Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) Capstone Projects

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Intelligence and passion are not enough for humans to become all that they can be. Hitler and the Nazis too had a lot of intelligence and passion. But what they did not have is the wisdom of how to use their intelligence and passion for the good of mankind. Nevertheless, the question of developing how we, humans, ought to use our intelligence and passion is often neglected in modernity when compared with the obsession we have of increasing our grit and wit. This obsession reflects the current state of education whereby the function of education today is often cheapened to: (1) giving away power without ensuring that power is equally matched by responsibility, duty, moral, and obligation to others, and (2) providing knowledge without offering the purpose behind it. The result of giving away power without character has made possible the world where the educated could use the power they received through education to take advantage of those who are less fortunate. And the consequence of teaching the “what” without the “why” has robbed students of the purpose behind their own education. To solve these critical issues, this paper begins its investigation on Aristotle’s axiom that happiness is what all humans seek. Afterward, through scientific research, it will show how the common pursuit of one’s own happiness backfires. Instead, it will suggest how learning to live for less not more is actually what leads one toward one’s “complete happiness,” growth, virtue, freedom from one’s own desires, being fully “human,” as well as the fulcrum upon which the world can shift from being the world of takers towards a world of givers. This process is called “altruistic human flourishing.” And the education which can facilitate this process of altruistic human flourishing is called “Altruistic Education.” Altruistic Education is what this paper offers as the solution to bettering the world. It accomplishes such goal by cultivating students who are not only capable but also compassionate, teaching the “why” of education as much as the “what," and to help students gain not only knowledge but, more importantly, how to find the joy and beauty in applying that knowledge above and beyond themselves.


altruistic education, education, altruism, character education, character, nature of happiness, happiness paradox, happiness development, happiness


Well-Being/Flourishing, Education, Character Strengths and Virtues, Positive Emotions, Humanities, Other Topics.





Date Posted: 21 August 2017