan (aka "Dr. Happy-smarts") draws content from a variety of fields, including psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral decision theory to offer a tested and practical recipe for leading a life of happiness and fulfillment.

Although not mandatory, reading Prof. Raj's forthcoming book, titled If you're so smart, why aren't you happy? can help you review and assimilate the material covered in this book at your leisure.

For Coursera learners alone, the hardcover version of the book is available for a deep discount of 50%, plus shipping and handling. You can order the hardcover for 50% off by writing to Aaron at: Aaron@800ceoread.com. Please mention that you are a student of the "coursera happiness course" in your email.

The course will feature guest appearances by several well-known thought leaders, including:
- Dan Ariely (author of Predictably Irrational and, soon to be released, Irrationally Yours),
- Ed Diener (“Dr. Happiness”),
- Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (author of Flow),

By taking this course, you will discover the answers to questions such as:
- Why aren’t the smart-and-the-successful as happy as they could—or should—be
- What are the “7 Deadly Happiness Sins” that even the smart and the successful commit?, and
- What are the “7 Habits of the Highly Happy” and how can you implement them in your life?

By the end of the course, I expect students who have been diligent with the lectures and exercises to not just gain a deeper understanding of the science of happiness, but to also be significantly happier.

Syllabus

Module 1: Course intro and happiness measurement


Module 2: The 1st sin, habit, and exercise


Module 3: The 2nd sin, habit, and exercise


Module 4: The 3rd sin, habit and exercise


Module 5: The 4th sin, habit and exercise


Module 6: The 5th sin, habit and exercise


Module 7: The 6th sin, habit, and exercise


Module 8: The 7th sin, habit, and exercise


Module 9: Summary and concluding Remarks


420 Student
reviews
Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
Pace Upcoming
Subject Philosophy
Provider Coursera
Language English
Certificates Paid Certificate Available
Hours 2-3 hours a week
Calendar 6 weeks long
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Dr. Raj Raghunathan
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Reviews for Coursera's A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment
4.8 Based on 420 reviews

  • 5 stars 88%
  • 4 stars 10%
  • 3 stars 2%
  • 2 star 0%
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  • 1
5.0 3 years ago
by Roshni Kanchan is taking this course right now, spending 14 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
I started the course all over again last week. Not because the first time around was difficult, but because there is so much information packed into the course that a second round seems imperative.

Even after completing the course, I put off writing a review because my vocabulary seemed extremely inadequate. The struggle was similar to the first exercise wherein I had to define happiness. I knew but could not articulate. To simply say “The course is very useful” is an understatement. So is “The teacher is excellent”.

Given that my vocabulary is not increasing dramatically any time soon, I finally decided to at least put down the tangible and let the intangible be for the time being.

Here’s my experience:

- A classmate, Moos Lamerus, concatenated all the suggested readings (links to various studies, articles, TED talks etc) into a single document that ran into 99 pages. That THAT much of research (at a minimum) had gone into the maki
Read more
I started the course all over again last week. Not because the first time around was difficult, but because there is so much information packed into the course that a second round seems imperative.

Even after completing the course, I put off writing a review because my vocabulary seemed extremely inadequate. The struggle was similar to the first exercise wherein I had to define happiness. I knew but could not articulate. To simply say “The course is very useful” is an understatement. So is “The teacher is excellent”.

Given that my vocabulary is not increasing dramatically any time soon, I finally decided to at least put down the tangible and let the intangible be for the time being.

Here’s my experience:

- A classmate, Moos Lamerus, concatenated all the suggested readings (links to various studies, articles, TED talks etc) into a single document that ran into 99 pages. That THAT much of research (at a minimum) had gone into the making of the course, is a very very impressive fact indeed.

- In one exercise, I learnt to define happiness (so simple but oh so not easy). I thought I knew, and was I surprised!

- In another, I learnt to move out of my comfort zone a wee bit.

- By the end of yet another exercise, I realised that I don’t face any major problems on a daily basis. Something which I’d taken for granted.

- And another exercise in which I felt relieved to know that I was already doing the right thing even when no one around me was. Strengthened my beliefs.

- One of my favourites is the peer reviews of the exercises. I made my son read a few of the altruistic acts I was reviewing. Thought it will be better than preaching. And now he wants to read it every day and then discuss it with me. Bonus benefit of the course!

- Having read a lot of spiritual, self-help, psychology books, I wouldn’t say that everything in the course was new to me. As another classmate, David Benson put it “this course is like opening up parts of me and re-examining them in light of new ideas.” Some forgotten concepts came to the fore, some existing concepts I was able to look at from a modern and scientific point of view and yet some simply made more sense.

- All of above was made so much more interesting (addictive even) with Dr. Raj’s style of teaching – fun, full of energy, simple and that something (vocab limitation again!!) which kept me glued to the lesson. I’m not the only one who felt sad the course ended.

- He is also the only teacher (amongst the Coursera courses that I took) who actually joined in both the forums and engaged with the students, answering our questions, providing additional reading material relevant to the discussion, even an additional exercise for us to do.

A Life Of Happiness And Fulfillment is truly one of the best courses I’ve attended and with one of the best teachers I’ve come across till date.
43 people found
this review helpful
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5.0 3 years ago
by Catherine Xavier completed this course, spending 1 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
Writing a review for Prof. Raj Raghunathan (aka Dr. Happy Smarts’) “Happiness course” is very exciting to me. I consider myself very fortunate to be working as Prof. Raj’s teaching assistant for the Happiness course at the Indian school of Business for the last two years.

Assisting Prof. Raj with the happiness course has been a truly transforming, eye-opening, and an exciting time of my life. Dr. Happy smarts has a personality and a style that seamlessly blends with the objectives of the happiness course—trust me, he walks the talk. A professor with a sunny and bright disposition, Prof. Raj is genuinely happy and one who strives to enrich the lives of others with a greater understanding and a lasting experience of happiness. Among the course I have assisted, the happiness course undoubtedly emerges as my favorite one owing to the following reasons:

• Prof. Raj’s course is entirely based on scientific findings of happiness that he molds into inter
Read more
Writing a review for Prof. Raj Raghunathan (aka Dr. Happy Smarts’) “Happiness course” is very exciting to me. I consider myself very fortunate to be working as Prof. Raj’s teaching assistant for the Happiness course at the Indian school of Business for the last two years.

Assisting Prof. Raj with the happiness course has been a truly transforming, eye-opening, and an exciting time of my life. Dr. Happy smarts has a personality and a style that seamlessly blends with the objectives of the happiness course—trust me, he walks the talk. A professor with a sunny and bright disposition, Prof. Raj is genuinely happy and one who strives to enrich the lives of others with a greater understanding and a lasting experience of happiness. Among the course I have assisted, the happiness course undoubtedly emerges as my favorite one owing to the following reasons:

• Prof. Raj’s course is entirely based on scientific findings of happiness that he molds into interesting and easily applicable insights that are practically applicable at every step in one’s life. It is a course that anyone can connect with, and participate in order to enrich one’s happiness.

• The course has helped me personally to a great extent: it offered me the opportunity to delve into myself, to gain deeper insights on significant and most ignored and unquestioned aspects of my life such as the meaning and significance of happiness in my life, the things that make me happy, the sins of happiness, and most importantly, how I can be happy by prioritizing and not pursuing happiness. I can surely say I am a much happier and a brighter person today – having been a part of the happiness course for long.

• The course dwells on exploring the roots and the meaning of a happy and fulfilling life; Prof. Raj offers a rich research-based understanding of happiness, and dwells on the many facets of a fulfilling life that we all long for. The examples, metaphors, and analogies are simple to understand, and easy to relate to.

• Prof. Raj not only exhibits a demonstrated knowledge on the topic of happiness, he also lives every bit of it. The happiness course is one that can be readily personalized, I find myself walking the path of gratitude, altruism, mindfulness, and all the other things that are outlined in the happiness course – all of which I am very grateful for.

In summary, I love being a part of the happiness course because of its simple approach, and its great emphasis on practical application, and individualization of happiness. I strongly recommend this course to the people out there who are trying to better understand the roots of a happy and fulfilling life. I earnestly hope you will take the course, and benefit from it as I did.

22 people found
this review helpful
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5.0 2 years ago
by Valerie completed this course.
I'm happy and sad today because I never wanted this course to end, and I cried like a baby during the "good bye" video that was the last in the course.

I will never be able to fully express what this course and the Professor who brought it to life has meant to me and more importantly what it will continue to mean to me. This has been an amazing enjoyable and life changing experience for me. I don't know if another Professor could have made this kind of impact Professor Raj with his wonderful sense of humor his ability to be accessible and make this course so much fun that I looked forward to every single session. With the help of beautiful Catherine and his other amazing colleagues he made this course so special so meaningful I will carry it with me forever! The material studied through this course was important to me and my desire to make positive changes in my life.

I am not a youngster and most likely inside I was thinking the "old dog new tricks" wo
Read more
I'm happy and sad today because I never wanted this course to end, and I cried like a baby during the "good bye" video that was the last in the course.

I will never be able to fully express what this course and the Professor who brought it to life has meant to me and more importantly what it will continue to mean to me. This has been an amazing enjoyable and life changing experience for me. I don't know if another Professor could have made this kind of impact Professor Raj with his wonderful sense of humor his ability to be accessible and make this course so much fun that I looked forward to every single session. With the help of beautiful Catherine and his other amazing colleagues he made this course so special so meaningful I will carry it with me forever! The material studied through this course was important to me and my desire to make positive changes in my life.

I am not a youngster and most likely inside I was thinking the "old dog new tricks" would pertain but as it turns out it can happen. I started this course with a happiness level that according to the scale was so low it was recommended that I seek help immediately which was surprising I didn't realize I was that bad off. My score said "depressed" I am happy to say that my re-evaluated score at the end of this course was "very happy"! And I feel it! I have a long way to go before I reach my ideal self but this course and the wonderful people involved in it have given me the tools that I need and I make progress every day.

This course changed my life and I will be forever grateful to Professor Raj, Catherine, fellow students and Coursera for giving me this opportunity. Not only for the course but for the continued support that they are willing to give to us.

If you are lucky enough to take this course don't be skeptical be open minded and you will learn some amazing things. I feel strongly that this course and the book Professor Raj has written can and will change your life too. Thank you so very much!
8 people found
this review helpful
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5.0 3 years ago
Kate Smith partially completed this course, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.
This excellent course is a very thorough introduction in learning about the ways that you can approach life that will make you happy or unhappy. I found it to be far more helpful than reading self help books.

Through the readings and listening to the lectures, I have come to more deeply understand the concepts that I have been trying to understand for years. For example, the concept of gratitude is something that we hear a lot about, but this course explains what it actually is, how to do it, and what the opposite of that is.

Raj and his guests make the material approachable and straightforward. No prior knowledge is required. The practical exercises are similar to those seen in various forms of therapy. The final exam involves a fair amount of writing, and seems a bit challenging. However, by the time you have finished the course, you are confident that you have actually learnt the material.

There are links to numerous further readings on t
Read more
This excellent course is a very thorough introduction in learning about the ways that you can approach life that will make you happy or unhappy. I found it to be far more helpful than reading self help books.

Through the readings and listening to the lectures, I have come to more deeply understand the concepts that I have been trying to understand for years. For example, the concept of gratitude is something that we hear a lot about, but this course explains what it actually is, how to do it, and what the opposite of that is.

Raj and his guests make the material approachable and straightforward. No prior knowledge is required. The practical exercises are similar to those seen in various forms of therapy. The final exam involves a fair amount of writing, and seems a bit challenging. However, by the time you have finished the course, you are confident that you have actually learnt the material.

There are links to numerous further readings on the topics. The only change that I would like to see would have been to have these readings free, perhaps for loan online through the university, for the duration of the course.
24 people found
this review helpful
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5.0 3 years ago
by Uma Maheshwaraa completed this course and found the course difficulty to be medium.
As Prof. Raj would start the class by saying "If you are smart why arent you happy" the course questions each of our beliefs that we build through years of living in this world. At times it would question our belief system, our thinking process but once you are through the phase of introspection everything will fall in place!

I recommend this course to anyone and everyone who wants to attain fulfillment. Most probably everyone in this world looks towards money, fame and material things to happiness and fulfillment. I couldnt find a better example of such a person than me. Unfortunately, those things provide us only fleeting happiness. Dr, Raj through this course provides us with tools that can pull us out of the vortex, think straight and in turn make us more productive and move towards what will make us happy.

Below is my detailed review of the course and how it has transformed me in a span of 1 year.

http://www.clicksbyuma.com/2015/04/22/happy-s
Read more
As Prof. Raj would start the class by saying "If you are smart why arent you happy" the course questions each of our beliefs that we build through years of living in this world. At times it would question our belief system, our thinking process but once you are through the phase of introspection everything will fall in place!

I recommend this course to anyone and everyone who wants to attain fulfillment. Most probably everyone in this world looks towards money, fame and material things to happiness and fulfillment. I couldnt find a better example of such a person than me. Unfortunately, those things provide us only fleeting happiness. Dr, Raj through this course provides us with tools that can pull us out of the vortex, think straight and in turn make us more productive and move towards what will make us happy.

Below is my detailed review of the course and how it has transformed me in a span of 1 year.

http://www.clicksbyuma.com/2015/04/22/happy-smarts/

A great course for the uber connected hyper active society.
14 people found
this review helpful
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5.0 3 years ago
by Barbara Norl completed this course.
I just completely finished the course and I can confirm what I already knew to be true in the very beginning... the course is EXCELLENT! I was introduced to Coursera through this course and originally wasn't going to take it because I had already signed up for other courses and thought I knew enough about happiness through my psychology and spiritual backgrounds. Well, I was wrong!

This course introduced me to new concepts, all which were backed up with an abundant amount of studies and sources, as well as exercises which really allowed for personal reflection and growth towards one's own happiness. In addition , Prof Raj brings an infectious energy and a passion of the subject to the lectures, which helps to keep students engaged. Especially admirable is his involvement (and that of his team - Catherine) in discussion forums, further emphasizing his engagement and willingness to help.

This course has certainly set the bar high for my expectation of MOOCs.
Read more
I just completely finished the course and I can confirm what I already knew to be true in the very beginning... the course is EXCELLENT! I was introduced to Coursera through this course and originally wasn't going to take it because I had already signed up for other courses and thought I knew enough about happiness through my psychology and spiritual backgrounds. Well, I was wrong!

This course introduced me to new concepts, all which were backed up with an abundant amount of studies and sources, as well as exercises which really allowed for personal reflection and growth towards one's own happiness. In addition , Prof Raj brings an infectious energy and a passion of the subject to the lectures, which helps to keep students engaged. Especially admirable is his involvement (and that of his team - Catherine) in discussion forums, further emphasizing his engagement and willingness to help.

This course has certainly set the bar high for my expectation of MOOCs. I highly recommend it!
11 people found
this review helpful
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5.0 3 years ago
by Smita Sahay completed this course, spending 8 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
We get so busy at chasing our short term goals that many times we forget the larger picture of our life: the things we love, our passions, family and relationship. We get so engrossed in getting each perfect A, the best job, the highest appraisal that we lose sight of the things that we are losing. This course is important if you want to balance the world view of success with a feeling of fulfilment - striking the sweet spot, not losing one for the other. Prof. Raj Raghunathan is an incredibly smart researcher, a teacher with a great presence, sense of humor and knowledge and network of people who are successful in more than the usual definition of success. In him, every student will find a sympathetic listener and an honest individual. The assignments designed for the course will the student closer to the real person that s/he is. As a successful student who got an A in the course, I recommend this course to everyone who has passions: passion to excel, passion to create or passion to
Read more
We get so busy at chasing our short term goals that many times we forget the larger picture of our life: the things we love, our passions, family and relationship. We get so engrossed in getting each perfect A, the best job, the highest appraisal that we lose sight of the things that we are losing. This course is important if you want to balance the world view of success with a feeling of fulfilment - striking the sweet spot, not losing one for the other. Prof. Raj Raghunathan is an incredibly smart researcher, a teacher with a great presence, sense of humor and knowledge and network of people who are successful in more than the usual definition of success. In him, every student will find a sympathetic listener and an honest individual. The assignments designed for the course will the student closer to the real person that s/he is. As a successful student who got an A in the course, I recommend this course to everyone who has passions: passion to excel, passion to create or passion to achieve.
5 people found
this review helpful
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5.0 3 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
The Happiness Course is possibly one of the best things that happened to my life - and I kid you not! I was enthusiastic about life in general, buy after this course, I immediately started to feel so much difference in how I live every single day of my life.

Raj, whom I over time developed immense respect and affection for, is a very solid guy. He does not preach, but talks about logic, about facts, about research, this bringing every single person into the fold of this beautiful realm.

The manner in which the course is structured, with multiple activities that leave you completely touched, and I'm the process creating happiness for even those you love, is amazing.

Very strongly recommend anyone and everyone to take this course, and complete it till the end come what may.

You don't get to change your life in such a beautiful way every single day. Buy this advice. This thing is really amazing and this guy is an absolute Rockstar!!
6 people found
this review helpful
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5.0 2 years ago
by Carolyn E. Cooper completed this course, spending 7 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
A couple of years ago a friend talk me into taking what became a genuine life-changing course on Coursera (Prof. Dan Ariely's "Beginners Guide to Irrational Behavior"). This course is now my second life-changing Coursera course. The research presented and the techniques for overcoming an inherent tendency towards the negative has helped me maintain an equilibrium during a difficult period. (Even friends and family have commented on the change.) And I can honestly say that I am doing better emotionally, psychologically and even physically (my doctor has commented on the change). I wish I had found this course before age 61! I'm certain it would have had an enormously positive impact.

For those interested in behavioral and positive psychology there is plenty of meat to consume, particularly in the outside reading materials. For those looking for practical applications of the current research, this is the focus of the course. The course does take some effort and application,
Read more
A couple of years ago a friend talk me into taking what became a genuine life-changing course on Coursera (Prof. Dan Ariely's "Beginners Guide to Irrational Behavior"). This course is now my second life-changing Coursera course. The research presented and the techniques for overcoming an inherent tendency towards the negative has helped me maintain an equilibrium during a difficult period. (Even friends and family have commented on the change.) And I can honestly say that I am doing better emotionally, psychologically and even physically (my doctor has commented on the change). I wish I had found this course before age 61! I'm certain it would have had an enormously positive impact.

For those interested in behavioral and positive psychology there is plenty of meat to consume, particularly in the outside reading materials. For those looking for practical applications of the current research, this is the focus of the course. The course does take some effort and application, and there is a small annoying glitch in the peer review forms, but fortunately part of the course is learning how to handling small annoyances with poise. And for the personal affects to occur requires "the lightbulb to really want to change" (to borrow from the old "How many psychologists does it take to change a lightbulb joke.").

I can honestly say that not only did I learn a great deal about current behavioral psychology research (the "wallet drop" studies will be a conversation topic for a long time), but the course had the second largest personal impact on my life of any of the Coursera — and most academic — courses I have taken. Do not wait until you are 61 to take this course. Please. The techniques and strategies taught can have a profound, positive affect on your future.
3 people found
this review helpful
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4.0 3 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
I had joined this course out of curiosity and never intended to complete it but the content was so much interesting that it got me hooked. I could not get away till I completed viewing all videos.

I have taken various courses from well known British, American, German and Spanish institutes through various online forums but the amazingly great amount of research that was shared in this course was simply awesome. The recommended readings will keep me occupied for a long time.

Going through the course was a self awareness exercise for me and now I can share lots of scientific stuff with people struggling with happiness around me.

Efforts of all the course team for coming up with such a wonderful course are commendable. Teaching assistant and Prof. Raj were very responsive on discussion boards wherever their input was needed. Getting response personally from Prof. Raj on discussion forums was pleasantly surprising as usually students get an hour lon
Read more
I had joined this course out of curiosity and never intended to complete it but the content was so much interesting that it got me hooked. I could not get away till I completed viewing all videos.

I have taken various courses from well known British, American, German and Spanish institutes through various online forums but the amazingly great amount of research that was shared in this course was simply awesome. The recommended readings will keep me occupied for a long time.

Going through the course was a self awareness exercise for me and now I can share lots of scientific stuff with people struggling with happiness around me.

Efforts of all the course team for coming up with such a wonderful course are commendable. Teaching assistant and Prof. Raj were very responsive on discussion boards wherever their input was needed. Getting response personally from Prof. Raj on discussion forums was pleasantly surprising as usually students get an hour long live office hour or a few minutes recorded Q& A session once a week

Some assignmnets were peer graded and I was quite apprehensive while submitting my work for peer review but peers were really gracious in grading and feedback provided was constructive. Peers were also very helpful on social network.

I wish I could have clicked 5 stars when rating this course. It surely deserves full grades. I have taken the course on its first run and there were delays in uploading course assessments and exams that was bit frustrating. It is easier to take quiz when one finishes watching relevant module videos but we had to wait till last week to start submissions. The self grading part of course also needs some restructuring. I am sure future runs of the course will be perfect. Overall it was a superb course.
3 people found
this review helpful
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4.0 3 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
The happiness course by Prof Raj Raghunathan ranks amongst the best things i enrolled for during my MBA at ISB. Rather than being a text heavy and preachy course, it encourages each one of us to look deep inside and search for the reasons of discontentment and irritation. With a clear as conscience mind, Prof Raj makes an all out effort to deliver the ultimate target of this course- a sense of fulfillment and happiness. Encourage you all to join the course and be on the road to self discovery. Cheers !!!
9 people found
this review helpful
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3.0 a year ago
by Zhe Li partially completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.
I watched the first three weeks of lecture videos and decided to drop it and not to waste any more time on it. Many statements given in the course are not convincing, or at least not presented in a convincing way, and therefore the conclusions do not appeal to me at all and I do not think I will become any more happier after I finish this course.

I will just give two examples.

An experiment mentioned in the video is about a baby monkey separated from its mother deciding which fake "mother" it would like to stay with. One is a metal structure with food while the other is a cushion without food. The study found that the monkey spent most of its time with the latter one. Of course! If I were a monkey I would undoubtedly make the same choice. Even as a baby, a monkey does not need to have food all the time! Who, or what animal, does not want to stay comfortable? I feel that this study is really boring and the conclusion "the baby monkey needs love" is just nonsens
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I watched the first three weeks of lecture videos and decided to drop it and not to waste any more time on it. Many statements given in the course are not convincing, or at least not presented in a convincing way, and therefore the conclusions do not appeal to me at all and I do not think I will become any more happier after I finish this course.

I will just give two examples.

An experiment mentioned in the video is about a baby monkey separated from its mother deciding which fake "mother" it would like to stay with. One is a metal structure with food while the other is a cushion without food. The study found that the monkey spent most of its time with the latter one. Of course! If I were a monkey I would undoubtedly make the same choice. Even as a baby, a monkey does not need to have food all the time! Who, or what animal, does not want to stay comfortable? I feel that this study is really boring and the conclusion "the baby monkey needs love" is just nonsense.

Another statement made in the lecture is like "people who are self-avoidant have lower job satisfaction". What on earth does this imply? Well, "having low job satisfaction" probably means "less" happiness but is that necessarily a bad thing? The job simply sucks and I cannot even complain about it?

And the "chasing superior" and "become successful" part is also very dubious. I believe that there are tons of counterexamples and counterarguments for that.

After these I think I would rather spend time on a well structured, well reasoned psychology or philosophy course than on this one.
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5.0 2 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
OVERVIEW

Each module and the entirety of the course is structured very comprehensively. The lectures incorporate various professors who are experts in their field via video conference, telephone, and quotes. Lecture videos (though sometimes long) have lots of embedded quizzes and relevant external videos. Just like taking a course at university, supplemental (yet an optional) reading list is provided for those who wish to explore further.

LECTURE VIDEOS

Prof Raj definitely knows what he is talking about and the videos are easy to follow. There are only a few videos where the audio isn't the best, but transcripts can be downloaded on Coursera, and a clean-format of the transcription can be found on the Facebook page. The animations, lighting, audio, in general are all great.

THE COMMUNITY

The discussion forum is very active. With at least three mentors active during the duration of the course, and at least one responding t
Read more
OVERVIEW

Each module and the entirety of the course is structured very comprehensively. The lectures incorporate various professors who are experts in their field via video conference, telephone, and quotes. Lecture videos (though sometimes long) have lots of embedded quizzes and relevant external videos. Just like taking a course at university, supplemental (yet an optional) reading list is provided for those who wish to explore further.

LECTURE VIDEOS

Prof Raj definitely knows what he is talking about and the videos are easy to follow. There are only a few videos where the audio isn't the best, but transcripts can be downloaded on Coursera, and a clean-format of the transcription can be found on the Facebook page. The animations, lighting, audio, in general are all great.

THE COMMUNITY

The discussion forum is very active. With at least three mentors active during the duration of the course, and at least one responding to a post within a business day, you won't feel like you're taking the course alone.

CAUTION !

Although it states that time commitment is 2-3 hours a week, it will most likely take more than that. The total number of minutes spent on watching all lecture videos (for that week) averages to a little over 2 hours. If you're like me and want to take notes or take a break while studying or re-watch a lecture, you'll need more time. Plus on top of that, there are quizzes and assignments. (You can save time by not submitting assignments via the ISB website.) I would allocate minimum 3 hours a week for this course and maximum 5. Bare this in mind for those who are working or studying full-time or are taking other MOOC courses.
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5.0 3 years ago
by Andreas Muhelbrandt completed this course, spending 6 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
This course is something special. I have completed it, one week ago, but he is full in me. Right at the beginning of this review I report: I would never have managed this wonderful course in six weeks. It's substance is so precious to me, that I couldn't watch this big range of videos (more than 80 !) one by one. I needed some time for assimilation.

Prof. Raj had created sooooo many enjoyable videos. They made me feel better, but all of them hat the clear statement, that it is in our hands to create a life of Happiness and Fulfillment.

We have to set up goals, which will push not only our life, but also the life of other people around us forward in a positive way.

We will gain this by praticising gratefulness and forgiveness for example.

Prof. Raj introduce many of competend and motivating authors, who are making much of research on these and similiar subjects.

By doing this he is building up a real network for "A Life o
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This course is something special. I have completed it, one week ago, but he is full in me. Right at the beginning of this review I report: I would never have managed this wonderful course in six weeks. It's substance is so precious to me, that I couldn't watch this big range of videos (more than 80 !) one by one. I needed some time for assimilation.

Prof. Raj had created sooooo many enjoyable videos. They made me feel better, but all of them hat the clear statement, that it is in our hands to create a life of Happiness and Fulfillment.

We have to set up goals, which will push not only our life, but also the life of other people around us forward in a positive way.

We will gain this by praticising gratefulness and forgiveness for example.

Prof. Raj introduce many of competend and motivating authors, who are making much of research on these and similiar subjects.

By doing this he is building up a real network for "A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment".

The books and the lectures of these people are an inexhaustible source and I'm looking forward to read and absorb as much as I can.

By implementing these ideas I can give a small contribution to make life of the people around me a little bit better.

I feel so much gratefulness for this course !

I thank Prof. Raj, his wonderful team and the inspiring guest speaker with all my heart.
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this review helpful
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5.0 3 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
This course is the best Coursera course I have taken, and one of the best courses I've had anywhere (including courses for the PhD I obtained in clinical psychology). As someone schooled in psychology, I must say that the wide-ranging scope of the research behind happiness included in this course is simply staggering. Prof Raj has managed somehow to interview 20 experts in the field of happiness and related areas. But the really interesting thing about the course is it's not just a review of the scientific literature on happiness. There is a wonderful balance between the scientific findings and self-tests/exercise/knowledge about increasing happiness, so that you can benefit from the course by enhancing your own happiness levels as you go along. There is even a thorough discussion of how to maintain your happiness gains, and email reminders that help you do so. Finally, Prof Raj is a totally hands-on instructor who personally gets involved in the discussion boards, fielding technical p
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This course is the best Coursera course I have taken, and one of the best courses I've had anywhere (including courses for the PhD I obtained in clinical psychology). As someone schooled in psychology, I must say that the wide-ranging scope of the research behind happiness included in this course is simply staggering. Prof Raj has managed somehow to interview 20 experts in the field of happiness and related areas. But the really interesting thing about the course is it's not just a review of the scientific literature on happiness. There is a wonderful balance between the scientific findings and self-tests/exercise/knowledge about increasing happiness, so that you can benefit from the course by enhancing your own happiness levels as you go along. There is even a thorough discussion of how to maintain your happiness gains, and email reminders that help you do so. Finally, Prof Raj is a totally hands-on instructor who personally gets involved in the discussion boards, fielding technical problems and providing guidance on concepts. If you are willing to do the work of the course and make your best effort, you are highly likely to be happier as a result by the end of the course. It's a game-changer. It's that good.
3 people found
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3.0 2 years ago
Anonymous partially completed this course.
Gotta say, this was not a good use of my time and I dropped out partway through. The instructor is infectiously enthusiastic, and the course creates engagement with the learner that is unfortunately missing in so many online courses. All that is good. But the uncritical acceptance of weak science, lack of acknowledgement of individual and cultural variability, and general low sophistication of the concepts discussed made this not rewarding for me. Plus, I really am not interested in keeping journals, rating other students' work, and developing my own definitions of happiness and related constructs - felt like high school. If you've never had a social psychology course, by all means, this is a worthwhile course to take. Keep in mind that it takes quite a lot of commitment to get through all the videos and assignments, given that there is considerable repetition and belabouring of even the most basic points. This is not a top-rated Coursera course for me. But I'm glad to see that so ma
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Gotta say, this was not a good use of my time and I dropped out partway through. The instructor is infectiously enthusiastic, and the course creates engagement with the learner that is unfortunately missing in so many online courses. All that is good. But the uncritical acceptance of weak science, lack of acknowledgement of individual and cultural variability, and general low sophistication of the concepts discussed made this not rewarding for me. Plus, I really am not interested in keeping journals, rating other students' work, and developing my own definitions of happiness and related constructs - felt like high school. If you've never had a social psychology course, by all means, this is a worthwhile course to take. Keep in mind that it takes quite a lot of commitment to get through all the videos and assignments, given that there is considerable repetition and belabouring of even the most basic points. This is not a top-rated Coursera course for me. But I'm glad to see that so many people find this useful - fortunately Coursera lets all of us match our expectations to the content.
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5.0 3 years ago
by Stretchingtime audited this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be very easy.
What an extraordinarily well taught course! I deeply appreciated all the time the professor spent in crafting this course. I delighted in how he used video interviews, recommended books to read, and gave me concrete ways to increase my happiness levels. He was an amazing teacher. He had fabulous energy while teaching and spoke with unbelievable clarity in presenting difficult ideas. Undoubtedly, he deeply cared about being a wonderful teacher. His students at the University of Texas and at Coursera are incredibly lucky to have had him as their teacher.



I am looking forward to buying his forthcoming book, "If you are so smart, why aren't you happy?". I have already encouraged many of my friends to take this course!



In short, as a retired professor of 25 years who reviewed many professors for promotion and tenure, I can boldly state that Professor Ragunathan is one of my top two favorite professors. Joyfully, Kathy
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What an extraordinarily well taught course! I deeply appreciated all the time the professor spent in crafting this course. I delighted in how he used video interviews, recommended books to read, and gave me concrete ways to increase my happiness levels. He was an amazing teacher. He had fabulous energy while teaching and spoke with unbelievable clarity in presenting difficult ideas. Undoubtedly, he deeply cared about being a wonderful teacher. His students at the University of Texas and at Coursera are incredibly lucky to have had him as their teacher.



I am looking forward to buying his forthcoming book, "If you are so smart, why aren't you happy?". I have already encouraged many of my friends to take this course!



In short, as a retired professor of 25 years who reviewed many professors for promotion and tenure, I can boldly state that Professor Ragunathan is one of my top two favorite professors. Joyfully, Kathy





5 people found
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5.0 2 years ago
Anonymous is taking this course right now.
I'm 60 years old and searching since I was 12. At this point, I've read many many books, taken many many courses and have even taught some...

This Happiness course is just wonderful! It's a great mix of science, practical exercises, essential daily reminders and joy. We can feel how much passion and care Dr. Raj and his team put on the materials and presentations.

But the best part for me was right near the end. A concept that helped me solve a paradox that has haunted me for so many years: do I dare to desire something specific or should I humbly accept what life brings to me?

For that doubt, Dr. Raj offers us the "dispassionate pursuit of passion" concept. And with this brilliant proposal, passion is back to my life. And that seems like a miracle at my age.

So try it and see. Happiness is within our grasp. My deep gratitude to you, Dr. Raj. Thanks for your joy and enthusiasm!

Claudia Rodrigues

(Brazil)
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I'm 60 years old and searching since I was 12. At this point, I've read many many books, taken many many courses and have even taught some...

This Happiness course is just wonderful! It's a great mix of science, practical exercises, essential daily reminders and joy. We can feel how much passion and care Dr. Raj and his team put on the materials and presentations.

But the best part for me was right near the end. A concept that helped me solve a paradox that has haunted me for so many years: do I dare to desire something specific or should I humbly accept what life brings to me?

For that doubt, Dr. Raj offers us the "dispassionate pursuit of passion" concept. And with this brilliant proposal, passion is back to my life. And that seems like a miracle at my age.

So try it and see. Happiness is within our grasp. My deep gratitude to you, Dr. Raj. Thanks for your joy and enthusiasm!

Claudia Rodrigues

(Brazil)

4 people found
this review helpful
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5.0 2 years ago
by Preeti Jain completed this course.
It's a wonderful course and I'm glad that I signed up for it. The course content and the way it's delivered by Prof Raj and the guest lectures and the quiz and the assignments in-between , all these make it so engaging and interesting. Initially for the first four weeks , I took all the notes which made it even more interesting, but later due to lack of time , I missed taking the notes and I wish there could have been an option to download and save the videos- especially the course summary at the end of every week, which could be referred time and again.The course content , though very interesting and beneficial, is little longer than expected and thus makes it difficult to handle with work and the regular chores, especially if one has to take notes. But hatts off to Prof. Raj's in-depth research on the content and the way it is organised and delivered in a coherent manner. Kudos to Prof Raj and the entire team. Thank you for this experience and I recommend everybody must sign up for
Read more
It's a wonderful course and I'm glad that I signed up for it. The course content and the way it's delivered by Prof Raj and the guest lectures and the quiz and the assignments in-between , all these make it so engaging and interesting. Initially for the first four weeks , I took all the notes which made it even more interesting, but later due to lack of time , I missed taking the notes and I wish there could have been an option to download and save the videos- especially the course summary at the end of every week, which could be referred time and again.The course content , though very interesting and beneficial, is little longer than expected and thus makes it difficult to handle with work and the regular chores, especially if one has to take notes. But hatts off to Prof. Raj's in-depth research on the content and the way it is organised and delivered in a coherent manner. Kudos to Prof Raj and the entire team. Thank you for this experience and I recommend everybody must sign up for this course.
2 people found
this review helpful
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2.0 3 months ago
Anonymous completed this course.
This course has some very serious technical mistakes that make it unbelievably frustrating to work with at times. I understand that it would be costly to re-shoot videos, or to re-work the website, but ... darn people !!! ... this is a university class, and these mistakes date from before Raj's book was published - years ago!! How do students find out that there are mistakes or non-existent links? When they complain to one of the mentors who then tells you that the link does not work.

For the entire 6 weeks I took this course, I did not know who "my" mentor was - they changed

from week to week. The vast majority of comments on the posts were at least 3 months, and often years, old. Only here and there did I actually communicate with someone from the current cohort. Very frustrating.

I was not able to find out how other students graded my assignments. Yes yes, I get it - it's Coursera's issue - but this is YOUR course, so I think referring s
Read more
This course has some very serious technical mistakes that make it unbelievably frustrating to work with at times. I understand that it would be costly to re-shoot videos, or to re-work the website, but ... darn people !!! ... this is a university class, and these mistakes date from before Raj's book was published - years ago!! How do students find out that there are mistakes or non-existent links? When they complain to one of the mentors who then tells you that the link does not work.

For the entire 6 weeks I took this course, I did not know who "my" mentor was - they changed

from week to week. The vast majority of comments on the posts were at least 3 months, and often years, old. Only here and there did I actually communicate with someone from the current cohort. Very frustrating.

I was not able to find out how other students graded my assignments. Yes yes, I get it - it's Coursera's issue - but this is YOUR course, so I think referring students to COURSERA whenever an issue pops up is simply wrong. There should be somebody in the administration of the class who can respond to problems

For working adults, this course has way too much work to do on a weekly basis.

This class on happiness left me very, very, very frustrated and unhappy. I often did not agree with the philosophical/purely psychological approach to the subject, but I seldom heard back from other students concerning my objections.

What I found positive is that the class contains extensive bibliographies and videographies, and I already bought several books from the recommended reading list.

What I found positive is that I now do mindfulness training, i.e., I could not fit what I had expected would be at least half an hour of time into my life. I now accept that several minutes, twice a day, can work, and that I can transition from there to more time when I am less busy. But right now, the few minutes are a part of my daily routine.
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