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MEDIA ADVISORY: ‘Pursuing Happiness: What Works and Why’

Speaker discusses how happiness is achieved

September 1st, 2010

Story Contact: MU News Bureau, 573-882-6211,

Kennon Sheldon, MU professor of psychology





WHAT: The University of Missouri’s distinguished 21st Century Corps of Discovery speaker, Dr. Kennon M. Sheldon, will address students, colleagues and guests on this history of happiness and what influences this elusive feeling.

In 1693, English philosopher John Locke wrote in An Essay Concerning Human Understanding that “the highest perfection of intellectual nature lies in a careful and constant pursuit of true and solid happiness.”  This concept, which is among the founding principles of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, has long been studied by philosophers and psychologists.  But what is happiness?  Can happiness be pursued?  And how can a person become happier?

Dr. Sheldon will address these and other questions in his lecture by covering current scientific research about what influences happiness and why some people are happier than others.

WHO: Dr. Kennon M. Sheldon, University of Missouri Professor of Psychology in the College of Arts and Science and an internationally recognized scholar in the area of psychological well-being and happiness.

Recognized as one of the most prolific scholars in the field of positive psychology, Dr. Sheldon is a sought-after speaker who has given many distinguished lectures around the world. He is the winner of a $30,000 John Templeton Foundation “Positive Psychology” prize and has received the MU Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Research Creativity in the Social Sciences. With more than 130 publications to his credit, Dr. Sheldon has played an important role in advancing what scientists know about positive psychology.

WHERE: Jesse Hall Auditorium           

WHEN: 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 1, 2010

NOTE: The annual 21st Century Corps of Discovery Lecture features an outstanding MU faculty member to commemorate the contributions of the Lewis and Clark expedition and to inspire and bring together the university community at the beginning of each academic year.  Reinforcing “discovery,” one of the University’s core values, the lecture is intended to represent MU’s diverse academics in science, art, humanities, law, medicine, engineering, education, journalism and business.