Monday, January 16, 2012


Introduction to Psychology (PSYC 110): The last lecture in the course wraps up the discussion of clinical psychology with a discussion of treatment efficacy. Does therapy actually work? Professor Bloom summarizes the different types of influences that clinical interventions might have on people who receive therapy.

Professor Bloom ends with a review of one of the most interesting research topics in "positive psychology," happiness. What makes us happy? How does happiness vary across person and culture? What is happiness for? Students will hear how the most recent research in psychology attempts to answer these questions and learn how people are surprisingly bad at predicting what will make them happiest.

00:00 - Chapter 1. How and Why Therapy Works
07:48 - Chapter 2. Question and Answer on Therapy
11:16 - Chapter 3. Happiness and Positive Psychology
18:58 - Chapter 4. Getting Used to Happiness
42:41 - Chapter 5. Closing Remarks

My notes:

The first chapters of reference in this video seem to be related to Irvin Yalom's book "When Nietzsche Wept"; therefore, if you have read the book or seen the film, the beginning of this talk will surely be of interest to you. What I would like my students to focus on is Chapter 3 onwards. These are thoughts that represent a perennial problem tormenting mankind: happiness and its dubious existence.

While listening, students can follow the interactive transcript which is enabled by a simple click on a button under the video when watched on YouTube. Needless to say, this is also excellent listening practice. As soon as the video ends, students can refer to the transcript of the talk in order to solve any remaining questions about the speaker's actual words.

Subsequently, attempting to answer the above questions in bold would give them an ideal opportunity to speak their mind and also put into use the new vocabulary learnt by thoroughly studying the transcript. After all, if reflection on life is not encouraged in the classroom, few speaking topics remain that truly matter...

Links for further exploration:


  1. It's funny how people think money makes them happy. Though it seems like some of the happiest people are also the poorest.

  2. Exactly Sharon! I totally agree with you!

  3. "..if reflection on life is not encouraged in the classroom, few speaking topics remain that truly matter..." Yes!! And this video has a lot of interesting things to say about a facet of life that cries out for further discussion.

  4. Thank you Torn for the encouraging comment! Your book definitely helps in talking about things that matter! :-)