The most popular course at Harvard this semester teaches the skill of positive thinking.

855 students signed up for a positive psychology course to learn how to create "a fulfilling and flourishing life." Harvard is one of about a hundred campuses around the country offering courses that focus on what helps people to feel good. Positive Psychology is the empirical study of such things as positive emotions, strengths-based character, and healthy institutions.

Growing piles of scientific research are promoted on the covers of magazines like Time, and leading to masters degree programs, like the one centered on the work of Dr. Martin Seligman, the founder of Positive Psychology. The University of PA offers to professionals, many of whom are working full-time, the chance to earn a pioneering graduate degree from the Ivy League university, with the Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP). International conferences on the topic are now numerous. The Fifth International Positive Psychology Summit will be held in Washington, DC on October 5- 7, 2006 and sponsored by The Gallup Organization with Toyota and Toyota University.

Read more about Harvard students and their class in the Boston Globe, (If you don’t want to register for reading page 2, read it here) NPR did a story also and includes its audio/ radio file.


  1. Tal Ben Shahar is amazing!
    I am a junior psychology concentrator at Harvard and I am currently taking Tal’s Positive Psychology. This class is truly life-changing if you listen with an open mind. Many people think it’s easy stuff but the implementation part in one’s personal life is hard. It has made me want to pursue positive psychology in the future and it has also made me a lot more positive and happier :-)))


  2. That’s fantastic!
    Thanks for giving us an insider’s perspective!

    I wish there had been such a course when I was in college.

    Ben Shahar also has the THIRD most attended course, I read… He must be good.


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