9.00SC | Fall 2011 | Undergraduate

Introduction to Psychology

Conclusions: Evolutionary Psychology, Happiness

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Session Overview

This final lecture considers psychological perspectives on human nature (evolutionary psychology) and how to live our lives (happiness). For instance, to what extent do attitudes and behaviors about sex and race have evolutionary roots? Does more money, more vacation time, or more choice actually make us happier? Can we predict what things will make us happy, and act upon those predictions?

Keywords: racism, sexuality, happiness, affective forecasting, paradox of choice, positive psychology

Image: Public domain.

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There are no assigned readings for this session.

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Further Study

These optional resources are provided for students that wish to explore this topic more fully.

Supplemental reading Clark, R. D., III & E. Hatfield. “Gender Differences in Receptivity to Sexual Offers.” Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality 2 (1989): 39–55. (PDF) Paper referenced in lecture video about womens’ and mens’ responses to three propositons (date, apartment, sex)
Supplemental video Dan Gilbert “The Surprising Science of Happiness” TED Talks, 2004. Accessed October 19, 2023. [0:21:20] Talk by Prof. Daniel Gilbert, a leading researcher on happiness and affective forecasting

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Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2011
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