The Science of Happiness and Wellbeing

By Prof. Priyadarshi Patnaik, Prof. Manas K. Mandal   |   IIT Kharagpur
Learners enrolled: 1155
Positive psychology, well being and the science of happiness have become almost a craze today with its stress, change and speed. This tested and highly successful course from IIT Kharagpur’s Rekhi Centre of Excellence for the Science of Happiness is designed to take one step by step through the science as well as the discovery of the road to happiness. It introduces students to the fundamental concepts, the causes, the mechanism, the effect, as well as the practice of happiness from a scientific and analytical perspective. A must for any professional, it is highly recommended for everyone. If offered for NPTEL Online Certification (NOC), this much-in-demand course would be available online for a large number of participants, with opportunities for collaboration and learning for easy application.

INTENDED AUDIENCE: For anyone keen to understand the science of self-management and wellbeing

PREREQUISITES: No restrictions, ideally after class XII.

INDUSTRY SUPPORT: Happiness is today strongly linked with productivity in the Corporate sector. Many private and public sector industries are now keen to see their employees happy. The Centre at IIT Kharagpur on the Science of Happiness has received a number of offers from such companies to train their employees. This will be especially relevant for the HR team, and for managers at all levels.
Course Status : Upcoming
Course Type : Elective
Duration : 8 weeks
Start Date : 20 Feb 2023
End Date : 14 Apr 2023
Exam Date : 29 Apr 2023 IST
Enrollment Ends : 20 Feb 2023
Category :
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Psychology
Credit Points : 2
Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1: Operationalizing happiness: Defining happiness
Week 2: Understanding the construct of happiness: The science of happiness These five modules would introduce the key concepts that make up the science of happiness, and create the basic ground for the sessions to follow. It would also include pretests to assess current happiness and other related parameters.
Week 3: Factors influencing happiness: Biological, psychological & socio-cultural factors These modules would focus on the key components influence happiness through talks, case studies and self-learning tasks.
Week 4: Unanswered questions: What makes us happy? The modules in this week would focus on the myths as well as the simple secrets of happiness and how to make the act successful through understanding and practice. Happiness: The dynamics within: Key ingredients of happiness These modules would address the key ingredients with scientific evidence, case studies and online assignments and assessments.
Week 5: Train yourself in Happiness: Two short modules on Mindfulness These sessions would take us through the science as well as the art of mindfulness through online practice sessions and training aids. Happiness in the social context: Three modules on Emotional Intelligence. Emotions play a key role in happiness and need to be addressed in their various ways in response to people and society. Tests, assessments and training sessions to hone skills would be included.
Week 6: Happiness at work: Getting rid of daily hassles Happiness and efficiency, happiness and creativity, and various other key components like innovation and follow would be addressed in these units. Fine tuning work-life balance: Strategies to develop happiness Through units as well as assessment tools participants would be guided through techniques to hone their work-life balance – a key component of success as well as happiness.
Week 7: Becoming happier: State & trait of happiness This week would focus on sustaining and enhancing what has been learnt so far through both theoretical as well as training inputs.
Week 8: Creating happiness: Making a difference for others Happiness needs to spread. These units would focus on networking and sustaining what has been learnt by sharing with others. Post-test assessments would also be used to tests changes that have been brought about during the 12 weeks of the course.

Books and references

Reference Material

A: Philosophical and Spiritual Views on Happiness

Uchida, Y., & Ogihara, Y. (2012). Personal or interpersonal construal of happiness: A cultural psychological perspective. International Journal of Wellbeing, 2(4), 354-369. doi:10.5502/ijw.v2.i4.5

B: How Science Defines and Measures Happiness

Kahneman, D. (1999). Objective happiness. Well-being: The foundations of hedonic psychology, 3-25. Harker, L., & Keltner, D. (2001). Expressions of positive emotion in women's college yearbook pictures and their relationship to personality and life outcomes across adulthood. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80(1), 112.doi:10.1037/00223514.80.1.112Kreiman, G., Koch, C., & and Fried, I. (2000). Imagery Neurons in the Human Brain. Nature 408, 357-361.Davidson, R. J., et al. (2003). Alterations in brain and immune function produced by mindfulness meditation. Psychosomatic Medicine, 65(4), 564–570.

C: Happiness and its benefits:

Lyubomirsky, S., King, L., & Diener, E. (2005). The benefits of frequent positive affect: Does happiness lead to success? Psychological Bulletin, 131(6), 803. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.131.6.803Danner, D. D., Snowdon, D. A., & Friesen, W. V. (2001). Positive emotions in early life and longevity: Findings from the nun study. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 80(5), 804. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.80.5.804

D: Contemporary relevance

Konrath, S. H., O'Brien, E. H., & Hsing, C. (2011). Changes in dispositional empathy in American college students over time: A meta-analysis. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 15(2), 180-198. doi:10.1177/1088868310377395 Kahneman, D. & Deaton, D. (2010). High income improves evaluation of life but not emotional well-being. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(38), 16489–16493. doi:10.1073/pnas.1011492107 Lane, R. E. (2000). The loss of happiness in market democracies. New Haven: Yale University Press.Myers, D. G., & Diener, E. (1995). Who is happy? Psychological Science, 6(1), 10-19. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9280.1995.tb00298.x Myers, D. G. (2001). The American paradox: Spiritual hunger in an age of plenty. Yale University Press.Eden, D. & Aviram, A. (1993). Self-efficacy training to speed reemployment: Helping people to help themselves. Journal of Applied Psychology, 78(3) 352-360

Instructor bio

Prof. Priyadarshi Patnaik

Priyadarshi Patnaik is a Professor of English and Communication in the Department of Humanities & Social Sciences, IIT Kharagpur. He is also the Secretary, Nehru Museum of Science and Technology, IIT Kharagpur, and Rector’s Nominee, Technology Students Gymkhana, IIT Kharagpur. His areas of research include Visual communication, Music and emotion, Communication and culture, Media communication, Translation, and Digital humanities. He has authored and edited more than 14 volumes of text, reference, and creative work. He has a number of research papers, translations, poems, short stories, illustrations and photographs in many national and international journals. He is currently one of the Co-PIs involved with a number of cultural and heritage projects under the MHRD Mega-Project, SandHI. 

Prof. Manas K. Mandal

IIT Kharagpur
Prof. Manas K Mandal’s research contribution to the field of psychological science spanned over 35 years with primary focus on affect processing in the brain, in general, and in schizophrenia, in particular. His doctoral work on affect (emotion) processing in schizophrenia has been an original work that paved the way for the formulation many research hypotheses later. Prof. Mandal continued his endeavour in later part of his research in uncovering the role of cerebral hemispheres in emotion processing. The input about cerebral lateralization was drawn from his earlier work in which he proposed that the right hemisphere activity that regulates emotion processing may be intact in schizophrenia. While at the Indian Institute of Technology – Kharagpur, Prof. Mandal pursued the domain of behavioural neuroscience in normal human behavior, in which he explored the difficulties faced by the left and mixed (clumsy) handers in the society. His researches let us know what percentage of the left handers are found in India, what makes a left hander switch handedness pattern, why the left handers are more prone to accidents than the right handers, etc. As the Director of Defense Institute of Psychological Research (DRDO), prof. Mandal engaged himself in a large number of activities towards the human performance development of the community of armed / paramilitary forces (National Security Guards, CRPF, etc.). Noteworthy, amongst these include (a) getting the best cadet for the armed / paramilitary forces through scientifically developed selection system, (b) analyzing critical behavior like mob hysteria or terrorism, (c) imparting mass counseling for man-made and natural disasters, (d) reducing the incidence of self-defeating behaviours in soldiers like suicide and fratricide, etc. Currently he is the Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Rekhi Centre of Excellence for the Science of Happiness at IIT Kharagpur

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 29 April 2023 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 6 assignments out of the total 8 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Kharagpur. It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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