ELE 3922 The Science of Well-Being, Happiness, and Success

ELE 3922 The Science of Well-Being, Happiness, and Success

Course code: 
ELE 3922
Leadership and Organizational Behaviour
Course coordinator: 
Anton Gollwitzer
Course name in Norwegian: 
The Science of Well-Being, Happiness, and Success
Product category: 
Bachelor - Programme Electives
2024 Autumn
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

Well-being, happiness, and success are terms often thrown around by dreamers, influencers, and life coaches. But these concepts are not only in the lexicon of the naïve. A rich scientific literature has empirically uncovered what contributes to well-being in a variety of contexts, including in our daily lives, romantic relationships, and professional journeys.

This course provides an overview of the science of well-being, happiness, and success and how this research can help people improve organizations, businesses, and their own daily lives. We will start by discussing the many misconceptions that exist about well-being, happiness, and success, followed by a deep dive into each of these fields. You will learn, for instance, about the cognitive and emotional biases that both hamper and heighten our well-being, how our predictions about future happiness are all upside down, about motivational strategies that have been scientifically shown to help people reach their goals, and about concepts like gratitude, schadenfreude, and awe. While doing so, we will incorporate numerous business topics, such as work-life balance, employee satisfaction, consumer experience, and human relations.

This is not your usual course. A significant portion of the course will involve learning about scientifically based strategies to improve well-being and applying these strategies to improve your own happiness. You will not only learn about the latest advancements in the science of well-being, but I will also teach you scientific tools that you can apply in your daily and professional lives. Taken together, the course will help you develop as an individual as well as teach you how to build and maintain content and sustainable communities and businesses. 

Is this course for you? Are you curious about what determines people’s happiness—money, power, or social relationships? Do you think about how to increase the well-being and motivation of employees and professionals? Do you wonder what is the ideal work-life balance? Do you want to adopt data-driven tricks that improve your own well-being and chances of success? If so, this course is for you. I look forward to teaching you the ins and outs of the science of well-being, happiness, and success.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

After completed course student shall:

  • An overview of the science of well-being, happiness, and success and how this knowledge can be applied in business contexts.
  • Insight into which common assumptions about well-being, happiness, and success are accurate and which are misguided.
  • Have knowledge about data-driven strategies to improve well-being, happiness, and success in a variety of contexts, including in businesses but also in people’s daily lives.
  • Have aquired knowledge about different cognitive and affective biases, motivational strategies, and other psychological and organizational concepts related to well-being, happiness, and success.
Learning outcomes - Skills

After completed course students shall be able to:

  • Apply the course content to real-world business and organizations. Students will learn the skills to directly improve the well-being and success of their superiors, employees, and professional peers. 
  • Heighten their own well-being, happiness, and success by applying the learned skills in their own daily and professional lives. The course supplies students with the tools to impact their own well-being, hopefully leading to a happier and more productive campus more generally.
  • Build and maintain content and sustainable communities and businesses. 
  • Demonstrate statistical skills to compare the effectiveness of different interventions that aim to heighten individuals’ well-being, happiness or success.
General Competence
  • Critical reflection on the benefits of understanding what can improve people’s well-being, happiness, and success.
  • Appreciation for and understanding that well-being, happiness, and success are all well studied scientific topics. Scientific findings in these domains tend to be obscured by popular culture and the self-help industry, so students are likely misguided in terms of these topics before the course.  
Teaching and learning activities

The course is structured as lectures with active participation. The course will rely on research and popular articles. The course includes a final assessment consisting of a written submission. This assessment will be a written report on students’ experience applying one of the strategies they learned in the course to improve their own well-being, happiness, or success. 

Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.
Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Submission PDF
Exam/hand-in semester: 
First Semester
Group/Individual (1 - 3)
1 Semester(s)
Exam code: 
ELE 39221
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Ordinary examination
Total weight: 
Student workload
30 Hour(s)
Student's own work with learning resources
110 Hour(s)
Group work / Assignments
60 Hour(s)
Sum workload: 

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 7,5 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of at least 200 hours.