Positive approach

  • Created by: Teganwi
  • Created on: 18-05-21 14:25

Assumption 1

Acknowledgement of free will

  • Believes humans are in charge of their emotions and have free will to change how they direct their emotions
  • Contrast to deterministic approaches
  • We are self directing and adaptive, and that the good life can be experienced if we use our signature strengths
  • Seligman: happiness not due to genes or good luck but recognising own strengths
  • Supported by Diener and Seligman looking at why people are happy and found students amount of time invested in family and friends effected this. Strongest ties were happier
  • We can control our happiness by choosing to engage in activity that we know will make us happy
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Assumption 2

Authencity of goodness and excellence:

  • Feelings of happiness and goodness are as natural as feelings of anxiety and stress, therefore psychologists need to pay equal attention to these emotions
  • Seligman: triats such as virtue and happiness are as authentic as negative traits 
  • Seligman: we have triats called 'signature strengths' such as kindness, genorosity and humour. We need these to enhance lives
  • Change from focus on negative state to positve
  • Role of therapist is to focus on these traits and help develop them to achieve fulfilment and well being.
  • Acts as a buffer against mental health problems
  • Relating to relationship formation: feelings of love etc are authentic and is why relationships are formed, allows individuals to use these signature strengths and develop them to strive towards a happier life
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Assumption 3

Focus on 'The Good Life':

The good life are factors that contribute to a well-lived life.

Seligman distinguishes 3 desirable lives

  • The pleasant life- pursuing positive emotions
  • The good life- pursuing activities that positively engage us
  • The meaningful life- happiness comes from deep sense of fufilment by living for a purpose greater than oneself

In order to reach the good life we must do 3 things

  • Positive connection to others
  • Positive individual traits
  • Life regualtion qualities

Relating to relationships, people strive towards the good life which involves positive connections to others, pursuing social relationships does this.

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