Introduction to Positive Psychology

Positive psychology is the study of happiness, flourishing, and what makes life worth living. Seligman points to five factors as leading to well-being — positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning and purpose, and accomplishment.

Positive Psychology is the scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive. The field is founded on the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within themselves, and to enhance their experiences of love, work, and play.

The science of positive psychology operates on three different levels – the subjective level, the individual level and the group level. The subjective level includes the study of positive experiences such as joy, well-being, satisfaction, contentment, happiness, optimism and flow.

Martin Seligman

Martin Seligman is a pioneer of Positive Psychology (the term itself was coined by Abraham Maslow), not simply because he has a systematic theory about why happy people are happy, but because he uses the scientific method to explore it.

Whereas traditional psychology focuses on mental illness, positive psychology focuses on mental wellness

Positive Psychology Applied

Adam Grant

Adam Grant is known as being the most popular full-time professor at the Wharton School. His popularity has gone far beyond educational institutions, as he managed to win accolades from Business Week and even Malcolm Gladwell. In his groundbreaking book Give and Take, top-rated Wharton professor Adam Grant upended decades of conventional motivational thinking with the thesis that giving unselfishly to colleagues or clients can lead to one’s own long-term success.

Grant’s research has led hundreds of advice seekers (and HR departments) to his doorstep, and it’s changing the way leaders view their workforces.

Ted Talk Videos

Books

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Want to increase your well-being, creativity, and productivity? If so, you might want to cultivate flow, a concept describing those moments when you’re completely absorbed in a challenging but doable task. 

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi discovered that people find genuine satisfaction during a state of consciousness called Flow. In this state they are completely absorbed in an activity, especially an activity which involves their creative abilities. During this “optimal experience” they feel “strong, alert, in effortless control, unselfconscious, and at the peak of their abilities.”

Carol Dweck

The Woman Behind The Motivational Mindset Breakthrough
What is the determining factor that leads people to become successful? Is it merely hard work or is it being intellectually superior or talented in certain areas?

According to the world-renowned author and professor Carol Dweck, it has more to do with an individual’s mindset or beliefs about themselves, rather than about how smart they are or how hard working someone is. 

As a professor of psychology at Stanford University, Dweck has a Ph.D. from Yale and has taught at some of the most prestigious colleges around the country, including Columbia and Harvard Universities.

 

Carol Dweck’s Books

In her book “Mindset,” she explains that people maintain two different types of views on ability and or intelligence. The first view is the ‘entity view’ that says intelligence is immovable and established. Those who hold this idea have an elevated craving to prove themselves to others; to be seen as intellectual and to avoid at all costs, appearing unintelligent.

This self-theory can actually prevent a person from becoming successful.

The second view is the ‘incremental view.’ This belief treats intelligence as malleable, fluid and constantly changeable. Those who hold this view find fulfillment from the learning/growing process itself and also see the potential for prospects to continually lead to better opportunities. They don’t focus on what the outcome says about them, but what can be achieved from taking part in an endeavor.

Carol Dweck’s Videos

Alex Linley
Strength Finder and Social Entrepreneur

Alex Linley is the founder of the Center of Applied Positive Psychology, also known as CAPP, which focuses on spreading the word about strengths and their role in the field of positive psychology.

As a professor, author, and editor of more than 120 research articles, Linley has extended his influence to many realms of psychology.

Dr. Christopher Peterson

 

Other People Matter: Christopher Peterson’s Work in Positive Psychology
Christopher Peterson combined altruistic motivation with scientific and empirical rigor to contribute immeasurably to our fundamental understanding of positive psychology.

His research put in place a foundation which allows us to stand on the shoulders of giants as we continue to strive towards self-betterment and the betterment of those around us.

Dr. Christopher Peterson’s Videos

Robert Emmons

Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., is the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude. He is a professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, and the founding editor-in-chief of The Journal of Positive Psychology. He is the author of the books Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, Gratitude Works!: A 21-Day Program for Creating Emotional Prosperity, and The Little Book of Gratitude.

Professor Stephen G. Post

An opinion leader, Dr. Stephen Post is the best-selling author of Why Good Things Happen to Good People: How to Live a Longer, Happier, Healthier Life by the Simple Act of Giving. He has been quoted in more than 3000 national and international newspapers and magazines. Stephen has been interviewed on television and radio news shows, , and has even addressed the U.S. Congress. A transformative speaker, Stephen has inspired thousands with the best of medical knowledge, based on thirty years of research.

Across North America, Australia, Europe, Japan and India his positive psychology message impacts happiness, health, success, creativity and even longevity. A leading expert on giving, happiness, health, and success and medical school professor for nearly three decades, Stephen has authored hundreds of articles in leading journals. He is a frequent speaker on practical approaches for healthcare professionals and students worldwide, looking to remain competitive by improving patient outcomes, diminishing medical errors, and preventing depression and burnout in healthcare providers.

As Seen on

See what Prof. Stephen G. Post says about Positive Prime

Mike McCullough

McCullough is an experimental psychologist who is concerned primarily with the evolutionary and cognitive underpinnings of human sociality. He was one of the
first scientists to take an interest in interpersonal forgiveness and to develop tools for studying it experimentally. He has also innovated experimental approaches to studying gratitude, revenge, prosocial behavior, religious cognition, and intertemporal choice. Additionally, McCullough has worked hard in recent years to
help clear up scientific puzzles about self-control and about the social effects of a mammalian hormone known as oxytocin.