Applied Positive Psychology

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  • 8/4/2019 Applied Positive Psychology


    APPLIED POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGYRecogn is ing and d eve lop ing cha ract e r s t r eng t hs and v i r t ues.

    [email protected][email protected]

    (02) 9542

  • 8/4/2019 Applied Positive Psychology


  • 8/4/2019 Applied Positive Psychology


    Seligman: An epiphany

    Seligman resolved to change.

    His purpose in life was not to correct hisdaughters shortcomings.

    Instead, raising her to nurture the

    strength she displayed (socialintelligence).

    Can psychological science be aboutidentifying and nurturing strengths?

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    Positive Psychology: Overview

    Psychology as a discipline should beas concerned with:

    strength as with weakness

    building the best things in life as inrepairing the worst

    making the lives of normal peoplefulfilling as with healing pathology

    Seligman, 2007

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    Negative versus positive topics in

    psychology journal articles 1887 to 2001

    9,760 on anger

    65,531 on anxiety

    79,154 on depression

    20,868 on fear

    207,110 on treatment

    1,021 on joy

    4,129 on life satisfaction

    3,522 on happiness

    781 on courage

    31,019 on prevention

    Slide courtesy of David Myers

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    Virtues and Character Strengths

    Seligmans positivepsychologyanti DSM

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    Character strengths: dominant conceptualisations

    The VIA Classification of Strengths andVirtues

    24 strengths organised into 6 virtues

    Strengths enable the achievement of virtues

    Strengths are distinguished from talents(talents are more innate, non-moral and canbe wasted) online test measuring 24strengths

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    Character strengths: dominant conceptualisations

    The Clifton StrengthsFinder

    34 themes of talent Talent as the basis of strengths

    Strengths are produced when talents are

    refined with knowledge and skills -34 human


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    The Personality Strengths Project

    Over 50 strengths, organised into 7categories

    A strength is a natural capacity for

    behaving, thinking, or feeling in a waythat allows optimal functioning andperformance in the pursuit of valuedoutcomes (Linley & Harrington, 2006). onlinequestionnaire

    Character strengths: dominant conceptualisations

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    Are all Strengths Equal?

    The key 5 most closely related to Life

    Satisfaction Gratitude,


    Zest, Curiosity,

    Ability to love and be loved

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    Are the strengths spread evenly?The five most common signature strengths and their frequencies as

    such are:1. Curiosity 43%2. Love 37%3. Fairness 37%4. Judgment & Open-Mindedness 34%5. Kindness 32%

    Close behind this top five are:6. Love of Learning 31%7. Creativity 29%8. Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence 28%9. Honesty 26%10. Humor 26%

    The least common signature strengths are: Self-Regulation 5% Social Intelligence 6% Modesty & Humility 8% Zest 8%

    Prudence 10% Perspective 10%

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    The scope of Positive Psychology

    Positive psychology addresses: PAST- the study of contentment with the past

    PRESENT- happiness in the present

    FUTURE -hope for the future

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    Maslows Hierarchy of Needs

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    Goals hierarchies

    Questions to move up to the next level(chunking up): What difference would that make?

    Why would that make a difference? How would this make a difference? Would that make a difference for everyone or just your

    situation? If all these things were leading to something what would that

    be? How does this fit with the bigger picture? Why would that be important?

    What effect would this have? What are you actually trying to achieve here? What is it you really want? Whats the benefit in that? If this happened how would it feel?

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    Goals hierarchies Questions to move up to the next level (chunking


    What/How/When/Who specifically? What are examples of this?

    What would be the first step towards that? How would you do that?

    What would have to happen?

    If you had how would you know?

    What would it look like if you?

    What is a good way of doing that?

    How could that need/goal be satisfied?

    What are some ways you could?

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    Be Happy?

    What is the highest of all goalsachievable by actions?...both the generalrun of man and people of superiorrefinement say it is happinessbut with

    regard to what happiness is, they differ.

    Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book 1, Chapter 4

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    Authentic Happiness

    The 3 happy lives

    The pleasant life - positive emotion & the skillsto amplify it

    pleasure, enjoying life, hobbies, relationships, etc..

    The good life - engagement, absorption, flow Confidence and satisfaction accomplishing tasks

    The meaningful life using your strengths in the

    service of something greater than yourself contributing to something bigger

    (Martin Seligman, 2003)

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    Positive Psychology Techniques Using signature strengths in a new way

    Online inventory then use 1 in different way everyday for a week

    Three good things in life Three things that went well each day along with their causes

    Gratitude Visit Write a letter of gratitude and then deliver it.

    You at your best

    Write about a time at your best, review once a day for a week

    Seligman, Stein, Park, & Peterson 2005

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    More Techniques Exercises to increase positive feelings, engagement, & meaning:

    performing acts of kindness

    Plan pleasurable activities with savoring

    counting ones blessings- blessings journal

    using talents and/or signature strengths in novel ways

    3 doors that closed and 3 doors that then opened

    find a challenging hobby

    performing secret good deeds

    writing ones own legacy

    working for a valued institution

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    Useful Resources

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