Positive psychology (see here, here, here and here) is an expanding movement within psychology that focuses on improving health (as distinct from treating illness). There’s a blog called ‘Positive Psychology News Daily’ here. In terms of the design, the blog has a dark grey background while the central section has a white and grey background. There are lots of useful design features on the blog. Thus the reader can subscribe to daily e-mails, an RSS feed, translate the blog into Chinese or Spanish, click through to associated books on Amazon or see a list of recent comments. In order to navigate the blog, the reader can either select ‘random’ posts or else navigate backwards chronologically by clicking on the ‘earlier articles’ link at the bottom of the page. In terms of the content, the blog has been going since 2006. The first article in fact is here and is a simple biography of one of the blog authors. The articles are titled, dated and comment enabled featuring photographs, text as well as hypertext links of relevance. In reviewing the blog, i’ve moved through the pages of article summaries selecting articles with titles I found interesting. Thus my approach has not been comprehensive and is susceptible to selection bias.
Successful movements are often grounded in sound philosophy. The positive psychology movement can look to some of the greatest philosophers to have ever lived to inform the basis of their movement. There is a brief look at some of the underlying philosophy in an article by philosophy graduate Rosie Milner in this post. An overview of key concepts in positive psychology is provided in the positive psychology pyramid which is discussed in this article by Dave Shearon. An inspection of the pyramid figure reveals a flow from resilience/optimism through to values, purpose and goals. So central are these concepts that throughout the blog they are revisited in numerous articles. For instance there are articles on resilience here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here while character building is further covered in articles here, here, here, here and here.
A neat feature of this blog is the number of different perspectives on positive psychology. For instance in a post on ‘The Power of Stories‘, Kathyrn Britton writes that
‘Positive psychology is the science of what goes right with people‘
Another author, Doug Turner, offers the following insight
‘There is a “golden moment” when the principles of Positive Psychology come together to create deep meaning – FLOW, perhaps‘
while Dana Arakawa (a psychology graduate) writes that
‘True balance—dynamic, powerful balance—is sustained by determined and diligent effort to elevate the quality of our lives no matter where our time is being spent‘
In another article Arakawa writes about her experiences with positive psychology
‘I resonated with the concept of the three states of life—pleasant, engaged, and meaningful‘
A number of posts on the blog discuss the applications of positive psychology at the individual level. Laura Johnson argues that there is a place for humour in psychotherapy in this article. In another article psychologist Elizabeth Peterson writes about the effects of positive priming – creating environmental changes or using certain words to facilitate positively valued emotions or actions. The research evidence behind ‘mental time travel‘ is discussed in another post. The psychology of making choices has implications for happiness and is discussed in this article by Nicholas Hall. Senia Maymin writes about the APE solution to getting out of a ‘bad mood’ – using alternatives, perspective and evidence to challenge unhelpful thoughts and associated feelings and suggested by the author of a book on resilience. A number of theoretical issues are also raised. In this post for instance, Nicholas Hall writes about the overlap between emotional intelligence and positive psychology.
There are numerous applications of positive psychology in society and these are also explored in a large number of posts throughout the blog. As people spend a significant proportion of their lives at the workplace, it is useful to know something about positive psychology applications in the workplace. The bloggers write a number of posts in this area including here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. In a similar vein, there are articles on leadership here, here and here. There’s also an interesting post here on factors influencing the dissemination of positive news. Creativity, visualisation and productivity are covered in articles here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. In another post Britton goes on to explore research on influencing changes in society. Influencing culture or society is further discussed in posts here, here and here. There are many other applications that are being explored. Positive psychology is impacting on education, neuroscience (and here), aging, blogging and there is even discussion of positive psychology in relation to music. The intersection between positive psychology and economic issues is discussed in articles here and here.
This is a fascinating resource for those with an interest in positive psychology or who are simply trying to improve their lives using an evidence based approach.
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