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Balcerzak positive psychology iugs summer 2012


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Ooverview of Positive Psychology including those lifestyle and personal factors that may be correlated with wellbeing.

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Balcerzak positive psychology iugs summer 2012

  1. 1. POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY Dr. Judith BalcerzakInternational University for Graduate StudiesSummer 2012 Residency Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  2. 2. Definition:The scientific study of ordinary humanstrengths and virtues. It revisits the“average person” with an interest infinding out what works, what’s right, andwhat’s improving. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  3. 3. Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi Introduced Positive Psychology(2000) stating:The field of positive psychology at thesubjective level is about valued subjectiveexperiences: well-being contentment satisfaction (in the past) hope and optimism (for the future) flow and happiness (in the present) Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  4. 4. At the individual level, it is About positive individual traits: The capacity for love and vocation, Courage, interpersonal skill, aesthetic sensibility, perseverance, Forgiveness, originality, future mindedness, spirituality, high talent, and wisdom Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  5. 5. At the group (collective) level:It is about the civic virtues and theinstitutions that move individuals towardbetter citizenship: responsibility nurturance altruism civility moderation tolerance, and work ethic (Seligman and Csikzentimihalyi, 2000) Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  6. 6. It asks: What is the nature of the efficientlyfunctioning human being, successfullyapplying evolved adaptations andlearned skills?And how can psychologists explain the factthat most people, despite all the difficulties,manage to live effective lives”? Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  7. 7. It studies what people do RIGHTIt’s an attempt to urge us toadopt a more open and appreciativeperspective regarding humanpotentials, motives, and capacities. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  8. 8. The Dimensions ofPositive Psychology Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  9. 9. Include:1. Positive subjective states2. Positive individual traits or the moreenduring and persistent behaviorpatterns seen in people over time.3. Positive institutions Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  10. 10. The scope of positive psychology?? Early accomplishment in positive psychology: helping psychologists pay attention to what people do right. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  11. 11. Remember the early mission of psychology was to: Cure mental illness Find and nurture genius and talent Make normal life more fulfilling (people need challenges , tasks that test their skills, opportunities for learning new ideas and developing new talents as well as the freedom to re-invent themselves throughout their lives. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  12. 12.  Early Psychology’s achievement was to help people move from a state of negative emotions to what might be “neutral emotions”. The question of how to be happy was NOT central to the direction of psychology Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  13. 13. By contrast…Today, positive psychology has takenup the challenge to focus attention ofhow to nurture genius and talent as wellas how to help people lead lives that aremore fulfilling. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  14. 14. Importance of Positive Emotions to both Mental and Physical Health.  True, psychology DOES need to study serious social and psychological problems (drug use, crime, response to trauma, and/ or serious M/I).  Positive Psychology does not reject the need to study and to attempt to eliminate social and personal problems, but….  Study of Positive Emotions can actually help to fight these problems. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  15. 15. Importance of Positive Emotions to both Mental and Physical Health:  Newer forms of TX. focus on positive emotions and adaptive coping strategies  People who express and experience positive emotions more often are likely to be satisfied with their lives and have more rewarding interpersonal relationships  People who experience and express positive emotions are also more likely to be physically healthy, more resistant to illness and may live longer (e.g., Dominica).  Positive Psychology is an ATTITUDE that people can take to research, to other people, & to themselves. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  16. 16. The “Good Life”Factors that contribute most to a well-lived and fulfilling life.Seligman (2000) defines the good life as“using your signature strengths every day to produce authentic happiness and abundant gratification.“Good Life” Includes 3 Elements: Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  17. 17. 3 Elements: Positive connections to others Positive individual traits Life regulating qualities Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  18. 18. A. Positive connections to others Ability to love The presence of altruism The ability to forgive The presence of spiritual connections to help create deeper & purpose Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  19. 19. B. Positive individual traits  Sense of integrity  Ability to play  Ability to be creative  Traits like courage and humility Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  20. 20. C. Life regulating qualities  Individuality or autonomy  High degree of healthy self control  Presence of wisdom to guide behavior Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  21. 21. Positive Psychology isA focus on what makes the kind of lifefor human beings that leads to thegreatest sense of well being,satisfaction, contentment, and “thegood life”. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  22. 22. New Assumptions of Human Behavior: People are highly adaptive and desire positive social relationships People can Thrive and Flourish Strengths and virtues are central to human wellbeing People exist in social contexts Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  23. 23. All positive emotions are not the same. For Example:  Enjoyment and pleasure are not the same  Pleasure can be defined as the good feeling that comes from satisfying needs and meeting expectations, it must be continually renewed by pleasure experiences. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  24. 24. Pleasure:Body pleasures are basedon biological needs andHigher pleasures arebased on experiences thatfeel good but are morecognitively complex Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  25. 25. Enjoyment is:Enjoyment involves meetingexpectations of fulfilling a need andThen going beyond those expectationsto create something new, unexpected,or even unimagined. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  26. 26. Should the goal be to eliminate negative emotions? NO!Negative Emotions are still important.(we would be very vulnerable if weeliminated fear, anxiety or skepticismfrom our lives—they help with survival)!Even tragedy can enrich our experienceof being human (even though it ispainful) Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  27. 27. The 20 Century th Freud—the U/C, search for wellbeing, happiness could be helped or hindered by U/C. Today, we know that U/C factors are not necessarily as overwhelmingly significant as Freud imagined. (this is not to say that there is NOT U/C) One of the goals of PP is to being some understanding of these various perspectives on the good life and well being. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  28. 28. Summary:Positive Psychology is new but gathering respect and credibility.APA Journal had two full issues devoted to articleson Positive Psychology (Jan 2000 and Mar 2001).The First Summit on Positive Psychology was held in Lincoln Nebraska in 1999.Second Summit, 2000 in Washington D.C.As of this time, Positive Psychology seems well on its way to permanence in psychological thought. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  29. 29. Hope theory Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  30. 30. Hope is the result of two processes:1. Pathways or believing that one can find ways to reach desired goals.2. Agency: believing that one can become motivated enough to pursue those goals. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  31. 31. Cantor & Sanderson (1999)Suggest that the reason that goal pursuitis associated with wellbeing is because itimplies that people are activeparticipants in life! (like earning a PhD)The pursuit of goals is an indication thatpeople are taking part in life. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  32. 32. Participating in Life:Greater wellbeing is found throughparticipating in activities that areintrinsically motivating, freely chosen,desired, and involve realistic goals. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  33. 33. Newer theories of motivation viewpeople as actively involved in seekingout intrinsically satisfying experiencesand engaging in continuousdevelopment. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  34. 34. SUBJECTIVE WELL BEINGHappiness and Life Satisfaction Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  35. 35. Predictors of Subjective Well-Being Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  36. 36. Six Predictors of Subjective Well Being: Positive Self Esteem Sense of Perceived Control Extroversion Optimism Positive Social Relationships A sense of meaning and purpose in life Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  37. 37. Self EsteemPositive self esteem is associated with subjective well being.(+) self esteem is associated with adaptive functioning in almost all areas of life.(+) self esteem correlated with:Less delinquency, better anger control, greaterintimacy, more satisfaction in relationships, moreability to care for others, heightened creativity andproductivity. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  38. 38. Is Self Esteem Culture Related?To some degree, yes.Less important in collectivistic cultures thanin individualistic cultures.“Happiness” is not found as consistently insome cultures. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  39. 39. Sense of Perceived ControlLocus of ControlInternal locus of control=tends to attribute outcomes toself directed efforts rather than to external events.External locus of control= is the belief that outcomesin one’s life are the result of factors outside the person’sarea of immediate control.Chance=NO ONE IS IN CHARGE OF OUTCOMES Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  40. 40. Perception of Control, cont.Pearson (1999), defines personal control as the individual’s belief that he/she can behave in ways that maximize good outcomes and minimize bad outcomes.Basic Ingredient of Personal Control:The belief that one can interact with theworld in order to maximize good outcomesor minimize bad outcomes, or both. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  41. 41. Personal Control ranges from beliefs andexpectations, to making actual choices,dealing with the consequences of choices,and finding meaning from reflecting on theprocess. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  42. 42. Extroversion Up to .80 Correlation between extroversion and self- reported happiness. Can predict levels of happiness up to 30 years from initial testing! Study by Larsen and Kasimatis (1990): University students reported their daily moods over a week’s time, extroverts reported an average of 2.0 on a 3.0 scale of happiness, introverts reported average 1.0 on 3.0 scale. (Both were above neutral point of 0.0) Weekend effect: after Wednesday, scores went up until Sunday! Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  43. 43. Extroversion, cont. And, wellbeing is related to the number of friends one has. Genetic differences? Maybe. Some are born with greater sensitivity to (+) rewards. So, it may be that extroverts report greater well being because they are born with a pre-disposition to experience positive rewards. Studies indicate that happier people encode events in more positive ways. (mood dependent learning) Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  44. 44. OptimismOptimism about the future correlated withhappiness and life satisfaction.“Dispositional Optimism”—global expectation that things will work out. (hope)“Explanatory Style”—people explain the causes of events in a way that is positive. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  45. 45. OptimismWe may be able to learn to be more optimistic by payingattention to how we explain events in life to ourselves!Referred to as “learned optimism”.Realistic Optimism: optimistic thinking that does not departfrom reality. An honest recognition of opportunities in eventhe most difficult Situations.vs. “Unrealistic Optimism”: recall Thelma and Louise)(a type of denial). Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  46. 46. Positive Relationships One of the few truly universal relationships between high subjective well being & satisfaction and (+) relationships. Holds up in cross cultural studies. Involves two aspects: 1. Social support 2. Emotional Intimacy Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  47. 47. Emotional Intimacy:(Seligman and Diener,2002) The happiest10% of college students= whatdistinguishing quality? A fulfilling social life, a romantic partner, & intimate friendships. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  48. 48. Social ContactFeeling happy may increase with socialcontact. (so one question we ask clients or students or our families or ourselves is:“how often do you spend time with friends? How often do you have lunch or dinner with friends? Etc.).The relationship between well being and positive socialrelationships may be “reciprocal”. (People who havePositive social relationships may have greaterwellbeing and people who have greater wellbeing mayhave positive relationships). Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  49. 49. A Sense of Meaning and Purpose Studies suggest that people who report greater religious faith, greater importance to religion, and more frequent attendance at religious services also report greater well being. Religion provides social support and enhances self esteem. Religion can help to reduce or even eliminate existential anxiety and fear of death. (unless the faith traditions of the religion are very shaming, accusatory, or guilt evoking, then maybe not so much)! Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  50. 50. What’s NOT related to Happiness Money, income, wealth: does it matter? Gender: are men or women happier? Age: is one age group happier than another? Race and ethnicity: are there differences? Education and climate: Are educated people who live in pleasant weather conditions any happier? Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  52. 52. Money, Income, WealthIncome and subjective wellbeing: GNP does correlate with average life satisfaction at about .50 (mild correlation).Results not true in all countries. E.g., Irish as happy as Americans, but GNP is much lower.Happiness levels did not rise significantly from 1946 to 1970’s though GNP did and personal incomes rose substantially.Somewhat of a negative relationship between rising disposable income and “I’m very happy” responses over time. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  53. 53. So can money buy happiness or not? NO! Example of lottery winners. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  54. 54. Adaptation Processes Winners now believe that the future will be easier and more pleasant. They believe their increased income will allow them to meet various needs. They also believe that money will help to lessen anxiety, worry, and fear. Adaptation theory: when exposed to a certain level of stimulus, we become habituated and adapt to that level quickly (for most life changes, we adapt within 3 months). Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  55. 55. Will Money Eliminate Worry?A trip to the Caribbean can relieve tension but the increase in happiness and the accompanying reduction in stress can leave one blind to some of larger relationships involved.Although money can alleviate some worries, it would be naïve to think that money can eliminate all worries and fears. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  56. 56. Gender: Are Men or Women Happier? No significant differences Women report experiencing and expressing all emotions both more frequently and more intensely than men. Women report a greater capacity for joy. Men are “over-represented” in cases involving “over- expression of emotions like anger, anti-social PD, impulse control problems, and ETOH use. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  57. 57. Good News! Neither gender is doomed to be more or less happy than the other! Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  58. 58. Age Differences: Young people do experience more intense emotions than older people but not necessarily higher levels of subjective wellbeing. Compared to younger people, older people are more satisfied w/their lives Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  59. 59. Age Differences, cont. Older women less happy than older men. Argyle: (1999) Men’s happiness ratings show relatively steady increase as they aged while women’s happiness increased up to age 25, then dip slightly from age 25 to age 35, followed by steadily increasing happiness ratings. (What might this mean or what could contribute to this)? Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  60. 60. Race and Ethnicity, some limited data:Compared to While Americans, AfricanAmerican adults often report lower levels ofself esteem, but AA children may reporthigher levels of self esteem. (Argyle, 1999).But another study suggests that AA adultsover 55 tend to be happier than white adultsover 55. (so “there are lies, damn lies, and statistics”)! Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  61. 61. Education and Climate:Education is an important variable onlywhen all income levels are included. Once aperson’s income is at a certain level, additionaleducation does not seem to impact self reportedhappiness. (Earlier in life more education usuallytranslates to higher income, but less so today). Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  62. 62. Climate:Some studies suggest that climate does notseriously affect levels of happiness andsatisfaction. (so a trip to a tropical islandmay provide temporary relaxation, but is notconsidered a lasting source of happiness) Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  63. 63. Additional CommentsFactors seem related: High self-esteem,perceived control, optimism, sense ofmeaning, and few inner conflicts all suggesta person has emotional balance and thatbalance is related to satisfaction. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  64. 64. Happy people tend to have more (+) socialrelationships, and might be more extroverted.A person who is $$ comfortable may feel on =ground w/others.People who report higher levels of happiness alsoseem to have balance to meet life’s demands.” Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  65. 65. And,When people perceive themselves (+) willpresent selves to others in a (+) light andtherefore reinforce their self-esteem. Thiscycle of subjective wellbeing produces asense that life has meaning and purpose,and makes sense! (all adding to self-esteemand subjective wellbeing)” 2012 Balcerzak/IUGS/July
  66. 66. 6 Variables that are core predictors of well being:1. Positive self esteem.2. Sense of perceived control.3. Optimism.4. A sense of meaning and purpose.5. Extroverted personality.6. Positive relationships with others. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  67. 67. How?By enhancing interpretations of life events andBy fostering the pursuit of life goals Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  68. 68. Leisure, OptimalExperience and Peak Performance Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  69. 69. LEISURE Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  70. 70. Leisure and Life Satisfaction United Way study in 1992: 70% of those surveyed said they’d like to slow down Spend more time with families Campbell, Converse, and Rogers (1976) found that satisfaction with leisure (life outside work) was one of the variables that showed a strong predictor or global wellbeing Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  71. 71. What we think we know… Happiness and satisfaction with leisure significantly correlated Satisfaction begins in adolescence One study followed 1521 HS seniors for 24years and found that more participation inleisure activities in HS predicted higher life satisfaction in adulthood. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  72. 72. What we think we know, cont…. Successful aging is correlated with regular participation in activities (might be #1 in older women). Most correlation when activities involve activity Relationship between exercise and mood. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  73. 73. What Turns Activity into Leisure?In a study in the UK, the highest ranked reasons for leisure were: Fulfills need for autonomy Allowed the enjoyment of family life Provided for relaxation Offered escape from routine Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  74. 74. Activities vs. Leisure Boredom is not having NOTHING TO DO, but not being able to choose what to do. Leisure may be related to autonomy Leisure may be related to quietude and relaxation but also to challenges Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  75. 75. Activities vs. Leisure While some activities involve “solitude” others contribute to satisfaction because they involve socialization. (music alone and with others) Activities that provide a sense of wellbeing should be meaningful to the person, provide for a sense of autonomy, be a break from routine, and involve frequent positive relationships with others. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  76. 76. Flow and Optimal Experience:Being in the “Zone” The work ofMihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1975) Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  77. 77. The work of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1975) Interviewed chess players and basketball players, dancers, and rock climbers to learn their experiences of challenge and exhilaration. Interviewed music composers to learn of their creative processes. Did phenomenological analysis. Originally named it “autotelic experience” This became known as “flow” Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  78. 78. Definition of Flow“A holistic sensation present when we actwith total involvement. A state where actionfollows upon action according to internallogic which seems to need no consciousintervention on our part. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  79. 79. “Flow”..cont.Experience it as a unified “flowing” from onemoment to the next, in which we feel incontrol of our actions and in which there’slittle distinction between self andenvironment; stimulus and response, past,present, future.” Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  80. 80. In the USA and Europe About 20 % of people report these “flow-like” experiences often, sometimes several times a day.(Maslow would probably have called these “peak experiences”). Only about 15% report they’ve NEVER had the experience. Those who have had it, report immediately appreciating the association between flow and psychological well being. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  81. 81. Contexts and Situations for Flow“In the Zone” included people who were involved in creative, artistic pursuits.May involve participation in religious or spiritualrituals, teaching a class, driving in a car, being withone’s family (or not), solitary retreats.Reading for Pleasure: One of the most frequentlyreported contexts for “flow” Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  82. 82. Contexts for flow, cont.Speculation that flow experiences may be key in job satisfaction.In team activities, it’s possible for an entire team to experience flow during the game.Micro-flow: moments when we are leisurelyinvolved in a simple, almost automaticactivity.( checkbook vs. taxes) Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  83. 83. Characteristics of “Flow” Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  84. 84. 1. Complete Concentration on the Task at HandAppears effortless, and not associated withmental strain. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  85. 85. 2. Lack of Worry about Losing Control, Paradoxically, Results in the Sense of ControlLoss of worry allows people to maintain concentration and focus on the task. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  86. 86. 3. A loss of Self-ConsciousnessThe EGO is quieted!One is not trapped in internal conflict between various options. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  87. 87. 4.Time No Longer Seems to Pass inOrdinary Ways(Possibly) some distortion in internal sense of time.Time may seem to pass more quickly than usually or may be vastly slowed down.Both lead to feelings of relaxation. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  88. 88. 5.“Autotelic” Nature of the experienceThe experience is done for its own sake rather than for another goal.The autotelic personality does things for their own sake, with involvement and enthusiasm, rather than in response to external threats or rewards. (not a survival strategy).(“Intrinsic Motivation”)Such people are autonomous and independent. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  89. 89. 6.Flow Accompanies a Challenging Activity that Requires SkillIf demands are high and skills are low, person may feel anxiety.If demands are low and skills are high, person may feel bored. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  90. 90. 7.The Activity Has Clear Goals and Immediate Feedback. Self explanatory. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  91. 91. high control model of flow C anxiety arousal h a l l worry flow e n g e apathy control s Boredom RelaxationLow High Skills Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  92. 92. Other Qualities of Flow Altered perceptions of self and time and abilities Different from normal consciousness Heightened well being May be innate, we may not need to learn it but may need to re-discover Found in all cultures of the world. (Fiji/KAVA) Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  93. 93. 4 stages to move from MICROFLOW TO INTENSE FLOW• Paying attention (focus attention on physiological processes)• Interested attention (not needing to concentrate are to focus attention and eliminate distraction)• Absorbed attention (person is so absorbed in the activity that distraction is almost impossible).• Merging (person is no longer aware of separation between self and activity) Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  94. 94. Activity: Select a partner Discuss your experiences with “Flow” in the past month. In the past year. In the past 5 years. In your lifetime. What are the conditions that are most likely to produce “flow” for you? Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  95. 95. Flow and Subjective Well BeingIs flow associated with subjective wellbeing? YES!Because flow is a significant aspect of many pleasurable leisure activities, it seems related to leisure and satisfaction.Flow may be a significant aspect of intrinsically motivate activities that allow us to return over & over to experience flow. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  96. 96. Flow and Subjective Well Being Lefevre (1988) found that the more time people spent in flow, the greater their quality of experience during the day. High quality of experience included:5. better concentration,6. creativity, and7. + emotions. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  97. 97.  Wells (1988) found a relationship between self-esteem and flow in working mothers (flow was significantly correlated with self esteem based on perceived competency as a parent. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  98. 98. Flow and Subjective Well BeingIf interactions with children were easy,comfortable, and tension free (flowed) thenthe felt better about themselves. BUT:Overall sense of self esteem was notdependent on flow.Mothers could feel good about themselveswith or without flow, Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  99. 99. Why Does Flow Increase Psychological Well Being? Per Csikszentmihalyi: during flow, increased well being is due to the more efficient organization of consciousness. During flow, current available information in consciousness is congruent with goals and under this condition, psychic energy will flow effortlessly. After the experience, a further ordering of consciousness occurs. (could this explain how meditation improves concentration, creativity, and wellbeing)? Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  100. 100. How to Produce More Flow in Life: Flow may NOT be entirely controllable, but may be increased with certain strategies. Balance skill level with challenge of an activity and get immediate feedback. Intense flow experiences are induced when the demands of the situation push person to limits of his/her skill level. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  101. 101. Increase flow?When demands of situation push person to the limits of his or her skill level.3) Demands are so high that we must pay attention5) The demands of the task force us to move beyond self consciousness between the task and our self evaluation Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  102. 102. Are Challenges and Skills Necessary for Life? Flow is fostered by intrinsic interest in and curiosity about a task. Can set up environment that is conducive to flow by removing distractions, noises, interruptions, or by creating internal cues that have conditioned associations with the experience of flow. E.g., musicians may have a favorite instrument that increases likelihood of flow when they use it. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  103. 103. Comments on the Theory of FlowCsikszentmihalyi said that flow is produced by balancing learned skills with the challenges of a situation that requires the skills.Flow is NOT always present in a specific activity and if it is present, it may not be present during the entire activity.Example: Bill Moyers -- “Amazing Grace” seems to transcend barriers of race, religion, social class, and education.(Roots of AMAZING GRACE)? Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  104. 104. Love and Well Being Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  105. 105. The Psychology of Love Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  106. 106. Evolution and LoveLove has properties that help us to adapt.The bonds of love (attachment) help us to protect those close to us, particularly our children. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  107. 107. Marriage and Well BeingThe quality of our social relationships is one of the core factors in whether or not we feel content, happy, satisfied.Data suggest that married people are happier and healthier than single people. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  108. 108. Marriage and Well Being According to some theories, being married is the only truly significant predictor of life satisfaction. One important variable is self disclosure Problems with interpersonal relationships, esp. intimacy, are among the most frequent triggers for depression. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  109. 109. Marriage and Well Being Effects of marriage on wellbeing are stronger for men. Single men are less happy than single men, but married men are as happy or happier than married women! 59% of men rated their love as “Perfect 10” (NBC Weekend Edition and Prevention Magazine). Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  110. 110. Marriage and Well BeingBurman and Margolin(1992) suggest that the psychological and social aspects of marriage are related to physical health and mortality rates.Positive marital relationships are related to longevity. Couples who interacted in (+) ways have lower blood pressure and lower psychological reactivity to (-) events. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  111. 111. Marriage and Well Being But the quality of marriage is more significant for women. (Men benefit from simply being married, but women benefit if they have a good marriage). Increase in men’s wellbeing is due to increases in happiness after marriage, but women’s increases in wellbeing are due to increases in life satisfaction. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  112. 112. what does this suggest ?Men’s increase in well being after getting married is due more to positive emotions while women’s increases may be attributable to higher cognitive judgments.But, the strength of the positive relationship between marriage and wellbeing has declined since 1970’s. Why? Married women seem to be less happy than they once were while single men seem to be getting happier!!!! Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  113. 113. Explanations?Younger couples have less satisfaction and more conflict compared to older couples.Why? Rogers and Amato (1997) suggest increased tension surrounding work-family conflicts that come from new gender roles.(?)What do you think? Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  114. 114. The Varieties of Love Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  115. 115. Two Factor Theory of Love (from which other forms of love emerge)PASSONATE LOVE: The intense longing for the other person. Can include: despair of rejection or joyful union.COMPANIONATE LOVE: A “quieter” form of love associated with affection, companionship, friendship, and long term commmitment. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  116. 116. Multifactor Theories of Love Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  117. 117. Love Styles Eros: passionate love Ludus: game playing Storge: primarily affectionate and close but not always exciting Pragma: Practical and pragmatic. Love fulfills certain conditions, rational, objective Mania: like eros, but may be extremely emotional and obsessive Agape: altruism, selfless love Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  118. 118. Susan and Clyde Hendricks (1992)Study of 57 dating couples examined the association of love style, and the stability and satisfaction of the relationship. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  119. 119. Research Findings, cont. Couples showed similarity of love styles Higher satisfaction related to higher EROS Ludus was a negative predictor for men and a predictor of satisfaction for women Love styles expressed by women might be more important to her partner’s satisfaction than to his style is to her satisfaction When women are more passionate (eros) and altruistic (agape) than their male partners, they were more satisfied. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  120. 120. Sternberg’s Triangle of Love3 Emotional Components: Passion, intimacy and commitment.2. Passion: the intense emotional response (like Eros)3. Intimacy: sharing warmth and closeness4. Commitment: the decision to maintain the relationship Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  121. 121. Sternberg, cont. Most relationships start with infatuation and end up as companionate love. Also, Sternberg’s theory may reflect subtle ageism because studies of older persons indicate that sexual interest and activity can remain strong until the 70’s and 80’s. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  122. 122. Finding Romance,Intimacy, and Love Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  123. 123. Most important variables: Proximity—spend time near each other Physical Attractiveness—but not as important as “personality” Attitude Similarity—pairing like with like Mutual exchange of positive evaluations or reciprocity—allows one to feel good about self. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  124. 124. Relationship Satisfaction:What makes relationships good? Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  125. 125. What makes relationships good? Intrapersonal qualities Interpersonal qualities Environmental influences Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  126. 126. Personality Attributions, and Illusions Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  127. 127. Personality TraitsHealthy personality—confidence, integrity,warmth, kindness, intelligence,dependability, emotional stability, goodsense of humor, loyalty, affectionate(Laner, et al. 1990). Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  128. 128. Interestingly..Physical attractiveness is not a major predictor of relationship satisfactionAt opposite end, NEUROTOCISM is a predictor of poor relationship quality. (neuroticism leads to chronic focus on the self, leaving little time for attention to one’s partner) Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  129. 129. 5 Factor Model: (BIG 5) Conscientiousness Agreeableness Neuroticism Openness to experience Extroversion Happier couples=more agreeable, more conscientious, more open, and more emotionally stable. Extroversion=NOT related to relationship satisfaction Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  130. 130. Attributions: the meanings we give to people, things, eventsFundamental Attribution Error: the tendencyto attribute the causes of other’s behavior toenduring personality traits while at the sametime, attributing our own behavior totemporary, situational factors. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  131. 131. AttributionsCouples who are more optimistic usuallyhave a better chance of making marriagework! Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  132. 132. Positive Romantic Illusions—Is love really blind?The tendency for couple to view each other in a somewhat more positive light than others can produce “mutual reinforcement”Happy couples seem implicitly negotiate areas of self evaluation so that neither partner’s self esteem is threatened. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  133. 133. This is called motivated inaccuracy.The use of positive illusions may actually be related to greater self esteem!Resilient Illusions: illusions that occur in the context of healthy self esteem and realistic optimism. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  134. 134. Interpersonal Factors Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  135. 135. In many studies:Communication is the primary determination of marital satisfaction.Most couples want more time and better talks, not more sex! Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  136. 136. John GottmanSimple index to distinguish happy from unhappy couples:Couples that are more satisfied will turn toward each other more often. (both physically and symbolically)These indicate “bids for attention”. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  137. 137. Relationship Stability: What makes relationships last? Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  138. 138. What do Happy Couples Say About Their Relationships? Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  139. 139. Robert and Jeanette Lauer (1990)(Studied over 300 couples who had been together 15 + years. 7 qualities emerged:1. My spouse is my best friend2. I like my spouse as a person3. I believe that marriage is a long term commitment4. We agree on aims and goals5. My spouse has grown more interesting over the years6. I want the relationship to succeed7. Marriage is a sacred institution Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  140. 140. Theories of Relationship Stability Balance Theory Social Exchange Theory What Does Research Say about Stability? Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  141. 141. Balance TheoryIt’s not the presence of negative behaviors, but how they are regulated.Regulated couples who seem to be stable and free from undue conflict are called “validating couples” where asCouples who tend to be unstable and short term are called “unregulated” couples. (+&- behaviors are not predictable) Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  142. 142. Social Exchange Theory Relationships are an exchange of rewards and costs.Social interdependency theory: People make separate decisions about whether they’re satisfied in a relationship and whether they should stay.People who have high commitment will devalue alternative partners as a way to keep satisfaction high.Commitment: satisfaction, available alternatives, and investment Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  143. 143. What does research say? (Gottman, (1998)Friendship is essential.Happy couples communicate affection, fondness, admiration, and interest in each other’s lives.“Turn toward” each other.Longer courtships.Marry older (older and long term=“acceptance”) Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  144. 144. Skolnick:Followed couples x 27 years:Couples who were older and had higherincomes, higher education, higher religiousparticipation=more stable marriages.Skolnick:Each marriage is really 2 (husband’s & wife’s) Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  145. 145. What HurtsRelationships? Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  146. 146. ConflictBalcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  147. 147. Response to Conflict: Demand-withdraw pattern: one partner criticizes/ complains, the other feels contempt and then withdraws Stonewalling: when the withdrawal becomes destructive Flooding: one person becomes “shell shocked” and seeks protection (fight/flight) Repair attempt: try to calm down tension so that flooding does not occur. When attempts fail, couple is in trouble! Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  148. 148. The Impact ofSocial and Cultural Factors on Relationships Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  149. 149. Social and Cultural FactorsDifferences in backgrounds, ethnicity,culture, religion, etc. can create stress.There can also be cultural differences in the“rules” for relationship. (monogamy vs.polygamy, child rearing, extended family, etc.) Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  150. 150. Comments of Love and Wellbeing Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  151. 151.  The need for some type of companionship and the capacity for caring are biological. Social environment is important in how one perceives love. Physical isolation and “rootless-ness” are only half the reason love is so important. Our society conditions us to rate ourselves based on the amount of love we receive. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  152. 152. PETS Pets can be a source of relationship Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  153. 153. Religion? Monastic practices suggest that love need not be “corporeal”. A love for God of something of ultimate concern can be fulfilling. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  154. 154. WELLNESS, HEALTH, AND POSITIVE COPING Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  155. 155. WELLNESS Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  156. 156. World Health Organization“Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social wellbeing, and NOT merely the absence of disease and infirmity.” Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  157. 157. Halbert L. Dunn, (1961) coined the phrase “high level wellness” Zest for Life A way of living to maximize potential A sense of meaning and purpose A sense of social responsibility Skills for adapting to the challenges of a changing environment Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  158. 158. Health PsychologySince 1970’s APA created a new specialty in psychology Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  159. 159. Health Psychology focuses on all the behavioral factors that can affect a person’s health.Health Psychology includes usingpsychological knowledge to help prevent riskfactors for disease, increase compliance withhealth directives, and create public policyinvestigation into how our health care system canwork better.Health Psychology is compatible with PP! Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  160. 160. Psycho-Neuro-Immunology (PNI)As late as 1985 the connection between disease and mental state was considered to be FOLKLORE.First studies to provide a direct causal relationship between health status and psychological state was published in 1991. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  161. 161. Psycho-Neuro-Immunology (PNI)Cohen, Tyrrell, and Smith (1991, 1993) suggesteda direct relationship between stress and thecommon cold.Later, Cohen, Doyle, Skoner, Rabin, and Gwaltney(1997) used a more rigorous test of the stress-coldconnection hypothesis and found the greater theextent of a person’s social ties, the less likelythey’d develop a cold. (lower social support 4xmore likely to get sick). Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  162. 162. Psychological Factors Important to HealthPeople have greater control over some areas oftheir physiological processes than was everbelieved possible.Some data suggest that some people, undercertain conditions, can be taught to increase ordecrease the number of cells in their own bodiesassociated with immune functioning.(T-Cells or S-IgA antibodies). Only 30 years ago, science wouldNOT have believed this to be possible! Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  163. 163. Social SupportAssociated with positive health outcomessuch as greater resistance to disease, fasterrecovery from heart disease and surgery,and lower mortality.Support from family and friends has beenassociated with less arterial blockage inType A personalities. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  164. 164. Social Support The immune system—studies of medical students. Effect of stress was greater in those students reporting “loneliness” (e.g., Ross medical school, St. Kitts). Pets-can lower blood pressure, reduce the rates of angina, and increase longevity. Compassion and Health-just watching someone be kind and sympathetic to others may even change our immune system! Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  165. 165. Effects of watching Triumph of the Will andMother Teresa on Immunogobulin A.(McClellen, 1985) Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  166. 166. MEANC Film on Mother TheresaONCENTRA Film on Nazi GermanyTIONOFS Assessment Day Immediately after viewing timeIgA Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  167. 167. Humor and HealthEven Hippocrates, father of Greek medicine,prescribed laughter to his patients.Norman Cousins helped himself cure adegenerative and possibly fatal illness.He refused to accept the diagnosis, took unusuallyhigh doses of Vitamin C and watched old “CandidCamera” shows and Marx Brother movies!(Other example, sister in law) Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  168. 168. Humor and HealthStudies have suggested that laughter can increaselevels of S-Ig A antibodies that fight off infections.Humor also related to personality characteristics.Thorson, Powell, Sarmany-Schuller &Holmes(1997) found that people who scored high onhumor tend to score high on optimism,extroversion, and capacity for intimacy. Also, theyscored low on neuroticism. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  169. 169. Music and HealthPennebaker,(1997),studied the process of copingwith trauma and found that non-verbal expressionof emotions through art and music can be helpful.(choir rehearsal after cat euthansia)Cardiologists Peng, Goldberger, and Stanley(1993) recorded human heartbeats and discoveredit’s possible to graph the intervals between beatsand convert them to musical notes.And the same researcher found that heartbeats soundmusically pleasing! (and J.S. Bach) Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  170. 170. Emotional Expression and HealthStudies of survivors of Holocaust, San Francisco earthquake, and the Gulf Wars.Pennebaker concluded that confiding in someone about one’s experiences can be therapeutic, and even non-verbal expressions, like music and art, can be helpful. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  171. 171. Does having a good cry help?“Unshed tears make other organs weep” but the research does NOT support the view that crying is a good stress reliever.Why not? Possibly because there are a number of crying styles and a number of reasons people cry.But it can be used as a coping mechanism to help deal with negative emotions. (but it can be used to manipulate others, or to express joy [like at a wedding] ).Crying is a parasympathetic nervous system response (rest and digest, after fight/flight). Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  172. 172. Comments of Wellnessand Health Psychology Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  173. 173. Summary Research is early and young But we do know that emotions are important to our health. The results from studies replaces the old notion that the mind and body are separate. The new approach is a more interactive model of a dynamic system, with both physical and psychological factors affecting our health. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  174. 174. Inventories and Practice 20 things I love to do.List 20 things you love to do.Indicate when you last did the activity.Indicate if you did it alone or with others. (A or O)Indicate if it takes planning to do it (P)Indicate if you need equipment to do it. (E)Does it meet an emotional, physical, intellectual, or spiritual need?Indicate which activities can be done for less than $5.00 ($) Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  175. 175. Donald Clifton50 year career at University ofNebraska, Selection Research,Inc., and “Gallup” Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  176. 176. Asked:“What would happen if we studied what is right with people”?Believed that talents could be “operationally defined”, studied, and accentuated in both academic and work settings. (Hodges & Clifton, 2004, cited in Snyder, et al, 2011). Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  177. 177. Clifton considered “Traits” as the raw materials to be the products of healthy development. Viewed strengths as extensions of talent, and Viewed the combination of talent & knowledge & skill as the ability to provide excellent performance at a particular skill. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  178. 178. Clifton Strength Finder ThemesAchiever Competition FocusActivator Connectedness FuturisticAdaptability Consistency HarmonyAnalytical Context IdeationArranger Deliberativeness IncluderBelief Developer IndividualizationCommand Discipline InputCommunication Empathy Intellectualization Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  179. 179. Clifton Strength Finder Themes, cont.Learner RestorativeMaximizer Self-AssurancePositivity SignificanceRelator StrategicResponsibility WOO (winning others over) Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  180. 180. References Averill,J.R. (2002). “Emotional Creativity. Toward Spiritualizing the Passions.” Cited in Snyder & Lopez, Handbook of Positive Psychology. New York. Oxford Press. Cantor and Sanderson.(1999).”Life Task Participation and well being. The importance of taking part in daily life”. In Kahneman, et al. Wellbeing. The Foundation of Hedonic Psychology. Clifton (2011) Hodges & Clifton, 2004, cited in Snyder, et al, 2011). Cloninger, R. (2006). The science of well-being: an integrated approach to mental health and its disorders. World Psychiatry. June 2006: 5(2) 71-76; The World Psychiatric Association. Compton, William C. (2005). An Introduction to Positive Psychology. Wadsworth-Cengage Learning. Belmont, CA Psychology. Gardner, John (1993) cited in Compton. (2005) Salovey,P. & Mayer, J.D. (1990). “Emotional Intelligence”. Imagination, Cognition, and Personality.9, 185-211. Personality.9, Seligman, M.E.P. (2002). Positive Psychology, Positive Prevention, and Positive Therapy. Seligman, ME) & Czikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology. The American Psychologist, Vol.55, No.1, 5-24. January, 2000. APA Snyder, C. R. & Lopez, S. J. (2002). The Handbook of Positive Psychology.Oxford University Press. New York. Psychology.Oxford Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012
  181. 181. Balcerzak/IUGS/July 2012