Use at least 2 references
Your essays should be grounded in the required texts; your arguments supported at each point with citations; your work edited for syntax and grammar. There is not a fixed length, though a satisfactory answer will be at least one page (250 words). Assignments turned in after May 5 will automatically be penalized 10 points for each late day.
1. Jason is a 35-year-old married man with a 5-year-old daughter. He lives with his daughter and wife in a safe (but low socioeconomic status) area. Three years ago he received a promotion at work. He now works full-time as an internet technology supervisor at a large financial firm. Recently, Jason has felt burnt out on his job, dissatisfied with his marriage, and generally lacks any enthusiasm for a life he once seemed to love so much. Everywhere he looks, he seems to see others thriving and flourishing. Imagine you are a positive psychologist tasked with helping Jason. Describe how hedonic adaptation may be taking its toll on Jason’s life. Using the psychology texts assigned in this course, create an evidence-based plan for Jason to help him regain happiness and meaning in his life (the two main psychological components to a good life, according to Laura King and colleagues). An evidence-based plan means that it is a plan situated in the scientific psychological research base. Be sure to draw on empirical research presented in Lyubomirsky’s “Work and Money” chapters and in Jacobs Bao and Lyubomirsky’s article on combating hedonic adaptation in relationships. Feel free to also incorporate research from other psychology articles assigned earlier in the course. Please include page numbers when citing or discussing these works.
2. Watch the following talk by Elizabeth Dunn, positive psychologist and professor from the University of British Columbia: [url removed, login to view] (or do a google search for Elizabeth Dunn Money and Happiness).
She argues spending money on others (acts of kindness) is better for happiness than spending money on ourselves and that the accumulation of money dampens our ability to savor life’s small pleasures. Describe two times in your life when you a) spent money on someone else and b) spent money on yourself. Compare and contrast the intensity and duration of the resulting feelings. Discuss whether or not these two situations influenced your own happiness in different ways. Write about what other effects these two examples had on your life. Be sure to incorporate research and ideas from Sonja Lyubomirsky’s chapter on work and money and Elizabeth Dunn’s talk. Discuss whether or not your experience seems to match with the scientific findings. Why or why not?
3. Discuss the pros and cons of striving, expectations, and aspirations in relationships and work. At a minimum, discuss research from the Lyubomirsky Work and Money chapter and from the Jacobs Bao and Lyubomirsky relationship article. Feel free to incorporate other readings from the course and/or articles you have found on your own (cite them and list page numbers).