Positive Psychology Progress: Empirical Validation of Interventions.

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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    • "Aristippus, a Greek philosopher living from 435 to 356 BC, was one of the very first highlighting that a good life is a life that is aimed at maximizing the amount of pleasurable experiences and minimizing displeasure in life (cf. Ryan & Deci, 2001; Seligman et al., 2005). In psychological research mostly subjective well-being (Diener et al., 1999) is used as an indicator for the degree to which hedonic well-being is represented in individuals' lives (Ryan & Deci, 2001). "
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    ABSTRACT: The present chapter was aimed at presenting an overview of the findings on the relations between character strengths and well-being. In order to get a broader picture about these relations, not just eudaimonic well-being but also hedonic well-being was considered. Within the scope of the chapter at hand, focus was on subjective well-being as indicator of hedonic well-being as well as on psychological well-being as indicator of eudaimonic well-being. Following the definitions of these constructs, research findings on the correlations between character strengths and well-being (i.e., subjective well-being: positive affect, negative affect, and global life satisfaction; psychological well-being: environmental mastery, personal growth, purpose in life, autonomy, self-acceptance, and positive relationships) are presented. None of the character strengths systematically showed a correlation coefficient that indicated a detrimental relation between a strength and (indicators of) subjective and psychological well-being. On the contrary and as expected, character strengths seem to be important individual factors facilitating well-being. Across all indicators of well-being (i.e., subjective well-being and psychological well-being) zest, hope, and curiosity were the most substantial correlates among the character strengths. Moreover, in addition to zest, hope, and curiosity, further character strengths were relevant for specific indicators of subjective well-being and psychological well-being as well. In-depth interpretations of the most important relations are presented and discussed. Finally, concluding remarks and open questions are presented, and future directions for research are discussed.
    No preview · Chapter · Oct 2016
    • "All of the humor-based interventions were also effective in ameliorating depressive symptoms; however, only directly after the intervention and generally with smaller effects. The applying humor intervention is based on the using signature strengths in a new way intervention (Seligman et al., 2005). A major difference is that in the signature strengths intervention, participants need to focus on their highest strengths, but in this variant, they need to focus on humor irrespective of their own humorousness . "
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    ABSTRACT: While correlational evidence exists that humor is positively associated with well-being, only few studies addressed causality. We tested the effects of five humor-based activities on happiness and depression in a placebo-controlled, self-administered online positive psychology intervention study (N = 632 adults). All of the five one-week interventions enhanced happiness, three for up to six months (i.e. three funny things, applying humor, and counting funny things), whereas there were only short-term effects on depression (all were effective directly after the intervention). Additionally, we tested the moderating role of indicators of a person × intervention-fit and identified early changes in well-being and preference (liking of the intervention) as the most potent indicators for changes six months after the intervention. Overall, we were able to replicate existing work, but also extend knowledge in the field by testing newly developed interventions for the first time. Findings are discussed with respect to the current literature.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · The Journal of Positive Psychology
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    • "Positive-psychology-based interventions are helpful to reduce such bad feelings. For example, " three blessings exercise " (in which individuals are asked to reflect daily on what went well that day and why it went well) has been found to be associated with increased happiness and decreased depression (Seligman et al., 2005). Third, to satisfy and retain valued employees, offering happy workers the prospect of high compensation, career growth, and learning and development is essential. "
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    ABSTRACT: Why do various workers exhibit dissimilar motivational levels and performance results within the same incentive systems? According to expectancy theory, this might result from distinct evaluations of whether those rewards deserve corresponding effort. We proposed and verified that affective states influence the valuation of effort and reward. We concluded that happy people are likely to exert efforts for future rewards and sad people tend to seek rewards without extra effort. Our finding can explain divergent employee reactions to the same incentive programme. Our results provide an explanation for the finding that happy workers are more productive than sad workers. These results have crucial implications for human resource management theory and practice.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · The International Journal of Human Resource Management
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