-         B.Soc.Sc.(Hons) in Psychology







Course Title :

Positive Psychology



Course Code :

PSY 209



Year of Study :




Number of Credits :

3 credits



Duration of Weeks :

15 weeks



Contact Hours Per Week :

Lecture (2 hours)

Seminar (1 hour)



Pre-requisite Course(s)




Course Aims

Traditionally, the foundation for Clinical and Counselling Psychology has been based on the psychopathological perspective. Positive Psychology is the most recent movement in psychology led by Martin Seligman, and represents a more positive way of viewing the human mind, personality, emotions and behaviour. This course will provide an introduction to the study of topics (e.g. positive emotions, subjective well-being, strengths and virtues, mindfulness, gratitude, hope, spirituality, resiliency) related to the positive aspects of human experience. The course will first provide an overview of the history, definition, and significance of positive psychology. Then, the course will be dedicated to unpack the complex concepts of happiness and flourishing, and examining the mechanisms/factors that cause and maintain these two key components of positive psychology. Topics will be connected to their implications for increasing well-being throughout the course. The relevance and importance of applying positive psychology (especially in Chinese cultures) will also be discussed.


Course Objectives

After completing the course the students will be able to:
1. distinguish between Positive Psychology and traditional psychology and be able to discuss these differences;
2. differentiate between Eastern and Western perspectives of human wellness and explore which aspects of Chinese philosophy/psychology and cultural values contribute to positive psychology;
3. develop a comprehension of the research that supports the principles, skills and strategies of positive psychology, and critically assess the claims of positive psychology to promote wellbeing;
4. acquire insights into their own strengths and values that may lead to a positive lifestyle; identify which changes they want to make, and be able to demonstrate through their self-reflective writings that they are moving towards living in a positive psychological state with increased stable happiness;
5. utilize skills and strategies learnt to maintain optimal wellbeing.





Continuous Assessment




Experiential Essay

Self-improvement Project





Individual Presentation









Final Examination









© Department of Counselling & Psychology, Hong Kong Shue Yan University