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The Stanford Stoked Laboratory

an Educational Initiative of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

What is the Stoked Laboratory?

The “Stoked Laboratory” is the natural evolution and exciting expansion from the Introductory Seminar, PSYC 60N, “The Psychology of Stoked.”   The Stoked Lab will explore the utility of the modules in the seminar across multiple age ranges and educational settings.

PSYC 60N is among the most popular introductory seminars at Stanford University.  The seminar is about the biological, psychological, and social aspects of what it means to live an engaged, meaningful, life-affirming existence. In seminar we ask essential questions:

Are there universal markers for human happiness or do we need an individual "economic happiness plan" for life? What is the difference between joyful moments and life satisfaction? How do we prioritize our values? Are the choices we make consistent with our own true selves?

The seminar is a critical analysis and ongoing discussion that aims to help us answer these and other questions.

Drawing from a wide range of sources, from psychiatry and psychology to spirituality and philosophy, the seminar teaches about the latest research on the science of well-being, and also challenges students to rethink assumptions about personal happiness. Students also examine the biological psychology of happiness including mindfulness practice, interpersonal effectiveness, and other methods of attaining positive emotional states.

Stoked Graduate, Lexi Long explores happiness from 10,000 ft

The Stoked Laboratory will explore positive psychology and the “economics of happiness” examining life satisfaction and happiness from many perspectives – in vivo.

The lab uses the positive emotion modules from PSYC 60N for dissemination in many contexts of education and well-being training.

The Stoked Lab explores the mixture of experiential challenges with readings and multimedia education for learning about positive psychology.  From Friedrich Nietzsche and Walt Whitman to Martin Seligman and Maya Angelou, we draw from the canon of well-being and psychological science to make concepts relevant across multiple life settings.  The Stoked Lab loves to juxtapose serious life philosophy with humor and pop-culture in efforts to maximize the joy of learning about well-being.  We will use the works of His Holiness The Dali Lama as readily as those of “Joy” from the Pixar film Inside Out to reinforce concepts of happiness and positive psychology.  The Stoked Lab utilizes challenges and prompts/questions to maximize the potential for positive changes, and we will be comparing baseline and follow-up evaluations from Stoked Lab participants with Stanford students who did not take our course.

Stoked Opportunities and Pioneering the Stoke

The Stoked Lab offers a 1 unit class for stoked enrolled Stanford students or stoked graduates.  Currently we are exploring the expansion of the stoked model for use in California High Schools.

PSYC 290 with Drs. Reicherter, Joshi, and colleagues

We are recruiting high school students to participate in challenges and to provide feedback in focus groups.

Readings/Media: TBD
Challenges/Experiences: TBD
Level of Stoke: 10/10

What students are saying

“Thank you for this wonderful class, which has been life-changing for me. I really appreciated the spirit of asking difficult questions and seeking out new experiences with an open mind, an open heart, and a sense of humor. Seeing this attitude in action every class had me really consider what life should look like and, I hope, gave me a foundation to keep exploring.”

- Stoked Graduate, Vivek Tanna

Stoked Faculty

Daryn Reicherter, M.D.

Shashank Joshi, M.D.