Classroom Activity 1: Happiness Experiments

Classroom Activity 1: Happiness Experiments

with Larissa Rzemienski, fl. 2012 (2013, originally published 2013),

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Abstract / Summary
Every once in a while, I like to do a quick quasi-experiment with my psychology classes. I hand out slips of paper to everyone in the class. It appears to the students that all of these papers are the same, although they in fact are quite different. Half of the class has just received a slip asking them to name the three best events that happened to them over the past week. The other half of the class receives a paper that asks them to list the three worst events that happened to them during the past week. I ask my students to work on this activity quietly so they do not accidentally ruin the secret. After making their lists, my students are asked to rate how their week was overall on a scale of 1-10. We then regroup and I share the secret that half the class received one set of papers, while the other half received a different set. I ask the students to shout out their overall scores on a scale of 1-10 and I write them on the board under “best” or “worst”, and we look at the differences between the sets of data. This quasi-experiment has never failed!! The group that was asked to recall the worst things about their week undoubtedly scored their week around a 4, 5 or 6. The group that was asked to recall the best points scored their week as an 8, 9, or 10.
Field of Interest
Content Type
Instructional material
Related Web resources
Original Publication Date
Larissa Rzemienski, fl. 2012
Publication Year
Psychology, Social Sciences, Psychology & Counseling, Cognitive Psychology, Surveys, Surveys, Psicología Cognitiva, Psicologia Cognitiva, Ruut Veenhoven, 1942-, Happiness, Positive approaches, Positivism
Keywords and Translated Subjects
Psicología Cognitiva, Psicologia Cognitiva

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