Positiveness is a personal sentiment felt by people who pursue those things in life they desire, the things they do to make their existence attractive, worth living. Such people feel positive about these aspects of life. Because of this sentiment, they may also feel positive toward life in general. A main focus of social scientific research on positiveness is on how, when, where, and why people ... [Show full abstract] pursue those things in life that they desire, on the things they do to create a worthwhile existence that is, in combination, substantially rewarding, satisfying, and fulfilling. The goal of this chapter is to explain the central role of leisure and certain kinds of work in generating positiveness. It is in the domains of leisure, and to a lesser extent work, that people are most likely to find activities leading to a worthwhile existence.
Only in psychology has the study of positiveness achieved the status of a recognized specialty, and then only recently. The idea is new, even if in some fields traces of it may have been found far back in their histories. We begin with a deeper look at positiveness than is possible using the definition just presented. After a discussion of positiveness in various social sciences, sections follow on the serious leisure perspective and the concept of occupational devotion, which together, form a main theoretic base for the study and application of research in positive social science.