Yale's most popular course ever: Happiness

#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/06/24/rewirement.html

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#2

I’d say the popularity is indicative of desire and possibly need.

The question then is how effective is the material in the course at actually achieving happiness.

Drugs and alcohol are very popular in this area… But not terribly effective long term.

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#3

A course’s popularity at a university will be driven by many factors, not just the stated content of the course, though that is still quite important. Other significant factors that impact the popularity of a course include the professor’s reputation or personality, whether the course fulfills a requirement (and how many people need that requirement fulfilled), and the perceived probability that taking the course will positively affect a student’s GPA (i.e. its perceived difficulty, more or less).

There’s some important context that’s missing in this post, that I think is necessary to make rational judgements about this course’s popularity: what were the previous courses to have gained the distinction of most popular course ever? Without knowing that, I believe it’s inappropriate to draw any conclusions about Yale, college students, or people in general based on the popularity of this course. It’s simply unscientific (i.e. bad statistical practice) to do otherwise.

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#4

“I just want to be happy. And happiness comes from the achieving of goals. It’s just that when you’ve made
your first billion by the age of nineteen, it’s hard to come up with new ones. But now, finally, I got myself a new goal. World Domination!” - Darwin Mayflower

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#5

Maybe it’s time to be promoting the Gross National Happiness Index instead of all those economic indexes.

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#6

Don’t worry, be happy.

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#7

How to be perfectly unhappy

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/unhappy

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#8

Can you imagine what a kick in the teeth it would be to fail this course.

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#9

http://books.wwnorton.com/books/The-Situation-Is-Hopeless-But-Not-Serious/

#10
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#11

The most attractive human trait to me is Enthusiasm; provided it is not combined with cruelty.

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#12

Imagine how I felt when I got a failing grade on Humanity.

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#13

based on the latest peer-reviewed science…

You’re doing it wrong. It’s supposed to be based on astrology, magic crystals, and pyramid power. Plus exclusive merchandise!

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#14

If it’s like other things happiness-related the curriculum is relatively lightweight; but has the downside of being nearly useless when you hit the practicum; which is brutal.

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#15
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#16

I teach the same course, only I call it “Calculus”.

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#17

Thank you for that Gulliver!

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#18

I’m happy right now.

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#19

I agree with your logic, because (no joke) the most popular course at my college was “Chemistry of Beer.”

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#21
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