Positive psychology is the scientific study of a healthy and flourishing life. The goal of positive psychology is to complement and extend the traditional problem-focused psychology that has proliferated in recent decades. Positive psychology is concerned with positive psychological states (for instance, happiness), positive psychological traits (such as talents, interests, strengths of character), positive relationships, and positive institutions.
Research has shown that psychological health assets (for instance, positive emotions, life satisfaction, optimism, life purpose, social support) are prospectively associated with good health measured in a variety of ways. Not yet known is whether positive psychology interventions improve physical health.
The advent of positive psychology as we know it today can be traced back to Martin E. P. Seligman’s 1998 Presidential Address to the American Psychological Association.
Curious to master strategies and tools that enable individuals and organizations to thrive?
Want to discover key theories and research in the field of positive psychology as well as opportunities for application?
Aim to apply key concepts from Positive Psychology to your personal and professional life?
Seek to understand the scientific foundations of Positive Psychology?
We have great news for you. In the next 5 days we will release 5 modules, courses you can take to grasp and master the concept of positive psychology:
- Positive Psychology: Martin E.P. Seligman’s Visionary Science with Dr. Martin E.P. Seligman
- Positive Psychology: Applications and Interventions with Dr. James Pawelski
- Positive Psychology: Character, Grit and Research Methods with Dr. Angela Duckworth & Dr. Claire Robertson-Kraft
- Positive Psychology: Resilience Skills with Dr. Karen Reivich
- Positive Psychology Specialization Project with Dr. Martin E.P. Seligman
There are lots of tools and activities you can use to bring positive psychology into the classroom. The PERMA framework is a great place to start, as it looks to the key elements of positive psychology as outlined below:
- Positive emotions: students can focus on things that make them feel good, like being recognised for quality work or having the chance to help a classmate.
- Engagement: students feel absorbed by their work because they find it challenging but achievable, and it explores new ideas in interesting ways.
- Relationships: students feel able to build strong connections with you, and with other students, through feedback and activities.
- Meaning: students understand the purpose of their work and why it’s important for them to learn.
- Achievement: students receive encouraging and honest feedback on their work and feel a sense of accomplishment and success.
Students bring all of life’s ups and downs with them into the classroom, and in some cases this can lead to poor focus and disengagement. A learning environment that uses positive psychology focuses on giving all students a chance to build their resilience and learn to cope with and manage challenging situations.
Positive psychology in the classroom can also have practical benefits. Students who feel supported and engaged will be more focused in class, will connect better with their teachers and classmates, and will achieve better academic outcomes.