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The Science of Happiness

Seminar Center for Global Humanities Lecture/Seminar Series

Catherine Sanderson

Catherine Sanderson

Professor of Psychology, Amherst College

This talk presents both surprising and not-so-surprising information on the science behind happiness.  What role do money, IQ, marriage, friends, children, weather, and religion play in making us feel happier, and why?  Is happiness stable over time?  How can happiness be increased?  Professor Catherine Sanderson will describe cutting-edge research from the field of positive psychology on the factors that do (and do not) predict happiness, and provide participants with practical (and relatively easy!) ways to increase their own psychological well-being.


Catherine Sanderson is a professor of psychology at Amherst College. She received a bachelor's degree in psychology, with a specialization in health and development, from Stanford University, and received both master's and doctoral degrees in psychology from Princeton University. Professor Sanderson's research examines how personality and social variables influence health-related behaviors such as safer sex and disordered eating, the development of persuasive messages and interventions to prevent unhealthy behavior, and the predictors of relationship satisfaction. This research has received grant funding from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. Professor Sanderson has published more than 25 journal articles and book chapters in addition to three college textbooks and a popular press book on parenting. In 2012, she was named one of the country's top 300 professors by Princeton Review.

Assigned Reading

Daniel Gilbert, Stumbling on Happiness (Random House, 2007)


A reception will be held at 5:00 pm at the UNE Art Gallery.


Center for Global Humanities


(207) 221-4435

The Science of Happiness Poster
6:00 PM
WCHP Lecture Hall in Parker Pavilion

Portland Campus

Free and open to the public