University of Michigan
The Science of Success: What Researchers Know that You Should Know
University of Michigan

The Science of Success: What Researchers Know that You Should Know

Taught in English

Some content may not be translated

184,202 already enrolled


Gain insight into a topic and learn the fundamentals

Paula Caproni

Instructor: Paula Caproni


(2,766 reviews)

Beginner level
No prior experience required
10 hours to complete
3 weeks at 3 hours a week
Flexible schedule
Learn at your own pace

What you'll learn

  • Understand how to get better results at work and school.

  • Achieve personal career success.

  • Practice enjoying a meaningful, happy, and healthy life.

Details to know

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5 quizzes

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There are 7 modules in this course

This course is designed to help you achieve the success in life that you desire and deserve. This module sets the foundation for the course and introduces you to the course objectives, as well as to four strategies that successful people use to achieve their life goals. In the first video, you’ll learn about the goals of the course and how a scientifically-based approach to success can help you achieve your life goals. In the second video, you’ll have the opportunity to think carefully about what success means to you, particularly in the areas of achieving better and more meaningful results at work, achieving the career success that you desire, and enjoying a happy, healthy life. In the third video, you’ll learn about the most common myths about success that can distract you from achieving your life goals, as well as what researchers have found really predicts success in life. Happy learning!

What's included

5 videos6 readings1 quiz1 discussion prompt

In this module, you’ll learn how some beliefs can hold you back from achieving your goals, while others – such as having a growth mindset and positive core self-evaluations - can propel you forward toward your goals. You will also learn how having a growth mindset can protect people against the harmful effects of bias and prejudice and why people with positive core self-evaluations tend to earn significantly more money, regardless of their grades in school and family background. By the end of this module, you’ll have specific strategies for creating beliefs that will help you set high goals and succeed in achieving them.

What's included

3 videos1 reading1 quiz

In this module, you’ll learn about the importance of having an expertise that is meaningful to you and contributes to others. In the first video, you’ll learn about the role that expertise played in Pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger’s successful emergency landing of a United Airlines flight with 155 people on board into the Hudson River after both engines failed. You’ll learn how Sullenberger developed his expertise and how you can apply these lessons to your own pursuit of expertise. In the second video, you’ll learn about what sets experts apart from non-experts, as well as the essential role that mental representations and chunks play in the development of expertise. You’ll also learn what birds, squirrels, and elite London cab drivers have in common and what this means for you. Hint: It has to do with how the brain develops in experts. In the third video, you’ll learn a step-by-step strategy for engaging in the same type of practice that experts use to develop their expertise.

What's included

3 videos1 reading1 quiz

In this module, you’ll learn about two types of self-motivation that predict success: Conscientiousness and Grit. The first video focuses on conscientiousness – what it is, how it can pay off for you in school and at work, and the benefits conscientiousness has on your health. You’ll also discover researchers have learned about success from a famous series of studies about children, marshmallows, and delayed gratification. The second video focuses on grit – what it is, how it differs from conscientiousness, how it leads to success, what specific techniques you can use to become grittier, and how to avoid some of the downsides to being gritty. You will also have the opportunity to assess your own conscientiousness and grit.

What's included

2 videos3 readings1 quiz

In this module, you’ll learn about the power of developing mutually supportive relationships in predicting success and well-being in life. You’ll learn what social capital is, why it is a competitive advantage, and how it contributes to your success, as well as to the success of organizations and societies. You’ll learn to avoid several myths associated with relationship building, as well as four skills that are essential to developing relationships and social capital: developing self-awareness, creating your brand, being an energizer, and building your network of relationships. You’ll also have an opportunity to think about your brand, as well as map out and assess the effectiveness of your own network based on four criteria: size, structure, diversity, and strength of relationships.

What's included

4 videos2 readings1 quiz

By the time you reach this module, you will know more than most people know about what predicts success in life. You will now have the opportunity to turn what you know into actions that will help you achieve your life goals. You will develop an action plan that will have three parts: The heart (identifying what is most important to you in life), head (identifying the one area that you will work on in the short-term to move you toward achieving your goals), and hands (creating the steps you will take in the short-term to make progress in that specific area). You’ll learn about the power of small wins in achieving your life goals, as well as the importance of resilience and self-compassion when faced with setbacks.

What's included

1 video1 reading

Once you have watched all the videos, successfully completed the four quizzes, and created your personalized action plan, you will have successfully completed the course! You can use the Personalized Action Plan Template (found in the submissions area of the assignment) to create your action plan. Your action plan will be reviewed and graded by another course participant. If needed, you can resubmit your action plan until you achieve a passing grade. Of course, you should continue to refine your action plan throughout the different stages of your life. I wish you the very best on your journey to the life you desire and deserve.

What's included

2 readings1 peer review


Instructor ratings
4.8 (644 ratings)
Paula Caproni
University of Michigan
2 Courses191,921 learners

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