Tim Lomas

Tim Lomas
Harvard University | Harvard · Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

PhD

About

180
Publications
386,858
Reads
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2,567
Citations
Additional affiliations
March 2013 - present
University of East London
Position
  • Lecturer in Positive Psychology

Publications

Publications (180)
Article
Full-text available
Happiness is an increasingly prominent topic of interest across academia. However, relatively little attention has been paid to how it is created, especially not in a multidimensional sense. By ‘created’ we do not mean its influencing factors, for which there is extensive research, but how it actually forms in the person. The work that has been don...
Article
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Art and aesthetics have long been understood as central to human well-being and flourishing. However, the academic study of these phenomena has been critiqued for its Western-centricity and general lack of cross-cultural engagement. As such, this article aims to broaden our appreciation of the contours of aesthetics by engaging with relevant “untra...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Human flourishing is a multidimensional concept characterized by a state of complete wellbeing. However, much of the prior research on wellbeing has principally focused on population averages assessed using a single item of wellbeing. This study examined trends in population averages and inequalities for a multidimensional index of wel...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Having a purpose in life has been linked to improved health and wellbeing; however, it remains unknown whether having "Ikigai"-a related but broader concept in Japan-is also beneficial for various physical and psychosocial outcomes. Methods: Using data from a nationwide longitudinal study of Japanese older adults aged ≥65 years, we e...
Article
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The past 150 years have seen remarkable advances in the study of wellbeing. To appreciate the value and significance of these developments, this paper offers a historical perspective on their dynamics, arguing that we have seen four great waves of wellbeing scholarship in the modern West. I begin by exploring the wave metaphor itself, and then prop...
Chapter
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Mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) have been applied in many contexts, including educational sectors of K-12 and various graduate schools, such as medical and law schools. Research shows that highly competitive students are likely to benefit from mindfulness practices. However, few STEM-focused colleges have been able to assess its value and ap...
Article
Background: Over 50% of the world uses social media. There has been significant academic and public discourse around its negative mental health impacts. There has not, however, been a broad systematic review in the field of Positive Psychology exploring the relationship between social media and wellbeing, to inform healthy social media use, and to...
Article
Full-text available
Happiness is an increasingly prominent topic across academia, with a burgeoning array of research into its different aspects. Among the most dynamic and interdisciplinary work in this arena are studies exploring the myriad factors that influence it. These span multiple topics and fields of enquiry, from physiology and identity to politics and econo...
Article
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The age of COVID-19 calls for a different approach toward global well-being and flourishing through the transcendence suffering as advocated by existential positive psychology. In the present study, we primarily explained what self-transcendence is and why it represents the most promising path for human beings to flourish through the transformation...
Article
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Cite: Hughes, P., & Lomas, T. (2021). ‘How do young men experience meaning in life?’ European Journal of Applied Positive Psychology, 5, 13, 1-13. Background: Despite indications that the presence of meaning in life is associated with potential benefits for common crises men face, few meaning in life studies examine this population, and a lack of...
Article
Full-text available
Happiness is an increasingly prominent topic of interest across numerous academic fields. However, the literature can sometimes imply it is predominantly a modern concern. Relatedly, critics have argued that contemporary scholarship on happiness is Western-centric, yet in so doing can appear to suggest that happiness is mainly a Western preoccupati...
Presentation
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Presentation
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What does it mean to speak of waves of academia? Essentially, it implies new phases of development in a given field. But the metaphor itself is revealing. It suggests dynamic fluidity rather than stepwise, punctuated change. Moreover, rather than phases having clearly delineated boundaries, they are blurry and overlapping – just as one ocean wave c...
Article
Positive psychology approaches have been shown to play a vital role in protecting mental health in times of challenge and are, therefore, important to include when studying the psychological outcomes of COVID-19. While existing research has focused on individual psychological health, this paper focuses on collective wellbeing and collective posttra...
Presentation
Full-text available
This presentation suggests there have been four waves of wellbeing scholarship in modern times: (1) the instantiation of psychiatry and psychotherapy around 150 years ago, which focused on ameliorating mental illness; (2) the emergence of humanistic psychotherapists and psychologists from the 1930s onwards, who turned their attention to more positi...
Article
Full-text available
The relevance of balance and harmony to wellbeing has been under-appreciated in psychology. Even though these concepts have received considerable attention across different contexts (e.g., work-life balance), this literature is fragmented and scattered. There have been few attempts to bring these disparate threads together, or to centre these conce...
Article
This study seeks to understand the role that courage plays in the development and practice of coaches. Courage is mentioned frequently in the coaching literature, but this research is the first study to investigate its significance. Within the precepts of constructivist grounded theory, which is appropriate for the investigation of under-represente...
Article
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The untranslatable word desenrascanço, a Portuguese construct related to people's ability to skilfully negotiate complex issues and to solve them with originality and creativity, was studied using a common medical complex scenario-multimorbidity. An online qualitative survey was carried out in the last trimester of 2018. A total of 117 general prac...
Article
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The West is usually portrayed as relatively individualistic. It is further argued that this tendency has influenced academia, leading to an underappreciation of the importance of prosociality. In the interest of exploring this topic, an enquiry was conducted into conceptualisations of prosociality across the world’s cultures. This enquiry focused o...
Article
The relevance of balance and harmony to wellbeing has been under-appreciated in psychology. Even though these concepts have received considerable attention across different contexts (e.g., work-life balance), this literature is fragmented and scattered. There have been few attempts to bring these disparate threads together, or to centre these conce...
Preprint
As positive psychology expands its range of strategies to raise levels of flourishing, many interventions have been identified with new ones emerging. The positive arts offer a new avenue; one such intervention is drama and theater that can benefit subjective and social wellbeing as these offer individuals the opportunity to empathize with others,...
Article
Full-text available
In the last two decades, the proponents of positive psychology have expanded its evidence base to include multiple constructs and interventions pertaining to wellbeing. In recent years, the proponents of second wave positive psychology have encouraged a more synergistic and multi-dimensional view of wellbeing. This paper suggests that a meta-theore...
Poster
Full-text available
Background: Psychology is open to the charge of being Western-centric, with its understanding and conceptualisation of topics such as wellbeing influenced by the mainly-Western cultural contexts in which it has developed. As such, efforts are underway to explore and incorporate ideas and perspectives from non-Western cultures. Aims: One such effort...
Article
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The development of academic fields is often described through the metaphor of ‘waves.’ Following the instantiation of positive psychology (the first wave), scholarship emerged looking critically at the notions of positive and negative, becoming known as its second wave. More recently, we discern an equally significant shift, namely scholarship that...
Article
Full-text available
Positive psychology has fruitfully interacted with numerous other disciplines, creating new hybrid paradigms. One such instance involves coaching and coaching psychology, which share the field's focus on enhancing wellbeing and performance across life domains. As a result, there is an emergent interest in exploring their interaction with positive p...
Poster
Full-text available
The environment is widely recognised to be in peril, with clear signs of a climate crisis. This situation has many dimensions and factors, but key among them are the often-destructive ways in which humans interact with the natural world. Numerous cultures—particularly more industrialised and/or Western ones—have developed predatory and disconnected...
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Lexicography (listed by alphabet)
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Lexicography (listed by language)
Article
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Positive psychology has been critiqued as Western-centric, influenced by the mostly Western contexts in which it has developed. English is its dominant mode of discourse, for example, which has shaped its understanding of its subject matter. To generate a more comprehensive cross-cultural 'map' of wellbeing, the author is creating a lexicography of...
Data
Lexicography (listed by theme)
Article
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The article has been accepted for publishing in the Journal of Positive Psychology and so the final version may differ slightly from this one. Background: Psychological resilience may be central to Positive Psychology as one way to face the dark side of life. But is resilience training universally effective? This paper initiates a systematic revie...
Article
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در حالی که پیچیدگی‌های زندگی معاصر آسیب‌پذیری انسان را تشدید کرده است، در عرضۀ خدمات روان‌شناختی، اولویت‌های متعارض و معضلات اخلاقی در مرکز توجه هستند. هیچ مجموعۀ واحدی وجود ندارد که بتواند راهنماهای اخلاقی یا استانداردهای کاملی را برای گسترۀ پیچیدگی‌های انسان دربرگیرد. بااین‌حال، مجموعه‌ای از ارزش‌های فراگیر و اصول، ما را به‌سوی تصمیم‌گیری‌های اخل...
Article
Full-text available
Since much of the empirical work within Positive Psychology has taken place in English-speaking Western countries, there is concern that the resulting concepts and theories of well-being reflect a bias towards Western (and more specifically Englishinfluenced) ways of thinking. However, efforts are underway in the field to enhance its intercultural...
Code
اصول اخلاقی بی‌عیب و نقص، شاید نوعی ایدئال آرمان‌گرایانه باشد، چراکه متخصصان روان‌شناسی مثبت هم همانند سایر انسان¬ها جایزالخطا، آسیب‌پذیر و ناکامل هستند. پیچیدگی¬های زندگی معاصر ازجمله زندگی اینترنتی در حال گسترش، تغییرات نامنظم آب‌وهوا، بحران¬های پناهندگان، هویت¬های در حال تحول و دوقطبی‌سازی اقتصادی فزاینده، آسیب‌پذیری انسان را تشدید می¬کند. در عر...
Article
Full-text available
The science of wellbeing has come a long way from the early days of measuring wellbeing via a nation’s GDP, and wellbeing measures and concepts continue to proliferate to capture its various elements. Yet, much of this activity has reflected concepts from Western cultures, despite the emphasis placed on wellbeing in all corners of the globe. To mee...
Article
Full-text available
The environment is widely recognised to be in peril, with clear signs of a climate crisis. This situation has many dimensions and factors, but key among them are the often-destructive ways in which humans interact with the natural world. Numerous cultures-particularly more industrialised and/or Western ones-have developed predatory and disconnected...
Article
Full-text available
Difficult emotions and cognitive states are recognised in second wave positive psychology as being a gold mine for personal growth. The growing body of knowledge in positive psychology gives coaching psychologists a perimeter to work with, whilst archetypal shadow analysis, rooted in Jung’s teachings, gives depth and insight. While definitions of c...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter offers an overview of the intricate connections between meditation and emotion. It begins by outlining a framework for understanding meditation, whereby practices can be classified according to four key parameters: behaviors of mind; object; attitude; and form. It also introduces some basic ideas around the nature of emotions, and affe...
Book
A beautifully illustrated dictionary of words from around the world that describe experiences of happiness for which there are no equivalents in the English language. Have you ever had a feeling that you couldn't quite describe because there was no word in English that captured it? Our ability to fully experience moments of joy in our lives can be...
Article
Full-text available
As positive psychology has developed as a field, questions have arisen around how to ensure best practice, including with respect to ethics. This issue is particularly pertinent vis-à-vis its applied dimensions, such as positive psychology interventions by students and graduates of MAPP programmes. However, the field has hitherto lacked clear ethic...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Although London’s multicultural nature is often celebrated, this ideal has come under challenge, especially post-Brexit. Consequently, there is need for a greater appreciation of the nature and value of cultural diversity in London. An innovative means to achieving this is through studying untranslatable words, which reveal phenomena that have been...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
What does it mean to speak of a ‘second wave’ within positive psychology? Essentially, the notion of a wave implies a new phase of development in a given field. But the metaphor itself is revealing. It implies dynamic fluidity rather than stepwise, punctuated change. Moreover, rather than phases having clearly delineated boundaries, they are blurry...
Article
Full-text available
These guidelines are the result of a collaborative and independent working group led by Aaron Jarden, Tayyab Rashid, Annalise Roache and Tim Lomas. The guidelines are independent of any organisation or association; however, numerous parties have been involved in the development and refinement of this first iteration. It is the authors’ intention to...
Article
Full-text available
Efforts to improve the well-being of healthcare professionals include mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs). To understand the value of such initiatives, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of empirical studies pertaining to the use of MBIs with healthcare professionals. Databases were reviewed from the start of records to January 2...
Chapter
Full-text available
Definitively identifying a particular activity as a positive psychology intervention can be difficult. The issue is compounded by lack of clarity around where the boundaries of positive psychology itself lie, and how it intersects with conceptually-related disciplines. A case in point is coaching, which shares positive psychology's interest in enha...
Article
Full-text available
The notion of spirituality is increasingly prominent in academic and cultural discourse alike. However, it remains a nebulous concept, capable of diverse interpretations, particularly cross-culturally. In the interest of exploring this diversity, yet also with the aim of identifying common themes, an enquiry was conducted into conceptualizations of...
Article
Full-text available
Mainstream psychology can be considered relatively Western-centric, as reflected in the fact that its discourse and theorising is mainly in English, influencing how it conceptualises its subject matter. However, English itself is a complex product of multiple cultural influences, including the widespread borrowing of words from other languages. To...
Article
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Scholars are beginning to appreciate the work-related 'drivers' of wellbeing, i.e., the ways work may promote or hinder employees' wellbeing. This paper brings a multidimensional perspective to bear on this topic by providing: (a) a multidimensional overview of these drivers; and (b) a multidimensional analysis of how they actually 'drive' wellbein...
Article
Full-text available
In thinking and talking about wellbeing, people often deploy spatial metaphors, such as identifying positive and negative affect with “up” and “down” respectively. However, there has not yet been a systematic investigation of how wellbeing is represented through metaphor. To shed light on this topic, a content analysis was conducted of spatial meta...
Article
Full-text available
Although the notion of virtue is increasingly prominent in psychology, the way it has been studied and conceptualised has been relatively Western-centric, and does not fully account for variations in how it has been understood cross-culturally. As such, an enquiry was conducted into ideas relating to virtue found across the world’s cultures, focusi...
Article
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Anger is common problem for which counselling/psychotherapy clients seek help, and is typically regarded as an invidious negative emotion to be ameliorated. However, it may be possible to reframe anger as a moral emotion, arising in response to perceived transgressions, thereby endowing it with meaning. In that respect, the current paper offers a ‘...
Article
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Although semiotics has historically been a focus of interest in psychology, its impact over recent decades has been fairly muted. Moreover, no systematic efforts have been made to study and understand it from a positive perspective, i.e., the way sign-systems are or can be “positive.” As such, this paper introduces the notion of “positive semiotics...
Article
Full-text available
The Mindfulness Based Flourishing Program (MBFP) is an online 8-week intervention developed for enhancing wellbeing with the use of mindfulness practices, through targeting a range of positive variables. The efficacy of the MBFP has been demonstrated in a randomized controlled trial, and in order to further establish it as an intervention with wide...
Article
Full-text available
Given the demanding nature of many professions, efforts are ongoing to develop initiatives to improve occupational wellbeing, including mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs). To assess the efficacy of MBIs, meta-analytic procedures were conducted on 35 randomized controlled trials derived from an earlier inclusive systematic literature search (cov...
Article
The concepts of grit and positive leadership are central to extraordinary performance. However, to date there has been little empirical analysis of the relationship between a leader’s level of grit and their capacity to implement positive leadership strategies and practices. This correlational study explores these linkages, taking grit subfactors i...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Background: Linguists have often remarked upon the polysemous nature of love, whereby the term encompasses a wide diversity of emotional relationships. Several typologies have been constructed to account for this diversity. However, these tend to be restricted in scope, and fail to represent the range of experiences signified by the term ‘love’ in...
Conference Paper
Qualitative research of the lived experiences of pregnant women taking the Mindfulness-based flourishing programme (MBFP).
Book
Have you ever had a feeling that you couldn't quite describe, because no English word exists for it? Indeed, without such a word, it's difficult to remember or understand the feeling, and to talk about it with other people. This applies to all aspects of life, but most of all that most sought-after of feelings, happiness, where our ability to both...
Article
Full-text available
Mainstream psychology can be regarded as largely Western-centric, with its concepts and priorities biased towards Western ways of thinking and understanding. Consequently, the field would benefit from greater cross-cultural awareness and engagement. To that end, this article offers one means of engagement, the study of “untranslatable” words (i.e.,...
Book
How embracing untranslatable terms for well-being -- from the Finnish sisu to the Yiddish mensch -- can enrich our emotional understanding and experience. Western psychology is rooted in the philosophies and epistemologies of Western culture. But what of concepts and insights from outside this frame of reference? Certain terms not easily translata...
Data
Lexicography (listed by alphabet)
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Lexicography (listed by language)
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Lexicography (listed by theme)
Article
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A prominent criticism of positive psychology is that is has been shaped by its Western context, and yet that this 'situatedness' often remains unacknowledged. Consequently, this paper offers an archaeological analysis of conceptualisations of happiness in the West. More specifically, the paper explores the emergence of significant ideas relating to...
Article
Full-text available
Book
This book presents an innovative new approach to the study of wellbeing, intersecting psychology, linguistics, and cross-cultural scholarship. It begins by introducing a cartographic theory of language, proposing that words enable us to map our world, and thus to understand and navigate our lives. However, different cultures map the world in differ...
Article
Full-text available
Teenage boys are a source of considerable concern in society, with generally poorer health, educational, and social outcomes than their female counterparts. Of particular concern are “at-risk” adolescents, who by definition are liable to poorer outcomes than peers not deemed at-risk. However, there are indications that activities such as mindfulnes...
Preprint
Full-text available
Positive Psychology has been criticized for promoting self-delusion through its rose-tinted view of reality, as well as for making people feel pressured to remain positive under all circumstances. The current popular obsession with positive thinking and the belief in its impact can be harmful in the context of Domestic Abuse, which although prevale...
Article
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Critical emotion theorists have raised concerns that ‘normal’ human emotions like sadness are increasingly being pathologised as disorders. Counter efforts have thus been made to normalise such emotions, such as by highlighting their ubiquity and appropriacy. This paper goes slightly further by suggesting that sadness is not merely normal, but may...
Article
Full-text available
Linguists have often remarked upon the polysemous nature of love, whereby the term encompasses a wide diversity of emotional relationships. Several typologies have been constructed to account for this diversity. However, these tend to be restricted in scope, and fail to fully represent the range of experiences signified by the term ‘love’ in discou...
Chapter
Mindfulness has not always been seen as a natural part of sport and exercise. However, it could be argued that mindfulness is a good fit with psychological skills training where the purpose is to develop performance, increase enjoyment and gain greater satisfaction from the activity. This chapter begins by exploring what is mindfulness and discussi...
Article
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Although wellbeing tends to be associated with positive affect, the phenomenological terrain in this regard is often poorly differentiated. In the interest of bringing further granularity to this area, an enquiry was conducted into relevant concepts found across the world’s cultures, focusing specifically on so-called untranslatable words. Through...
Article
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Although wellbeing tends to be associated with positive affect, theorists have suggested it might also involve more ambivalent emotions. Scholars have further argued that although such emotions are somewhat overlooked in Western societies, other cultures are more attuned to them. In the interest of exploring the value of ambivalent emotions, an enq...
Article
Full-text available
Although purpose in life is well-established as a key element of optimal human functioning, there is a lack of qualitative research exploring the role of purpose in individuals’ lives, particularly in the context of career change. The aim of the study is to gain a deep understanding of the role of purpose in the lives of career changers, including...
Article
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Amidst the burgeoning enthusiasm for mindfulness in the West, there is a concern that the largely secular ‘de-contextualized’ way in which it is being harnessed is denuding it of its potential to improve health and wellbeing. As such, efforts are underway to ‘re-contextualize’ mindfulness, explicitly drawing on the wider framework of Buddhist ideas...
Chapter
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The impact of politics on wellbeing has perennially been a topic of some debate in society, and has more recently been a focus of concern in academia too. The current chapter considers this academic literature, drawing it together under the proposed rubric of 'positive politics,' defined as the study of the impact of political policies and processe...
Chapter
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Positive psychology has become increasingly amenable and open to critical perspectives, including with respect to the very notions of “positive” and “negative.” This problematizing of the “positive” has been referred to as “second wave” positive psychology (Lomas & Ivtzan, 2015; (Ivtzan, Lomas, Hefferon, & Worth, 2015)—and previously as positive ps...
Chapter
Full-text available
As positive psychology has matured as a field, among its most prominent successes has been the emergence of a strong applied dimension, known as applied positive psychology. This burgeoning arena of praxis has involved the development of interventions and activities designed to promote well-being. This chapter offers an overview of these efforts, w...
Chapter
Full-text available
Could the practice of mindfulness help at-risk adolescent boys manage the challenges in their lives, do better at school, and generally increase their well-being? Mindfulness is a practice that is thought to develop people’s attention and awareness skills. It has been found to have positive effects in diverse populations, from pregnant mothers to m...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Among efforts to improve the well-being of healthcare professionals are initiatives based around mindfulness meditation. To understand the value of such initiatives, we conducted a systematic review of empirical studies pertaining to mindfulness in healthcare professionals. Method: Databases were reviewed from the start of records to...