Positive Psychology

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Positive Psychology

  1. 1. Positive Psychology Tianyi Cui May 23rd, 2010 1
  2. 2. Please register in AuthenticHappiness.org and takethe Authentic Happiness Inventory 2
  3. 3. Positive Psychology is ... a new approach of psychology in 21st century a science of happiness and others that make life worth living a scientific study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive named in 1998 by Martin Seligman as president of APA 3
  4. 4. Mental DiseaseCentral topic of Unitedpsychology in the World States20th century sinceWorld War II 1900 Focus on pathology 5/24 1/10 -1940 A disease model of human natural 1941 19/34 17/28 -1999 4
  5. 5. Basic AssumptionHuman goodness and excellence are asauthentic as disease, disorder, and distress. Correct the imbalance. Challenge the disease model. Call for interest in building the best things in life. 5
  6. 6. Three PillarsPositive subjective experience (positiveemotions)Positive individual traitsPositive institutions 6
  7. 7. Pleasure usually comes when called, but not happiness. -- Mason Cooley 7
  8. 8. Questions about HappinessWhat is happiness?Why are human seeking happiness?How did happiness arise in evolution?Can happiness be lastingly increased? How? 8
  9. 9. Happiness is not ...simply the absence of its oppositesonly “on-line” pleasure, but most in the formof recollection or anticipationexplainable by simple hedonic theoryattainable by “shortcuts” 9
  10. 10. Facts on HappinessPeak-End Theory: summary evaluation is theaverage of the experience’s peak and endMere Exposure Effect: tendency to likeobjects to which we’re frequently exposedEndowment Effect: our tendency to likeobjects given to usHedonic Treadmill: adaption to pleasure 10
  11. 11. Happiness MattersDuchenne-ness of smile in yearbook photospredicts marriage satisfaction. while attractiveness does notEmotional content in autobiographical essayswritten by nuns predict long-liveness afterdecades. 11
  12. 12. Be Happy and Learn Better Broaden-and-Build Theory: positive emotions broaden one’s awareness and encourage encourage novel, varied, and exploratory thoughts and actions, which builds skills and resources Learn better: attention, working memory, verbal fluency, openness to information... marriage, friendship, employment, income, work performance, mental health, psychological health ... 12
  13. 13. Happiness and Evolution Signal safety and provide the opportunity to build and consolidate psychological skills Negative emotion: win-lose game Positive emotion: win-win encounter 13
  14. 14. Can You Make Yourself Lastingly Happier?Positive Psychology said Yes!Three Factors Affect Happiness set range circumstances voluntary control 14
  15. 15. Happiness and DNAPositive Affectivity: the extent to which anindividual experiences positive moods highly heritable (r=0.4) 15
  16. 16. Happiness and Circumstances Marriage Social Life Subjective Health Religion Institution 16
  17. 17. Positive Emotions aboutPast, Present, and Future Positive Emotions Past: satisfaction, contentment, fulfillment, pride, serenity Present: joy, ecstasy, calm, zest, ebullience, pleasure, flow Future: optimism, hope, faith, trust These three senses of emotion are different and are not necessarily tightly linked. 17
  18. 18. Satisfaction about Past Do you believe your past determines your future? Please don’t. Gratitude Forgiving and Forgetting R.E.A.C.H. 18
  19. 19. Optimism about FutureCorrelation between optimism and good healthshowed after men became 40Optimism Permanence: Temporary vs Permanent Pervasiveness: Specific vs UniversalIncreasing Optimism and Hope Self-Disputation (A.B.C.D.E) 19
  20. 20. Happiness in the Present Pleasure: great food, massage, perfume, hot shower, orgasm ... Gratification: discussing with others, reading Hemingway, rock climbing, playing bridge ... 20
  21. 21. Enhancing PleasuresSpacing: avoid habituationSavoring: deliberate conscious attentionMindfulness: no more mindlessness 21
  22. 22. Pleasure vs Gratifications Distinction between Pleasure: senses and emotions Gratifications: strengths and virtues Immersion replaces consciousness, no emotions involved (Flow) Pleasant Life vs Good Life 22
  23. 23. FlowThe psychologicalstate thataccompanies highlyengaging activitiesThe experience ofworking at fullcapacity 23
  24. 24. Components of FlowClear goals Balance between ability level and challengeConcentrating A sense of personalA loss of feeling of self- controlconsciousness intrinsically rewardingDistorted sense of time lack of awareness ofDirect and immediate bodily needsfeedback action awareness merging 24
  25. 25. Psychological CapitalConsuming when enjoying pleasure biological satiationInvestment when engaged in flow psychological growth 25
  26. 26. Junk Flow or Faux Flow Video games, TV shows, idle gossip ... Some of the elements of flow: engagement, absorption Not challenging, and do not leave us feeling invigorated or satisfied. 26
  27. 27. Shortcuts of Happiness We created more and more shortcuts to pleasure: television, drugs, shopping, porn, chocolate ... But there is no shortcut to gratifications! 27
  28. 28. Happiness is the aim of life, virtue is the foundation of happiness. -- Thomas Jefferson 28
  29. 29. Classification of Virtuesand Character Strengths ubiquitous valued in its own right effort and will buildable measurable distinct ... 29
  30. 30. Strengths of WisdomPositive traits related to the acquisition and use ofinformation for the service of good life, i.e. cognitivesstrengths Curiosity [Interest, Novelty-Seeking, Openness to Experience] Love of Learning Open-Mindedness [Judgment, Critical Thinking] Creativity [Originality, Ingenuity] Perspective [Wisdom] 30
  31. 31. Strengths of CouragePositive traits entailing the exercise of will toaccomplish goals in the face of external orinternal opposition Bravery [Valor] Persistence [Perseverance, Industriousness] Integrity [Authenticity, Honesty] Vitality [Zest, Enthusiasm, Vigor, Energy] 31
  32. 32. Strengths of HumanityPositive traits manifest in caring relationshipswith others, dispositions to tend and befriend Kindness [Generosity, Nurturance, Care, Compassion, Altruistic Love, “Niceness”] Love (capacity to love and be loved) Social Intelligence [Emotional Intelligence, Personal Intelligence] 32
  33. 33. Strengths of JusticeBroadly social positive traits relevant to theoptimal interaction between the individualand the group or the community Fairness Citizenship [Social Responsibility, Loyalty, Teamwork] Leadership 33
  34. 34. Strengths of Temperance Positive traits that protect us from excess Forgiveness and Mercy Humility and Modesty Prudence Self-Regulation [Self-Control] 34
  35. 35. Strengths of Transcendence Positive traits that allows individuals to forge connections to the larger universe and thereby provide meaning to their lives Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence [Awe, Wonder, Elevation] Gratitude Hope [Optimism, Future-Mindedness, Future Orientation] Humor [Playfulness] Spirituality [Religiousness, Faith, Purpose] 35
  36. 36. VIA Classification ofCharacter StrengthsWISDOM: Curiosity, Love of Learning, Open-Mindedness, Creativity, PerspectiveCOURAGE: Bravery, Persistence, Integrity, VitalityHUMANITY: Kindness, Love, Social IntelligenceJUSTICE: Fairness, Citizenship, LeadershipTEMPERANCE: Forgiveness and Mercy, Humility andModesty, Prudence, Self-RegulationTRANSCENDENCE: Appreciation of Beauty andExcellence, Gratitude, Hope, Humor, Spirituality 36
  37. 37. Signature StrengthsPositive traits that a person yearning to actowns, celebrates, andfrequently exercises feeling of inevitability in using them ownership and authenticity (“this is the real me”) invigoration rather than exhaustion when using excitement while displaying them them intrinsic motivation to use rapid learning curve them continuous learning of new ... ways to enact them 37
  38. 38. The chief purpose of education is to teach young people to find pleasure in right things. -- Plato 38
  39. 39. Increasing HappinessPast: gratitude, forgiveness, freeing yourself fromdeterministic ideologyFuture: recognize and dispute automatic pessimistic thoughtsPresent Pleasure: defeating habituation, savoring, mindfulness Gratifications: flow, the absence of emotions and self- consciousness exercise of your strengths and virtues 39
  40. 40. Happiness ExercisesGratitude VisitThree Good ThingsYou at Your BestIdentifying Signature StrengthsUsing Signature Strengths in a Novel Way 40
  41. 41. Life ExplainedThe pleasant life is successful pursuit of the positivefeelings, supplemented by the skills of amplifying theseemotions.The good life is not about maximizing positive emotion butsuccessfully using your signature strengths to obtainabundant and authentic gratification.The meaningful life has one additional feature: using yourstrengths in the service of something larger than you are.To live all three lives is to lead a full life. 41
  42. 42. FURTHER READING: ACADEMIC BOOKS• Christopher Peterson. A Primer in Positive Psychology. Oxford University Press, 2006• C. R. Snyder, Shane J. Lopez. Handbook of Positive Psychology. Oxford University Press, 2005• Christopher Peterson, Martin E.P. Seligman. Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification. Oxford University Press, 2004 42
  43. 43. FURTHER READING: NON-ACADEMIC BOOKS• Martin E.P. Seligman. Authentic Happiness. The Free Press, 2004• Tal Ben-Shahar. Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment. McGraw-Hill, 2007• Ed Diener, Robert Biswas-Diener. Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth. Wiley-Blackwell, 2008 43

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