2019 PRA Keynote Speaker:

Dr. Laurie Santos

Head, Silliman College Professor Psychology, Yale University

Presentation:  Psychology and the Good Life




Psychologist Dr. Laurie Santos is an expert on human cognition, its origins, and the evolutionary biases that influence our all-too imperfect life choices. She is also knowledgeable in how behavioral change through positive psychology can lead to a happy and fulfilling life. Currently the big project of Dr. Santos is to positively influence the culture of Yale University by teaching happiness and well-being. She created a course so meaningful that it became the most popular class taken at Yale in over 316 years.


The class Laurie teaches at Yale, Psychology and the Good Life, presents a set of scientifically-validated strategies for living a more satisfying life. Her lecture will be a very short prĂ©cis version of the course — She will introduce some misconceptions we have about what makes for a satisfying life and explain how our minds lie to us about what will make us happy, suggesting that some of the things we think matter for our happiness simply don’t. Laurie will take a quick look at the psychological biases and dumb features of our mind that lead us astray, biases that make it hard for us to see what makes us happy and causes us to seek out the wrong sorts of things (a phenomenon she refers to as miswanting). Laurie will end with what psychology research shows about what we really should strive for to live a happier and more satisfying life.