Positive psych

  • Created by: Steff06
  • Created on: 26-04-17 14:53

Definitions, philosophy + faith

Positive psych = Study of conditions + processes contributing to optimal functioning of people, groups and institutions

= Scientific understanding/interventions to encourage thriving


1. Aristotle's Eudaimonia   2. Epiceuran simple pleasures   3. Stoic reason + objectivity

World faiths...

  • Judaic & Christian divide command of happiness
  • Virtues - protcetion from sin, promotion of happiness


  • Positive nature focus, self-actualising tendency
  • Strive for fulfilment, meaning, inner peace, happiness
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Themes and subjective happiness


  • Pleasant life (enjoyment) --> broaden + build theory
  • Good life (engagement) --> Aristolian Eudaemonia, flow
  • Meaningful life (affiliation) --> Positive sense of well-being through belonging, values/virtues

Positive thinking...

1. Counter to Hobbsian reality    2. Work ethic    3. Promotion of agency   4. Improving life/health

Subjective happiness:

  • Hedonic component
  • Cognitive component (life satisfaction)
  • Rating of curremt state of being + discrepancy between current and ideal state
  • Affect (mood & emotion) balance of negative and positive
  • Positive effects (less illness & hostility, more creativity, trust, optimism)
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Happiness contributions & measurement

What makes us happy?

1. Income     2. Relationships     3. Work/employment

Measurement/global evaluation:

a. PANAS    b. SWL   c. Interview studies    d. Subjective happiness scale

e. Physiological markers   f. Large scale studies

Changes in approach/intervention:

  • Hedonic adaptive prevention model
  • Positive events --> positive emotions
  • Impact bias
  • Well-being (AIM - A = attention, I= interpretation,  M = Memory)

Eudamonic happiness - well-being encapsulates actualisation of potential, inclusion of purpose/meaning - pleasure and satisfcation = too simplistic

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FLOW, models and reasons for unhappiness

FLOW = Intense involvement in moment to moment activity (experienced when performing at best)

  • Examples: Sex, listening to music, study, socialising, sports
  • Prevalence: 10/15% never, 10/15% everyday

Components of FLOW:

1. Structured activity   2. Balance of skills   3. Concentration   4. Sense of control  

5. Transformation of time   6. Activity for own sake    7. Personality (autotelic characteristics)

Evolutionary models: Dynamic equillibrium theory + adaption theories

Why aren't we happier?

  • Relative standards model - social comparison, links with personality
  • Affluenza - materialistic values spreading virally
  • Paradox of choice - tyranny of freedom, satisficers vs maximisers
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Health and self-determination theory


3 factor evaluation:

1. Likelihood of serious illnesses  2. Life after onset   c. Lifespan

Self-determination theory:

  • Order and predictability
  • Evolutionary function
  • Basic need
  • Similar to security needs

3 components to self-determination theory:

a. Autonomy -> Personal violation, not coercion   b. Competence -> Ability to affect environment,    consistent with desired outcomes   

c. Relatedness -> Connection with caring for peers, conflict with autonomy need

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Personality, altruism, gratitude and Frankl

Personality strengths; 6 cateogories, 2-5 strengths

1. Wisdom&knowledge  2. Courage   3. Humanity   4. Justice   5. Temperance  6.Transcendence

Optimism: Explanatory styles, 3 dimensions:

a. Interval vs external   b. Stable vs unstable   c. Global vs specific

Life orientation test (dispositional aspects) and attributional style questionnaire (explanatory)

Gratitude: State or trait? Contrast with indebtness

  • Questionnaire = GRAT, GQ6, appreciation scale

Altruism: Motivation to sacrifice valuables without expectation of benefit

Frankl: Creative, experienal and attitudinal, 7 sources of meanins:  1.Achievement   2.Acceptance    3.Relationships    4.Intimacy    5.Religion    6.Self-transcendence    7.Fairness

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