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Course Introduction

This course discusses research findings in the field of positive psychology, conducted by Barbara Fr

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Gratitude Kindness Meditation Positive Psychology

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Positive psychology Positive psychology research and practice is currently conducted and developed in various countries throughout the world. To illustrate, in Canada, Charles Hackney of Briercrest College applies positive psychology to the topic of personal growth through martial arts training; Paul Wong, president of the International Network on Personal Meaning, is developing an existential approach to positive psychology. This existential positive psychology approach has been developed into second wave positive psychology (PP 2.0).
Positive psychology In 2008, in conjunction with the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, a whole-of-school implementation of Positive Psychology was undertaken by Geelong Grammar School (Victoria, Australia). This involved training of teaching staff in the principles and skills of positive psychology. Ongoing support was provided by The Positive Psychology Center staff, who remained in-residence for the entire year.
Positive psychology The main pioneer of positive psychology is Martin Seligman. He established positive psychology as his main theme when he became President of the American Psychological Association in 1998.
Second wave positive psychology In order to correct the limitations of positive psychology, Paul Wong has argued for the need to integrate positive psychology with existential psychology, resulting in "existential positive psychology" (EPP). This approach differs significantly from positive psychology "as usual" both in terms of epistemology and content.
Positive psychology Positive psychology coaching is the application of positive psychology in the practice of coaching, which is backed by scientific research, with availability of intervention tools and assessments that positive psychology trained coaches can utilized to support the coaching process. Positive psychology coaching uses scientific evidence and insights gained in these areas to work with clients in their goals. There is also a Master's program in Applied Positive Psychology offered at the University of Pennsylvania, where the fundamentals and research are further studied and applied to both individuals and organizations.
Positive psychology Some positive psychology researchers posit three overlapping areas of investigation:
Positive psychology The first positive psychology summit took place in 1999. The First International Conference on Positive Psychology took place in 2002. More attention was given by the general public in 2006 when, using the same framework, a course at Harvard University became particularly popular. In June 2009, the First World Congress on Positive Psychology took place at the University of Pennsylvania.
Positive psychology Barbara Held argued that while positive psychology makes contributions to the field of psychology, it has its faults. She offered insight into topics including the negative side effects of positive psychology, negativity within the positive psychology movement, and the current division in the field of psychology caused by differing opinions of psychologists on positive psychology. In addition, she noted the movement's lack of consistency regarding the role of negativity. She also raised issues with the simplistic approach taken by some psychologists in the application of positive psychology. A "one size fits all" approach is not arguably beneficial to the advancement of the field of positive psychology; she suggested a need for individual differences to be incorporated into its application.
Positive psychology Positive psychology has roots in the humanistic psychology of the 20th century, which focused heavily on happiness and fulfillment. As scientific psychology did not take its modern form until the late 19th century, earlier influences on positive psychology came primarily from philosophical and religious sources. (See History of psychology)
Second wave positive psychology Recently, positive psychologists have recognized that positive psychology is rooted in humanistic-existential psychology, but in practice it continues to distance itself from its heritage because of the alleged lack of scientific research in humanistic psychology. A mature positive psychology needs to return to its existential-humanistic roots, because it can both broaden and deepen positive psychology.
Positive psychology Positive psychology has been implemented in business management practice, but has faced challenges. Wong & Davey (2007) noted managers can introduce positive psychology to a workplace, but they might struggle with positive ways to apply it to employees. Furthermore, for employees to welcome and commit to positive psychology, its application within an organization must be transparent. Managers must also understand the implementation of positive psychology will not necessarily combat any commitment challenges that exist. However, with its implementation employees might become more optimistic and open to new concepts or management practices.
Positive psychology The field of positive psychology today is most advanced in the United States and Western Europe. Even though positive psychology offers a new approach to the study of positive emotions and behavior, the ideas, theories, research, and motivation to study the positive side of human behavior is as old as humanity.
Positive psychology Positive psychology is the branch of psychology that uses scientific understanding and effective intervention to aid in the achievement of a positive outlook when it comes to subjective experiences, individual traits, and events that occur throughout one's lifetime. The goal of positive psychology is to step away from the pathological thoughts that may arise in a hopeless mindset, and to instead, maintain a sense of optimism that allows for people to understand what makes life worth living.
Culture and positive psychology "Positive psychology is doomed to being narrow and ethnocentric as long as its researchers remain unaware of the cultural assumptions underlying their work." A large part of the literature debates whether positive psychology is innately culture-free or culture-embedded. Those who advocate culture-free positive psychology state that happiness is a universal trait, whereas advocates of culture-embedded positive psychology believe that the cultural context reach happiness differently, depending on their culture.
Positive psychology Positive psychology is the latest effort by human beings to understand the nature of happiness and well-being, but it is by no means the first attempt to solve that particular puzzle. Different westerners have their own individual views of what positive psychology actually is. Hedonism focuses on pleasure as the basic component of the good life.
Positive psychology Psychologists are looking to use positive psychology to treat patients. Amy Krentzman discussed positive intervention as a way to treat patients. She defined positive intervention as a therapy or activity primarily aimed at increasing positive feelings, positive behaviors, or positive cognitions, as opposed to focusing on negative thoughts or dysfunctional behaviors. A way of using positive intervention as a clinical treatment is to use positive activity interventions. Positive activity interventions, or PAIs, are brief self-administered exercises that promote positive feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. Two widely used PAIs are “Three Good Things” and “Best Future Self.” “Three Good Things” requires a patient to daily document, for a week, three events that went well during the day, and the respective cause, or causes. “Best Future Self” has a patient “think about their life in the future, and imagine that everything has gone as well as it possibly could. They have worked hard and succeeded at accomplishing all of their life goals. Think of this as the realization of all of their life dreams.” The patient is then asked to write down what they imagined. These positive interventions have been shown to decrease depression. Positive psychology seeks to inform clinical psychology of the potential to expand its approach, and of the merit of the possibilities. Given a fair opportunity, positive psychology might well change priorities to better address the breadth and depth of the human experience in clinical settings.
Positive psychology Research from this branch of psychology has seen various practical applications. The basic premise of positive psychology is that human beings are often, perhaps more often, drawn by the future than they are driven by the past. Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi define positive psychology as "the scientific study of positive human functioning and flourishing on multiple levels that include the biological, personal, relational, institutional, cultural, and global dimensions of life." L.M. Keyes and Shane Lopez illustrate the four typologies of mental health functioning: flourishing, struggling, floundering and languishing. However, complete mental health is a combination of high emotional well-being, high psychological well-being, and high social well-being, along with low mental illness.
Culture and positive psychology Cultural differences can interact with positive psychology to create great variation, potentially impacting positive psychology interventions. Culture influences how people seek psychological help, their definitions of social structure, and coping strategies.
Positive psychology Some policy analysts, citing positive psychology, propose replacing the gross domestic product with gross national happiness as the predominant measure of a nation's success.
Positive psychology Previous branches of psychology primarily focused on treating mental illness, which created a negative stigma on psychology because it seemed to only deal with understanding the dark thoughts of the mind. Then, around the mid-20th century, the humanistic movement swept through and brought the pursuit of happiness, well-being, and positivity which created the foundation to what is now known as positive psychology.