62 Activities

Exercises: Read, Listen & Learn

  • The article Why Mind Wandering Can be so Miserable, According to Happiness Experts looks at the boost to happiness that may occur when you DON”T let your mind wander  (http://www.smithsonianmag.com/ science-nature/why-mind-wandering-can-be-so-miserable-according-happiness-experts-180962265/)
  • Sad Face: A fascinating look at controversy around the facial-feedback hypothesis which makes it clear that psychology is, above all, a human endeavour. (http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/ cover_story/2016/08/can_smiling_make_you_happier_maybe_maybe_not_we_have_no_idea.html)
  • How To Stop Being Furious: This article looks at what makes people angry and how we can try to control that anger. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/wellbeing/mood-and-mind/how-to-stop-being-furious/)
  • Spend Money, Be Happy: Some research into what does (and what doesn’t) make people happy:
  • Case Study: John/Joan – The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl
    Discussion of a famous Canadian case study that shed light on the role of nature/nurture in gender:
  • A New Way to Look at Emotions – and How to Master Yours: An interesting look at research into how context effects emotion. (http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20171012-how-emotions-can-trick-your-mind-and-body)



Exercise: Watch & Learn

Science of Sex Appeal: What Women Find Attractive – A not too serious look at what men and women find attractive

Video 11.1: Science of Sex Appeal: What Women Find Attractive (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoKA-a5vEEc), uploaded by Discovery UK.


Exercises: Watch, Read & Learn

Video 11.2: Marshmallow Test Reproduced  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amsqeYOk–w) uploaded by TodaSyo.


Exercise: Watch & Learn


Video 11.3: The Surprising Science of Happiness (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4q1dgn_C0AU) uploaded by Dan Gilbert.

  • Social Networks May Learn To Depression: This short video describes some research showing that frequent users of social media may be more depressed than others.  Can you think why that might be?


Exercises: Things to Do

  1. Read the “research focus” study in chapter 11.3 and see if you can answer the following questions. You may need to review the material on experimental design in Chapter 3.
    a) What was the Independent Variable (remember it must have at least two conditions)?
    b) What was the Dependent Variable in the first study?
    c) What was the Dependent Variable in the second study?
    d) Which theory of emotion do the results of the two studies support? Explain your answer.
  2. How Happy Are You? This VERY quick quiz claims to assess your level of happiness. Try it out on yourself and some friends to see if it seems to be accurate. Can you think of a way of assessing its construct validity? (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/apr/03/how-happy-are-you-quiz)
  3. Flow –  the Secret to Happiness: Watch this video on “flow- the secret of happiness” and think about things you could do to increase your own happiness. (https://www.ted.com/talks/mihaly_csikszentmihalyi_on_flow)

    Video 11-4: Flow, the Secret to Happiness uploaded by Mihaly Csikszentimihalyi in February 2004.

  4. The Deactivation Effect: What 15 Minutes Device-Free Solitude Does to Your Emotions: Read this article on the impact of 15 minutes of down-time on people’s emotions. Try the 15-minute break yourself and see whether/how it affects your emotions.
    (https://main-researchdigest-bps.content.pugpig.com/2017/11/07/the-deactivation-effect-what-15-minutes-device-free-solitude-does-to-your-emotions/pugpig_index.html)Did you enjoy the experience?
  5. Reading the Mind in the Eyes: Try the “recognizing emotions” activity on this site to see how good you are at identifying subtle emotions from faces (https://www.testmybrain.org/)

Answers to Things to Do Questions

  1. a) The IV is whether the participants were given accurate information as to the effects
    of the drug (i.e. they were told they would experience arousal – this is the INFORMED
    condition) or whether they did not receive accurate information (i.e. they were not told
    the drug would cause arousal – this is the UNINFORMED condition)
    b) The DV in the first study was the participants’ rating of their emotional state.
    c) The DV in the second study is not clearly stated but appears to have been a measure of the participants’ behaviour.
    d) The results support the two-factor theory of emotion. How the participants felt was influenced by both their physiological state and their interpretation of that state.
  2. Remember, construct validity is about whether the test measures what it claims to measure so you would probably want to see whether people’s performance on this test correlates with some other measure of their happiness (self-report, a behavioural measure (if you can think of one), a different “happiness” test, etc.)


Ambridge, B. (2016).  How happy are you?   Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/apr/03/how-happy-are-you-quiz

BBC iPlayer Radio 4. (2010, August 10).  Mind Changers – case study: John/Joan the boy who was raised as a girl [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00t97xf

The British Psychological Society.  Research Digest.  Jarrett, Christian.  The deactivation effect: What 15 minutes device free solitude does to your emotions.  Retrieved from https://main-researchdigest-bps.content.pugpig.com/2017/11/07/the-deactivation-effect-what-15-minutes-device-free-solitude-does-to-your-emotions/pugpig_index.html

Clarke, I.  The Telegraph.   2016, March 7.  How to stop be furious. Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/wellbeing/mood-and-mind/how-to-stop-being-furious/

Copeland, L. (2017). Why Mind Wandering Can Be So Miserable, According to Happiness Experts. Retrieved from http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/why-mind-wandering-can-be-so-miserable-according-happiness-experts-180962265/

Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2004).   Flow, the secret to happiness [Video file].  Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/mihaly_csikszentmihalyi_on_flow

Discovery UK. (2010, February 12).  Science of sex appeal: what women find attractive [Video File]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PoKA-a5vEEc

Engber, D. (2016). Sad Face – Another classic finding in psychology—that you can smile your way to happiness—just blew up. Is it time to panic yet?   Retrieved from http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/cover_story /2016/08/can_smiling_make_you_happier_maybe_maybe_not_we_have_no_idea.html 

Gilbert, D. (2012).  The surprising science of happiness [Video File].  Retrieved from


Jarrett, C. (2017). Children of today are better at delaying gratification than previous generations.   Retrieved from https://digest.bps.org.uk/2017/09/20/children-of-today-are-better-at-delaying-gratification-than-previous-generations/

PsyWeb.com.  Social networks may lead to depression.  Retrieved fromhttp://www.psyweb.com/videos/depression/social-networks-may-lead-to-depression-video

Robinson, M. (2015) Spend money, be happy.  Retrieved from http://www.vancouversun.com/Spend+money+happy/11613024/story.html?__lsa=25e2-6dfc

Robson, D. (2017).  A new way to look at emotions – and how to master yours.  Retrieved from   http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20171012-how-emotions-can-trick-your-mind-and-body

Syo, T. (2009, April 18).  Marshmallow test reproduced by Dr. David Walsh [Video File]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amsqeYOk–w

Test My Brain.  Retrieved from https://www.testmybrain.org/



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