The Positive Approach + Mindfulness

  • Created by: chlopayne
  • Created on: 16-04-19 11:42
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  • The Positive Approach
    • Key assumptions
      • The Acknowledgement of Free Will
        • Only thing that controls our behaviour is our own free will.
        • Happiness is accessible to all,
        • Argument that free will is beneficial is supported by research.
          • Feeling that we can control our lives predicts high job satisfaction and better job performance.
            • Diener and Seligmann (2002) found students who has strong ties with family and friends, reported a higher level of happiness.
      • Authenticity of Goodness and Excellence
        • Seligman (2002) argues positive emotions and experiences are as authentic as negative ones.
        • Celebrates good things in life and improve wellbeing and fulfilment. Positive attitude towards the treatment of mental illness.
        • Rather than treating symptoms, focus is on develop individuals positive traits and signature strengths.
      • Focus on 'The Good Life'
        • Seligman (2003) argues the way to happiness, and experience the best life is to develop our strengths and virtues.
        • Start by achieving a 'pleasant life, then a 'good life', and finally a 'meaningful life'.
          • The pleasant life - positive emotions and daily satisfaction.
          • The good life - discovering our strengths and enhancing our lives.
          • The meaningful life - using our strengths for a greater purpose.
        • Seligman argues the way to a good life is to develop positive connections with others.
    • Martin Seligman (1998) felt traditional psychology focused too much on mental illness, not enough on bow humans can flourish and succeed.
      • Provide methods to enhance human happiness.
    • Mindfulness therapy
      • Enable a person to be present in the moment. Aims to help people control their thoughts and emotions.
        • Help anyone improve their mental wellbeing.
      • Main components
        • Meditation and mindful breathing - focus n the here and now. "Tune out" distractions and focus on bodily sensations.
          • Thought and emotions come and go.
        • Informal practices of mindfulness - practice must be done consistently. Engaged in what task you're doing.
        • Gaining control of thoughts - focus on the present.
    • Evaluation of the approach
      • Useful? Beneficial applications, used in education, healthy, work places and therapy.
        • Mindfulness - improves wellbeing in people with stress and depression.
      • Scientific? Study and enhance human happiness and wellbeing by using scientific methods.
        • Happiness and wellbeing are difficult traits to pin down and measure.
        • Lazarus (2003) - findings into happiness are correlational. We cannot assign causality.
      • Mindfulness originated with Buddhist ideas. They argue removing the religious aspects make it inauthentic.
        • Positive psychology is a cult, religion replacement for secular society. Others say this misunderstands positive psychology.
          • Researchers work hard to use scientific methods. It does not promote techniques unless they are backed by research.
      • Shifts attention from negative states to positive states. Focusing only on disorder/disease results in limited understanding of human conditions.
      • "Not a new idea" Seligman ignores the work of other psychologists(Abraham Maslow 1950s).
        • Positive psychology claims to be an advance of humanistic psychology - adopted a scientific study.
      • A criticism is its simplistic view of emotions. Seen as either  positive or negative, in reality they are often mixed (Larsen, 2001).


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