Kathleen D. Noble
Explores selected advanced topics in science and technology.
Consciousness and Well-Being: What does it mean to be happy? What does it mean to flourish? What does it mean to be psychologically well? This course will examine the roles of meditation, neuroplasticity, peak experiences, synchronicity, and resilience in the development and attainment of exceptional well-being.
Student learning goals
Describe the ways in which “thinking without thinking” affects our individual and collective experiences.
Understand the concept of neuroplasticity and how thoughts and emotions change the physiological structure and potential of the brain.
Appreciate the complexity of happiness and the role of meditation and expanded awareness in achieving and enhancing this state of consciousness.
Understand the concept of synchronicity and its relationship to consciousness and well-being.
Demonstrate the ability to distill, discuss, and evaluate the principal ideas presented in textual material.
Demonstrate the ability to reflect on, write about, and discuss your own ideas and insights about these issues.
General method of instruction
Required Texts: 1) Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (Malcolm Gladwell); (2) The Tao of Psychology: Synchronicity and the Self(Jean Shinoda Bolen), (3) Excerpts from The Art of Happiness (H.H. the Dalai Lama). (4) Excepts from Train Your Mind, Train Your Brain (Sharon Begley).
Junior or Senior standing. BST 221 or BST 323, or permission of the instructor.
Class assignments and grading
1) Outline of each reading, delineating the main points the author is making. Students must be present in class to turn in and receive credit for each synopsis. 2) Final reflection essay: 5 page essay reflecting on what you learned during the course. 3) Participation: Students will be evaluated by the professor and themselves during class discussion based on their preparation to discuss the readings carefully and cogently, use of notes and texts to support their contributions, and respect shown to other participants.
Chapter Outlines: (33.3%) Final essay (33.3%) Participation (33.4%)