PS341 Positive Psychology

for U1B 2011

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Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


PS 341 Positive Psychology


U1B 2011 BL


Williams, Diana L.


Positive Psychology Adjunct Instructor


Bachelor of Science, Social Psychology
Master of Arts, Management & Leadership
Master of Arts, Counseling

Office Location

Ft. Bliss

Office Hours

9:00 - 11:30 a.m.

Daytime Phone



Semester Dates


Class Days


Class Time

9:00 - 11:30 AM


PS 101 Introduction to Psychology or permission of instructor

Credit Hours



There are 2 books required for this class: 1. Snyder, C.R., Lopez, S.J. (2011) Positive Psychology, 2nd Edition, The Scientific and Practical Explorations of Human Strengths. Publisher - Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, Inc. ISBN 987-1-4129-9062-2 2. Bolt, Martin. (2004) Pursuing Human Strengths, A Positive Psychology Guide. Publisher - W.H. Freeman Publications. ISBN 978-0-7167-0112-5

Additional Resources:

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information

Course Description:
PS341 Positive Psychology PreRequisite:PS101 or permission of Instructor. - An exploration of scientific and applied approaches to identifying a persons strengths and promoting their positive functioning. The course will focus on human potential, emotional and cognitive processes that contribute to a persons well-being and that increase prosocial behavior and the ability to create positive environments. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:
The facilitator's educational philosophy is one of interactiveness based on lectures, disscussions, reading assignments, exams, videos and research paper. The facilitator will engage in a class discussion to explore and examine different views and ideas.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Examine the history, intentions and scope of positive psychology. (Program Competency #1, 4)
  2. Analyze, synthesize, critically examine and evaluate positive psychology literature. (Program Competency #2, 4)
  3. Investigate, guided by the literature, what kinds of experiences fulfill people, what human characteristics lead to personal effectiveness and what social conditions appear to elicit these qualities and experiences. (Program Competency # 1, 2, 3, 4)
  4. Assess and evaluate one's own well-being, strengths and limitations. (Program Competency # 3, 6, 8)
  5. Apply positive psychology to important domains in one's life and in the lives of others. (Program Competency #1, 4, 7)
  6. Demonstrate proficiency in the use of APA style. (Program Competency #1, 4, 7)

Core Assessment:
All Park University courses are required to include a Core Assessment in order to measure the specific Departmental Learning Outcomes for each course. The Core Assessment for PS 341 involves writing a 10-page research paper using empirical research and the APA format. The paper provides an opportunity to explore the important research in Positive Psychology and utilize the concepts and terminology for a perspective and application of this knowledge to your intrapersonal and interpersonal awareness and current and future prosocial behaviors. 

The length of the paper needs to be at least 10 pages of text with at least 10 references that support the areas of focus listed below. Each area of focus needs to have at least 1 empirical reference that supports your observations, is discussed critically, and relates to that particular area of focus. References need to be from empirical research journals. Textbooks, websites books and magazines are not to be used.

Paper needs to be organized using the Areas of Focus as section headings so the information can be easily identified.

Areas of Focus:

1. What major principles have you learned from the Positive Psychology course and according to the research why do you think these principles are important?

2. What changes do you notice in your emotional states, processes and experiences and according to the research why are these changes important?

3. What changes do you notice in your cognitive states and processes and according to the research why are these changes important?

4. Describe examples of how you are currently applying the information and what changes have you observed?

5. Describe your goals and plans for applying the information from the course in the future. (Include in your discussion how these goals and plans will build strengths in a multicultural environment.

6. How will you apply this information to prosocial behavior in your current workplace or future career to create a positive environment? What research supports these behaviors to be important?

  1. Within the concepts and terminology of Positive Psychology list and describe your challenges and obstacles.
  1. Within the framework of Positive Psychology what are your unanswered questions or areas where you question the validity of the information?

A good starting point is to examine the area(s) in your Positive Psychology textbook for references and researchers associated with your topic. The references in the back of the book are examples of APA citation. Use this format for the references you use in your paper.

The paper needs to be written in the APA style, e.g., title page, abstract, 1 inch margins, running heads, DS, proper reference format, etc. See the following websites for more information: or

Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:

Week 1 Course Overview, Review Syllabus, Part I: Looking at Psychology from a Positive Perspective, Self Assessment Journal
Week 2 Part II: Positive Psychology in Context, Part III: Positive Emotional States and Process, Self Assessment Journal Week 3 Part IV: Positive Cognitive States and Process, Part V: Prosocial Behavior
Week 4 Mid Term Review, Self Assessment Journal, Mid Term
Week 5 Part VI: Understanding and Changing Human Behavior, Part VII: Positive Environments
Week 6 Part VIII:A Positive Look at the Future of Psychology, Core Assessment Due, Self Assessment Journal
Week 7 Final Exam Review, Self Assessment Journal Due
Week 8 Final Exam, Final Grades


Mid Term 25 points                         100-90 A
Final 25 points                                   89-80 B
Self Assessment Journal 20 points      79-70 C
Core Assessment 20 points                69-60 D
Participation 10 points                        59-0 F

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Assignments that are posted after the deadlines will not receive credit unless prior arrangements have been made with the instructor and late assingments should be the exception and not become a pattern.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Be prepared for class-This means that students have read the assigned reading material and are prepared to discuss. It is important to respect others and eliminate all personal chatter and "cross-talk." The use of cell phones during class time will not be permitted. If there is an emergency, the student will need to make arrangements with instructor before the class. It is important not to take disagreement personally. Responses to diffrent ideas and observations need to be objective.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:
Self Assessment Journals will need to be brought to every session.

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life. Park University students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty ( or Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. from Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92-93

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95-96

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .


CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
Analysis & Evaluation                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4 - Areas of Focus 1, 2, 3, 7, 8                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Each Area of Focus includes positive psychology concepts, support from at least two different empirical research sources that are critically examined, and the discussion reflects a depth of understanding of the research and how it relates to that particular Area of Focus. Each Area of Focus includes positive psychology concepts, support from 1 empirical research source that is critically examined, and the discussion reflects a depth of understanding of the research and how it relates to that particular Area of Focus. Each Area of Focus includes positive psychology concepts, support from empirical research sources, but the information is reported and not critically examined and does not reflect an understanding of the research and how it relates to that particular Area of Focus.  
Outcomes 2, 3, 5 - Areas of Focus 4, 5, 6                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
Each Area of Focus is supported with personal observations, positive psychology concepts with an application of at least two different empirical research articles. Each Area of Focus is supported with personal observations and positive psychology concepts with an application of one empirical research article. Areas of Focus lack substantial support from personal observations and positive psychology concepts. Empirical research is minimally applied or not applied to all Areas of Focus.  
Whole Artifact                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
Outcome 6                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
Artifact displays professional writing and utilizes correct APA format.  More than 10 empirical sources in the paper. Professional writing displayed and APA format is generally followed (1 error: cover page, abstract, running head, internal citations, headings, references, etc).  10 empirical sources. Professional writing problems (e.g., excessive quoting, lack of proofreading, informal language, lack of organization) and/or 2 or more APA errors: cover page, abstract, running head, internal citations, headings, references, etc.) or less than 10 empirical sources.  


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Last Updated:4/26/2011 4:26:55 PM