1504-02-premises

1504-02-premises - 1504 Basic Premises The Premises Bridge...

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1504: Basic Premises
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The Premises Bridge building Vs. Division and separation Change is possible Vs. Change is illusive Internal factors primarily determine happiness Vs. Happiness is primarily a function of external circumstances Human nature must be obeyed Vs. Human nature must be perfected Happiness is and ought to be the ultimate end Vs. Happiness should be a secondary pursuit
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PREMISE 1: Bridge building VS. Division and separation
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Bridging Ivory Tower and Main Street “The careful shielding of a university from the activities of the world around us is the best way to chill interest and to defeat progress. Celibacy does not suit a university. It must mate itself with action.” Alfred North Whitehead
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The Need for Practical Idealists The desire to make a difference False stereotypes Generous Harvardians Generous Americans Influential positions Goodwill and idealism necessary but not sufficient
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Psychology Can Help Applied research in the classroom for increasing self-esteem bridging mind and body in conflict resolution Taking research seriously Taking responsibility!
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PREMISE 2: Change is possible VS. Change is illusive
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“It may be that trying to be happier is as futile as trying to be taller and is therefore counterproductive.” Lykken and Tellegan (1996) Minnesota Twin Studies
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Change is Possible Counter evidence: People do change Error of the average Exception proves the rule Detrimental research Studying the best
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Growing-Tip Statistics “What this kind of research design means is a change in our conception of statistics, and especially of sampling theory. What I am frankly espousing here is what I have been calling ‘growing-tip statistics,' taking my title from the fact that it is at the growing tip of a plant that the greatest genetic action takes place. ..” Abraham Maslow
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“If we want to know how fast a human being can run, then it is no use to average out the speed of a ‘good sample’ of the population; it is far better to collect Olympic gold medal winners and see how well they can do. If we want to know the possibilities for spiritual growth, value growth, or moral development in human beings, then I maintain that we can learn most by studying our most moral, ethical, or saintly people. On the whole I think it is fair to say that human history is a
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This note was uploaded on 05/18/2008 for the course PSYCH 1504 taught by Professor Ben-shahar during the Spring '08 term at Harvard.

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1504-02-premises - 1504 Basic Premises The Premises Bridge...

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