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

644 ratings
175 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


Jun 25, 2018

Claire you did an AMAZING job having me listen and absorb all about statistics, every class again.. I had never expected I could be so attached to a statistics class. Thank you very much.


Jul 24, 2019

Angela Duckworth is simply incredible. All her video put a smile on my face. And Claire Robertson-Kraft is makes research very comprehensive! Thank you both for this amazing course!

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151 - 171 of 171 Reviews for Positive Psychology: Character, Grit and Research Methods

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 Danya S

Feb 10, 2019

I am not a science/math person and I found this course very difficult to get through. I had to keep going though, you can't exactly quit a class about grit :)

By Fabien C

Sep 11, 2018

Very technical around scientific studies

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.

By David K

Oct 06, 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 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 Mario E T A

Jun 19, 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 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 Diane H

Aug 02, 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 Andee G

Oct 28, 2019

I'm not sure why this course was offered as a part of the certificate program. It thought it would be about Grit and the tools and methods to develop grit and what was found in the research, much like the previous two courses. This course was in the specifics of how to create and run a research project and all the different elements of designing research and reading and interpreting research. It barely grazed on grit. While this may be important information for someone who is in the MAP program and going to do a capstone - it really seemed over the top for a certificate with only 5 courses. It took me months not weeks because I had a hard time sticking with it (and the irony of that is not lost on me).

By Sara A

Aug 06, 2018

research based

By Edith R

Mar 05, 2018

Lectures that were rushed and often left out adequate examples, incorrect information on an in-lecture slide, link to page with poorly written notes, discussion forums for "vetting" ideas where almost no discussion activity or learning occurred, rubric that did not fully match project instructions...

I love the idea of this class, but I think it could have been a much better experience. I had to spend a lot more time to do a lot more research online in order to try to understand the material. I got 100% on all my assignments but I never felt confident that I actually understood the material. I got the impression my peers were more confused than I was based on what I saw. I love the idea of including other researchers' experiences, but the interview snippets didn't align with the concepts enough and they ended up not feeling helpful.

By Ramon L

Jun 26, 2017

Angela should prepare her presentations not have somebody film her while she gives a class in the middle of a lecture. At the end some of her lectures and those of the practitioners did not have transcripts posted.

By Andrew K

Jan 15, 2018

Dreadful. More evidence that positive psychology lacks rigour and is a brand.

By Justin P

Apr 13, 2018

The research work was incredibly dull. The main points could have been covered in two sessions, the Duckworth sessions were sometimes incongruous add-ons and the readings/linked websites were often poorly written. I can only hope this is the dud course we have to endure in the middle of four excellent modules ...

By Ana M M

Dec 18, 2017

very interesting theme, not much interest from the teacher in doing a personalized MOOC.

By Gregg H

Aug 11, 2017

This is a poorly taught course by both instructors. Angela Duckworth needs to have a microphone that keeps on broadcasting while she turns her head. Each time she turns her head and walks around the room the sound varies too much for her to be heard. I thought the course would teach me how to be grittier and how to survive the rough parts of life. The other instructor, although she has great zeal for teaching, talks way too fast for me to take notes and actually absorb anything she says. This course is a total waste of time unless you love statistics, which I don't. I would love to drop the course if there were a way to do so. Avoid this course at all costs. Poorly executed and not user friendly at all.

By Yashowardhan C

Sep 29, 2017

I had joined this course to learn more about Grit. Sadly, the course barely had anything on grit. Rather, the course appeared to have focused on Research Methods more.

Anyone looking for Grit, may not like to take this course.

By Angie B

Nov 01, 2017

Too much investigation and just a litlle bit on grit


Nov 12, 2019

Such a tedious course.