APPLIED POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY
Recognising and developing character strengths and virtues.
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Positive Psychology: Overview
“We see what we look for and we miss much of what we are not looking for even though it is there... Our experience of the world is heavily influenced by where we place our attention.”
Stavros and Torres
Instead. His purpose in life was not to correct his daughter’s shortcomings. raising her to nurture the strength she displayed (social intelligence).Seligman: An epiphany
Seligman resolved to change. Can psychological science be about identifying and nurturing strengths?
Positive Psychology: Overview
Psychology as a discipline should be as concerned with: strength as with weakness building the best things in life as in repairing the worst making the lives of normal people fulfilling as with healing pathology
868 on “fear” 207.154 on “depression” 20.Negative versus positive topics in psychology journal articles 1887 to 2001
9.110 on “treatment” 1.760 on “anger” 65.531 on “anxiety” 79.021 on “joy” 4.019 on “prevention”
Slide courtesy of David Myers
.522 on “happiness” 781 on “courage 31.129 on “life satisfaction” 3.
Virtues and Character Strengths
Seligman’s positive psychology “anti DSM”
non-moral and can be wasted)
www.Character strengths: dominant conceptualisations
The VIA Classification of Strengths and Virtues
24 strengths organised into 6 virtues Strengths enable the achievement of virtues Strengths are distinguished from talents (talents are more innate.positivepsychology.org – online test measuring 24 strengths
strengthsfinder.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
www.com -34 human talents/strengths
organised into 7 categories A strength is a natural capacity for behaving. 2006). thinking.personalitystrengths.Character strengths: dominant conceptualisations The Personality Strengths Project
Over 50 strengths.com –online questionnaire
www. or feeling in a way that allows optimal functioning and performance in the pursuit of valued outcomes (Linley & Harrington.
Ability to love and be loved
. Zest.viacharacter.Are all Strengths Equal?
The key 5 most closely related to Life Satisfaction
Curiosity – 43% 2. Humor – 26% The least common signature strengths are: • Self-Regulation – 5% • Social Intelligence – 6% • Modesty & Humility – 8% • Zest – 8% • Prudence – 10% • Perspective – 10%
. Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence – 28% 9. Love – 37% 3. Honesty – 26% 10. Fairness – 37% 4. Kindness – 32% Close behind this top five are: 6. Creativity – 29% 8. Judgment & Open-Mindedness – 34% 5.Are the strengths spread evenly?
The five most common signature strengths and their frequencies as such are: 1. Love of Learning – 31% 7.
the study of contentment with the past PRESENT.The scope of Positive Psychology
Positive psychology addresses:
PAST.happiness in the present FUTURE -hope for the future
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
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? What’s the benefit in that? If this happened how would it feel?
Questions to move up to the next level (chunking down):
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…?
“What is the highest of all goals achievable by actions?..both the general run of man and people of superior refinement say it is happiness…but with regard to what happiness is.”
Aristotle. Nicomachean Ethics. they differ. Book 1.. Chapter 4
etc.positive emotion & the skills to amplify it
The 3 ‘happy’ lives The pleasant life . absorption. hobbies. relationships. 2003)
The good life . enjoying life. ‘flow’
Confidence and satisfaction accomplishing tasks
The meaningful life – using your strengths in the service of something greater than yourself
contributing to something bigger
Park.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
Write a letter of gratitude and then deliver it. review once a day for a week
You at your best
Write about a time at your best. & Peterson 2005
Exercises to increase positive feelings. engagement. & meaning:
• • • • • •
performing acts of kindness Plan pleasurable activities with savoring counting one’s 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 one’s own legacy working for a valued institution
.viacharacter.org.reconnect.edu www.sas.google.org www.org/ Or check our website (but not yet): www.positivepsychology.com www.upenn.salvos.authentichappiness.