Dec 24
Savouring the Festive Spirit

“The aim of life is appreciation.” ~ G. K. Chesterton The holiday season and the New Year period can be a pretty stressful time. We’re inclined to think that everything must be perfect, and that includes the gifts we give, the food we prepare, the warmth of our welcome to guests, what we wear to […]

Dec 19
Positive Psychology: Fit for Purpose?

Do Positive Interventions Ever Backfire? A few weeks ago someone started an interesting discussion on the ‘Friends of Positive Psychology’ Listserv by asking if using a gratitude activity had ever backfired. The question may have been prompted by a recently published study by Susan Sergeant and Myriam Mongrain in which a gratitude exercise not only […]

Nov 2
Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach well-being…?

My latest article for Positive Psychology News Daily is a review of a new Positive Psychology-based book by ed psych and consultant Sue Roffey, called Changing Behaviour in Schools: Promoting Positive Relationships and Well-being. One of the great strengths of this book is its breadth, not just in terms of aims but also its evidence […]

Sep 27
Positive Psychology Warts ‘n’ All: Book Review

Unusually for me, my posting for Positive Psychology News this month is a book review, Kate Hefferon and Ilona Boniwell’s Positive Psychology: Theory, Research and Applications. Don’t be put off by the fact that it’s a textbook, in short it’s a highly enjoyable, educational, and engaging read, well worth the £18-£20 it’s currently selling for […]

Aug 18
Does the World Need Positive Psychology?

One of the very first pieces I wrote for Positive Psychology News Daily back in 2007 focused on the application of strengths – whether strengths as defined in positive psychology are always positive and how we know which strength to apply in any given situation. This was inspired by a great article by Barry Schwartz […]

Jun 28
Needs and Subjective Well-Being Across the World

Most people with an interest in psychology have heard of Maslow’s theory of motivation and hierarchy of needs, which suggest that we’re driven to satisfy basic physiological needs (such as for food and shelter) first, then to satisfy our needs for safety, love and belonging, self-esteem and lastly self-actualization. For those interested in positive psychology, […]

Jun 7
Three Simple Rules for Happiness

Here’s my April 2011 posting for Positive Psychology News Daily in it’s entirety this time. Sorry it’s so much later than usual, hopefully you’ve been able to keep uptodate via PPND. This month I look at the implications of new research on happiness, in particular the roles of fit, motivation and effort in becoming happier. […]

Jun 7
Men’s and women’s smiles do not mean the same thing

Here’s my March 2011 article for Positive Psychology News Daily, in it’s entirety – sorry that it’s so late! This month focuses on new research behind the meaning of smiling, and in particular, the intriguing differences between men’s and women’s smiles. I don’t know what it is about March but for me it’s such an […]

Feb 28
Measuring the Nation’s Well-being: Authentic Happiness and Well-being Theory

In this month’s article for Positive Psychology News, I look at the government’s plans to measure the UK’s well-being in 2011, and Martin Seligman’s new Well-being Theory. Stop Press: the Office for National Statistics has now announced the four well-being related questions that will be included in this year’s Integrated Household Survey. They are: • […]

Jan 6
Working from home, switching off, well-being and productivity

The numbers of employees who work from home, so-called teleworkers, has risen dramatically in the past decade or so, enabled by the internet and the availability of high-speed broadband in many areas of the country. In the US it’s the same. According to Fortune Magazine this week, nearly half of U.S.-based companies currently have employees […]

Nov 30
Does it matter whether you live in Hope or in Hell*?

* Hope and Hell are both located in Michigan… One of the aspects of studying positive psychology which really appeals to me is its sheer breadth – the fact that it applies in so many fields of human endeavour and experience.  Positive psychology appears in disciplines as diverse as art and design, education, politics, and […]

Jul 26
Relationship between money and wellbeing

Another new study (Quoidbach et al, 2010 – see details below) has been published on the topic of money and well-being, specifically, whether being wealthy enough to access the best things in life affects your ability to savour small pleasures. The research suggests that wealthier individuals report lower savoring ability, and even being reminded of […]

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