PS341 Positive Psychology

for U1Z 2013

Printer Friendly

Mission Statement: Park University provides access to a quality higher education experience that prepares a diverse community of learners to think critically, communicate effectively, demonstrate a global perspective and engage in lifelong learning and service to others.

Vision Statement: Park University, a pioneering institution of higher learning since 1875, will provide leadership in quality, innovative education for a diversity of learners who will excel in their professional and personal service to the global community.


PS 341 Positive Psychology


U1Z 2013 ML


Rivenes, Teresa R.


Adjunct Faculty


Masters in Psychology
Masters in Social Science

Office Location

Malmstrom AFB, MT

Office Hours

Available by appointment (in person, Skype, phone, internet chat, email, etc.)

Daytime Phone



Class Days


Class Time

5:00 - 7:30 PM


Psychology 101, Sociology 101, or permission of the instructor

Credit Hours


Snyder, C.R., Lopez, S.J., & Pedrotti, J.T. (2011). Positive psychology. Thousand Oaks, CA. Sage Publications. ISBN 978-1-4129-8195-8 or 978-1-4129-9062-2.

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

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:

I approach teaching in terms of three broad goals: encouraging critical thinking, applying course material to everyday life, and setting high standards. I think the role of the instructor is to facilitate learning. I will do this by posing critical questions and encouraging students to explore their thinking and try on new ways of thinking. My goal is to encourage students to engage course material by thinking through and reflecting upon his/her position in the context of the sociological, or psychological, research provided. This is important, since different disciplines have different conventions and practices. I also believe that applying this material to everyday life is important. I have high standards and expectations for my students. In my experience, students will rise to the challenge as long as the expectation is an obtainable goal. My educational philosophy is based on using a variety of methods in learning, focusing on student engagement. Investigation, inquiry, demonstrations, participation activities, readings, class discussion, examinations, writing, and use of Internet resources and technology are significant components of this learning process. It is important that students analyze, synthesize, and evaluate course material and apply it to their own lives.

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:

Online Introduction:
Please login to the online classroom and briefly introduce yourself! Include your name, major, and why you are taking this course.   
5 points
Attendance (16 classes @ 12 Points)
Each class is worth 12 points. If you must miss class, these comments can be made up by outlining the weekly chapter readings and answering the personal mini-experiments at the end of each chapter. You must also show any work you missed and make up the class activity (as applicable).
192 points
Journal (7 @ 25 points)
Each week a journal activity will be given. You are required to journal 5 days a week and show the previous week to the instructor at Tuesday's class.
175 points   
Homework (8 @ 25 points)
Each assignment will be given in class and due the following Tuesday.
200 points
Core Assessment    
(described above)     
28 points
Oral Presentation & Activity 
For your oral presentation you will select an influential psychologist within the field of Positive Psychology. Tell us about that person, their work and take us through a class activity/technique supported by this person's body of work.  
100 points
Midterm Exam
150 points
Final Exam
150 Points
Service Learning Extra Credit    25 points
Survey Extra Credit 3 points















Late Submission of Course Materials:
Late work is NOT accepted without prior permission of the instructor. In an eight week course, it is far easier to keep up than catch up!

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
This course deals with topics that may be sensitive and perhaps even controversial. This course may challenge the way you look at a variety of issues. My expectation is that you will keep an open mind. We will all work to establish a foundation of respect and trust. In order for us to engage in discussion and debate with each other about issues in this class, everyone is entitled to express her thoughts and reactions. This means that we may disagree with one another or that we may attempt to push our thinking further, but this should be done in ways that do not involve personal attacks nor dismissing another person’s experience, ideas, and/or feelings. Failure to demonstrate respect may result in consequences up to, and including, being dismissed from class. An atmosphere of trust and respect is critical to a positive learning environment. You are not asked to agree with all of your peers. You are asked to carefully reflect on their position, and if desired, respond with a critically well thought out research based response. Foul language, disparaging comments, discrimination, or breaches of trust will not be tolerated under any circumstances. If necessary we will agree to disagree.

Please note that it is expected that all cellular phones and pagers will remain on silent/vibration mode during class. Please DO NOT take phone calls, text or post to social media sites during class. I fully understand that circumstances may arise that require your attention. Please step into the hall if you need to attend to matters of a personal nature during class time.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:






Week 1

June 3-7

  • Syllabus & Introducion   
  • Read Chapters 1-3
  • Online Intro
  • Attendance
  • Homework
  • 5 PT
  • 24 PT
  • 25 PT

Week 2

June 10-14

  • Read Chapters 4 & 5
  • Attendance
  • Homework
  • Journal


  • 24 PT
  • 25 PT
  • 25 PT



Week 3

June 17-20

  • Read Chapters 6-7
  • Attendance
  • Homework
  • Journal


  • 24 PT
  • 25 PT
  • 25 PT


Week 4

June 24-28

  •  Read Chapters 8-10
  • Attendance
  • Homework
  • Journal


  • 24 PT
  • 25 PT
  • 25 PT


Week 5

July 1-5

  •  Read Chapters 11-12
  • Attendance
  • Homework
  • Midterm
  • Journal


  • 24 PT
  • 25 PT
  • 150PT
  • 25 PT


Week 6

July 8-12

  • Read Chapters 13-14
  • Attendance
  • Homework
  • Core
  • Journal


  • 24 PT
  • 25 PT
  • 28 PT
  • 25 PT


Week 7

July 15-19

  •  Read Chapters 15-17
  • Attendance
  • Homework
  • Oral Pres.
  • Journal


  • 24 PT
  • 25 PT
  • 100PT
  • 25 PT


Week 8

July 22-28

  • Read Chapter 18
  • Attendance
  • Homework
  • Final Exam
  • Journal
  • 24 PT
  • 25 PT
  • 150 PT
  • 25PT


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 2012-2013 Undergraduate Catalog Page 97

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 2012-2013 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95

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 2012-2013 Undergraduate Catalog Page 98

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.  


This material is protected by copyright and can not be reused without author permission.

Last Updated:5/8/2013 4:15:37 PM