Why earn a merit badge for nutrition when you could earn a badge for psychological science?
For the first time in over 25 years, Girl Scout badges are getting overhauled. Scouts can still earn traditional badges like the Cook or the Athlete, but now they can also earn a badge called the Science of Happiness.
The badge was the result of a collaboration between APS Fellow Martin Seligman, a researcher from the University of Pennslyvania known for his work on positive emotion, and Girl Scouts USA. To earn the badge, girls form a strategy for increasing their personal happiness, and then they test that strategy over a period of one month. The girls are encouraged to use a scientific mindset to evaluate their own psychological well-being throughout that period and to investigate the emotions of other people. According to Seligman, the requirements for the badge are based on the research underlying his books Authentic Happiness and Flourish.
Overall, APS is very encouraged by this merit badge trend. We hope to see future psychological science badges such as the Marshmallow Resister badge, the Stroop Master badge, the Huge NIH Grant badge, or the Cognitive Dissonance badge.
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