Happiness and the Good Life: How to make better decisions

SOL21 Happiness and the Good Life: How to make better decisions

Autumn 2024

  • Topics

    The aim of this course is, simply put, to learn strategies and principles for leading a happier life. Based on research from the field of psychology and behavioural economics, you will learn how people, organisation and consumers can avoid fallacies, make better decisions and become more content.

    The course is inspired by ‘Psychology and the Good Life’, the most popular course ever to be held at Yale University. The course focuses on two main questions: 1) What makes us happy? and 2) What makes organisations and consumers happy?

    Important topics are: psychological bias, nudging, needs and motivation, self-control, habits, time versus money, social identity and status, autonomy, entrepreneurship, health, justice and social responsibility.

    The teaching is a mixture of plenary lectures, guest lectures and a course assignment.

  • Learning outcome


    After completing the course, the student:

    • Has broad knowledge of key topics relating to happiness and well-being.
    • Has knowledge of key research articles and perspective relevant to understanding how people, organisations and consumers can achieve a higher level of satisfaction and happiness.
    • Has in-depth knowledge of a chosen topic in the course syllabus.


    After completing the course, the student:

    • Can apply academic knowledge and relevant results to be able to make him/herself and his/her colleagues happier and capable of making reasonable choices.
    • Can summarise and critically assess research-based knowledge about what makes individuals, organisations and consumers happy.

    General competence

    After completing the course, the student:  

    • Can exchange viewpoints and experiences with others based on the syllabus and apply key knowledge from the course in assessments and decisions in his/her own private and professional life.

  • Assessment

    1 hours individual multiple choice (30%).

    Written term paper in groups of 3-5 students on a selected topic (70%).

    An assessment in SOL21 will not be organised in the the non-teaching semester. As of autumn 2023, only mandatory bachelor courses with an individual assessment will have an assessment in the non-teaching semester. This only applies to students with a valid course approval. The retake options that apply at all times are decided by the dean for the bachelor program and will be published in the course description.


ECTS Credits

Spring. Will be offered spring 2024.