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Back to Positive Psychology: Character, Grit and Research Methods

Learner Reviews & Feedback for Positive Psychology: Character, Grit and Research Methods by University of Pennsylvania

974 ratings
297 reviews

About the Course

Learners discover how apply to research methods to their study of Positive Psychology. In this course, we study with Dr. Angela Duckworth and Dr. Claire Robertson-Kraft. Through an exploration their work "True Grit" and interviews with researchers and practitioners, you develop a research hypothesis and learn how to understand the difference between internal and external validity. You also begin to understand and apply the strengths and weaknesses associated with different types of measurements and evaluation designs. You then interpret the results in an empirical study. Suggested prerequisites: Positive Psychology: Martin E. P. Seligman’s Visionary Science and Positive Psychology: Applications and Interventions....

Top reviews

Dec 27, 2019

Though i have nightmares of research design from my undergraduate career, this puts a neat spin on it and reminds the sheer importance of it. Thanks for the reminder of what is important UPENN!

Oct 23, 2020

It was a wonderful class! While I was expecting something different than learning about research and how to read research papers, that is my fault for putting my expectations on the class.

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251 - 275 of 293 Reviews for Positive Psychology: Character, Grit and Research Methods

By Lydia O

Aug 16, 2018

I really didn't love this course as much as I loved the rest of the certificate program. It was a lot of social science 101, and while perhaps neccesssary for critical science literacy I just wasn't as compelled by the material.


May 18, 2020

I wasn't a fan of Angela Duckworth's presentations. She was often turned away from the camera, and it didn't feel like I was in the room the way I did when Dr. Seligman presented or during the presentation on Resilience.

By Auli K

Jun 28, 2020

It's nice to know, but lacking crucial information, as qualitative methods have only been scratched on the surface. The whole course is about quantitative methods and analyses. Mrs. Duckworth's lectures are pure ace!

By Silvia C P

Jun 2, 2020

The structure of this course and Mrs. Claire explanations are very didactic. I missed lessons from Mrs. Angela directed for this course and not some takes interacting with students of another program.

By Wolfgang P

Feb 12, 2020

The videos of Angela have not the same quality than all the others of the positive psychology moduls. For sure the content is good, but her style of teaching is hard to follow.

By Brenda A

Sep 29, 2020

This part of the specialisation was a bit more difficult to comprehend and to find was of making relevant to my work.

By Jonas W

Nov 5, 2019

Good content, research aspects are rather "dry" took me ages to complete. Note: I am not a research type of person.

By Georgeta E P

Jul 11, 2017

this course was pretty scattered. Too much focus on research and not enough on grit application.

By Andrea

Jan 1, 2018

It's an interesting course, but quite repetitive sometimes and not very well organised.

By Heather V

Dec 19, 2019

I wanted way more Angela Duckworth and way less Info on how to conduct an experiment.

By Halil O A

Nov 15, 2017

Recommend, however, the organisation of the schedule a little bit confusing...

By Venkata A J

Mar 8, 2021

I enrolled into this course because it is part of the 5 course certificate program in Positive Psychology. I really liked the other two courses. In this course, I learnt a lot about research but had no inputs or assignments or lectures on how I can improve my grit. I am disappointed. In my opinion, the research aspects could have been allocated 25-33% of the course and the rest of the time could have been devoted to improving the grit of the participants (like it was in the other courses). The assignments were better described in the other courses. The guidelines were rather scanty but in peer -reviewing I was asked specific questions about the assignment. Guidelines could be formulated so that students could submit the assignments that could fulfil the evaluation criteria.

I am also very disappointed with the content provided by Angela Duckworth. The audio quality was poor because of the echo (she was not wearing a lapel microphone nor speaking directly into the mic). The recording was done when she is actually taking a class. The audio was disturbed by the noises generated in the class, making it difficult to follow her. The videos was just clipped from her class recording. There was no introduction and conclusion as in all the other video content. As this is a charged course, Angela could have taken the time to do a high quality video and audio as was done by all other instructors. As a student who paid for it, I felt rather let down by what I saw. I do hope Angela would take this feedback and do justice the content she is providing.

By Diane H

Aug 1, 2019

Although I did learn some interesting things, I found this course hard going.

Claire talks much too fast on her videos......really hard to listen to.

A lot of jargon that still remains unexplained or inadequately explained.

Maybe the course could be split into two there is so much material. The format could be changed too. With such dry material, just having videos with powerpoint slides is boring. Don't the lecturers ever write on the board?

I found some of the assignments confusing: do one thing, but then be graded on extra content and I am sure one assignment duplicated one we had already done.

In short, not enjoyable.

One note: the topic of the paper referred to (Recruitment and retention of teachers) is not so relevant to non-US residents who may be like me and have no knowledge of or interest in the US school system.

Somehow I also struggle with this whole concept of grit.....sounds like it makes winning and being the best the most important thing in life and also sounds so relentlessly joyless. Again I wonder if this is a US cultural phenomenon. The rugged individual etc

By Julie O

Oct 1, 2020

I was really looking forward to a deeper dive on Duckworth's work, and the Character Lab. I might be misremembering, but when I started the five courses, I thought that Angela was one of the instructors on a class just like that that was one of the five, did this class change in recent weeks? In any case, this felt a little misleading having Grit and Character in the title. It was a research class. The research was about Grit, but the class wasn't about Grit per se, other than having to access my own to get through it. I have zero interest in the level of detail on research that this course went into. I can appreciate needing to know a bit to be a discerning consumer of research. I think this could have been covered in a week, not a month. I would advocate a research specific class as an additional class the those really interested in that aspect might be able to take.

By François R

Sep 7, 2020

As others have stated already... this really is false advertising. It's a "Introduction to Psychological Research" course with a few snippets of positive psychology in there. Not a course about grit. That's not really what I signed up for and I found the assignments to be boring and tedious (I'm a psychologist so I had all this stuff ad nauseam...)

The snippets of Angela Duckworth's lectures were hard to understand acoustically and generally seemed to be taken out of context...

The bits about research were well done, it's a really good introduction for non-psychologists (hence two stars), but not interesting to me. This course doesn't match the quality of the others...

By Lawrence M

Apr 8, 2020

The assignments were redundant. Instructor Duckworth was impossible to listen to. I had to turn the sound off and just read the transcript. Even then the transcript was at times difficult to follow because she does not speak in complete sentences. I found her use of biographical data to assess grit to be woefully lacking. The idea that holding office in a Greek organization compares to the stress of being a first-year teacher seems to be comparing apples and oranges. A much better measure of grit would be to measure the concept of Resilience.

By Sara N

Nov 3, 2020

I wanted so badly to like this course, but it's just too disjointed to feel like I got much out of it. It feels like two different courses that got mashed together and the flow becomes incredibly tedious over time. I truly appreciated the lecture section by Angela Duckworth, but the way it was chopped up and distributed between the other videos and reading sections really detracted from its impact. I also found the assignments to be kind of pointless. I'd have much preferred to take the two sections of this course separately.

By Valerie J

Nov 27, 2017

One of the challenges with being an academic is that classroom teaching skills do not always translate into engaging 'talking head' videos. In fact, at times, I found one particular presenter's intensity to be too painful to watch/listen to - she was really trying, but fell flat when reading to the teleprompter. The content of this course is chockfull of detailed info, but is more appropriate for a credited undergrad stats intro than for a non-credited online venue.

By Costantino S

Feb 25, 2018

Lessons from A. Duckworth are difficult to follow because of bad audio, and also because they are mostly extracted from a longer lesson, without much context.

Reading material is in part low quality (notes by a student, containing errors; websites with a lot of ads, etc).

Lessons regarding research methods are quite dry and maybe not extremely useful for non-researchers. On the other hand, the articles to be read and analysed are an exercise for grit!

By Adriana G B

Jun 25, 2021

Even the themes are perfect, for me were disarticulated. The videos of grit and character were segments of a class, not designed for the course and un-related with the research methods. Complete different from the courses of Dr. Seligman that even where classes are related and articulated.

Also, for the assignments, the instructions were unclear and vague.

By Brian H

May 18, 2018

Unlike the other positive psychology courses I've taken on Coursera, this one seemed to lack focus and not be particularly helpful. I don't feel better off for having taken it.

It's also repetitive, to the point where I think some of the exercises in some weeks were copies or near copies of prior weeks' exercises.

By Merrie D

Jan 22, 2019

I enjoyed the information on Grit and Dr. Duckworth's research, however, I did not care for the research methods sections. I understand the importance of this information, however, I have already learned this information in college. I did not enjoy rehashing information I already knew.

By Mario E T A

Jun 18, 2018

I was expecting more context about grit, too many information about measurements and statistics. I am sorry but it was a big disapointment, I even bought the book from Angela Duckworth because the topic if very interesting to me

By David K

Oct 5, 2017

there was little coherence in this course and at times it was challenging to see any connections in the content. The videos, in particular, Dr. Duckworths, had serious sound issues..... didn't like this course.

By Yauhen_Kamenka

May 16, 2018

For those who learned statistics and research earlier and would want to focus on PP only, this course will be a waste of everything. The grit part is quite messy.