Positive Psychology Progress

Positive Psychology Center, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
American Psychologist (Impact Factor: 6.87). 07/2005; 60(5):410-21. DOI: 10.1037/0003-066X.60.5.410
Source: PubMed


Positive psychology has flourished in the last 5 years. The authors review recent developments in the field, including books, meetings, courses, and conferences. They also discuss the newly created classification of character strengths and virtues, a positive complement to the various editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (e. g., American Psychiatric Association, 1994), and present some cross-cultural findings that suggest a surprising ubiquity of strengths and virtues. Finally, the authors focus on psychological interventions that increase individual happiness. In a 6-group, random-assignment, placebo-controlled Internet study, the authors tested 5 purported happiness interventions and 1 plausible control exercise. They found that 3 of the interventions lastingly increased happiness and decreased depressive symptoms. Positive interventions can supplement traditional interventions that relieve suffering and may someday be the practical legacy of positive psychology.

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Available from: Tracy A Steen, Oct 02, 2015
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    • "Knowing that perceived strengths use support may lead to higher levels of strengths use is important , espe - cially since there is still little knowledge about the effec - tiveness of positive psychology interventions in organizational settings that aim to increase the level of strengths use ( Meyers , Van Woerkom , & Bakker , 2013 ) . There is some literature based on clinical samples ( Duckworth , Steen , & Seligman , 2005 ) to suggest that strengths use can be stimulated with short - term interven - tions , such as having participants take a strengths test , providing them with feedback about their strengths , and asking them to use different strengths in new ways every day for 1 week . Although these short - term interventions may give an immediate boost to individual strengths use , it is possible that this effect may fade over time ( Duckworth et al . "
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    ABSTRACT: The present study among 65 civil engineers investigates the impact of organizational support for strengths use on weekly work engagement and proactive behaviour. Positive psychology postulates that strengths use makes people feel authentic and efficacious. We argue that employees use these positive psychological states as resources that fuel work engagement and proactive work behaviour. Participants completed a general questionnaire regarding strengths use support, and a weekly quantitative diary questionnaire regarding their strengths use, self-efficacy, work engagement, and proactive behaviour over a period of five consecutive workweeks. In line with the hypotheses, the results of multilevel structural equation analyses showed that organizational strengths use support was positively related to weekly strengths use. Furthermore, the results indicated that weekly strengths use was positively related to weekly work engagement and proactive behaviour, through weekly self-efficacy (sequential mediation). Although strengths use support contributed indirectly to work engagement (mediated by strengths use and self-efficacy), there was no significant indirect relationship with proactive behaviour. Our study indicates that strengths use is associated with employees’ levels of self-efficacy, work engagement, and proactive behaviour and that organizations can help employees to use their strengths more often by giving them the opportunity to do what they are good at.
    European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology 10/2015; DOI:10.1080/1359432X.2015.1089862 · 2.09 Impact Factor
    • "Examples include curiosity, love of learning, citizenship (loyalty and teamwork), courage, leadership, ingenuity, perseverance, loving and being loved, and social and emotional intelligence. Studies by Seligman et al. (2005) noted that asking participants to " use their signature strengths in a new and different way " was one of the most successful positive psychology interventions of those tested, increasing happiness and decreasing depression for up to six months after the intervention. It is hypothesised that charity challenges offer the opportunity to express a number of strengths that may remain dormant or underutilised in daily lives. "
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    ABSTRACT: This conceptual paper explores the use of psychology, especially positive psychology, to inform the design of travel experiences for a specific health outcome - enhanced participant wellbeing or mental health. It extends the concept of sustainable tourism as a tool for local, regional and societal improvement. Mental health is a growing issue in many developed countries: 30% of Australians report depressive symptoms, with implications for social sustainability. The paper reviews how positive psychology seeks to combine hedonic, eudemonic and social wellbeing into the integrated concept of “flourishing”, creating positive emotions, engagement, and meaning. It uses the charity challenge model to explore tourism experiences that enhance participant wellbeing. Charity challenges are participatory, group travel events combined with extended physical activity, awareness-raising, and fund-raising for charity. These events inherently combine recognised pathways to wellbeing, e.g. being active, doing something meaningful, giving, and connecting with others. Other principles from positive psychology, such as intentional and volitional activity, goal attainment, activation of signature strengths, experiencing positive emotions/gratification, and capitalisation on positive experiences, can be incorporated into the event design to foster wellbeing outcomes. The paper suggests how this design might take shape, as well as management implications and further research questions.
    Journal of Sustainable Tourism 09/2015; 23(3):382-400. DOI:10.1080/09669582.2014.986489 · 1.93 Impact Factor
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    • "Adler and Fagley (2005) found that certain rituals, such as expressing thanks when beginning a meal, correlate with appreciative functioning. Rituals such as gratitude journaling before going to sleep help to cultivate gratefulness (Seligman et al. 2005). These rituals may be important for understanding the formation of grateful dispositions. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Growing evidence is linking gratitude with well-being, yet insufficient scholarly attention has been given to how it is defined, understood and measured. To address this issue, gratitude and gratefulness can be usefully distinguished as two types of appreciative functioning. Applying complex dynamic systems theory, appreciative functioning is conceptualised as a pattern of cognition and behaviour that involves the interaction of awareness, comprehension, emotions, goals, and relationships. The aim of the current work was to explore this system of appreciative functioning in greater detail. Methods A deductive thematic analysis of relevant literature was performed in Study 1 to identify psychological and social components of appreciative functioning within an empirically-based systems framework. Study 2 used a content analysis methodology to quantify the extent to which the components identified in Study 1 are covered by existing scales that assess gratitude and gratefulness. Results Study 1 identified 32 theoretical components within five overarching domains that comprise the system of appreciative functioning. Gratefulness and gratitude were found to involve many components, with some shared in common. Study 2 found that existing instruments do not cover the full set of components. Moreover, results indicated that existing scales confound gratitude and gratefulness, and thus they cannot determine the extent to which each construct uniquely relates to well-being outcomes. Conclusions This work supports the view that gratefulness and gratitude are distinct, yet related, multi-component constructs within a complex system of appreciative functioning. Together, these studies provide theoretical groundwork for the construction of multidimensional measurement instruments to extend research into the underlying mechanisms through which appreciative functioning influences well-being.
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