Positive Psychology Essay

Positive Psychology Essay

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Positive Psychology has been criticised and praised for its seemingly narrow perspective on psychological trauma and how its best dealt with. The exploration of both the development of the field and its socio-psychological implications lead to an understanding of its necessity. The function and purpose of Positive Psychology in its social context have led to it being referred to as the “Popular psychology of America”. This opens it to criticisms as being whimsical and unrealistic. Limitations of positive psychology due to its dismissal of Determination and how this functions in the development of neurosis are often targeted. In this paper I would like to propose that understanding the evolution of its principles will uncover its relevance. This paper provides evidence that the evolution of positive psychology and its subsequent arrival as one of the most important developments in psychology is down to its affectivity.


Positive Psychology is a recent psychological development which key objective is, using scientific method, to identify and promote satisfaction in life. It promotes foremost that finding meaning in life is done by either consciously or sub-consciously implementing ways in which one can find well-being. Martin Seligman and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi summated it as the focus on nurturing talents and genius, thus, making normal life more fulfilling. These aims are tantamount with a re-focussing of psychological factors. Focussing away from the pathology of psychological disease to a simple striving for positivity (Lazarus 2003 Ch. 4). According to Seligman, the ‘father’ of positive psychology, “Positive sentiment, Engagement, Relations, Meaning, Purpose and Achievement are the 5 measurable elements that make up Well-Bein...


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...lbeing Retrieved from http://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/newsletter.aspx?id=1533

Richard S. Lazarus (2003) Target Article: Does the Positive Psychology Movement Have Legs?, Psychological Inquiry: An International Journal for the advancement of Psychological Theory, 14:2,93-109, DOI: 10.1207/S15327965PLI1402_02

N. Bhullar, N. Schutte, J. Malouff. "The Nature of Well-Being: The Roles of Hedonic and Eudaimic Processes and Trait Emotional Intelligence." The Journal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied 147, no. 1 (2012): 16.


Martin E. P. Seligman, Acacia C. Parks and Tracy Steen, Philosophical Transactions: Biological Sciences , Vol. 359, No. 1449, The Science of Well-being: Integrating Neurobiology, Psychology and Social Science (Sep. 29, 2004) , pp. 1379-1381, Published by: The Royal Society, Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4142141


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