Jun 29
Man + Shed = Happiness

Recently British television rebroadcast a series of programs called Kevin McCloud’s Man Made Home (#ManMadeHome), featuring the well-known designer, writer, and presenter. Since the late 90s, McCloud has presented the Grand Designs series where every program focuses on the efforts of people (usually a couple) to design and build their own house. Over the years […]

Jun 7
Book Review: Personal Well-being Lessons for Secondary Schools

Instinctively, a good teacher knows that a happy child learns more easily and bounces back more quickly from disappointments than an unhappy child.  It’s common sense that a happy teacher performs better than an unhappy one, and this has now been borne out by research at Birkbeck College at the University of London, which suggests […]

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 […]

Mar 3
Seligman’s New Well-Being Theory: PERMA

In his forthcoming book, Flourish, Martin Seligman reveals his latest approach to well-being. Readers of his Authentic Happiness (2002), the book which brought Positive Psychology out of the academic closet and into the mainstream, will remember the three pathways to happiness, which were: 1. Positive Emotions  – leading to a pleasurable life 2. Engagement (or […]

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: • […]

May 31
Martin Seligman: The Power of a Positive Thinker

“His goal is to advance the well-being of the world – one sector at a time”. An interesting (and revealing) article from Stacey Burling at The Philadelphia Inquirer on Professor Martin Seligman, often quoted as the founding father of Positive Psychology. Image courtesy of the US Army …

Dec 22
Positive Psychology – science or psychobabble?

In Wednesday’s HARDTalk programme, BBC journalist, Stephen Sackur, interviewed Professor Martin Seligman, founder of positive psychology, about such questions as whether positive psychology is truly scientific or mere psychobabble, whether or not well-being should be a political issue, and whether it would be better to put our efforts into alleviating mental illness instead. If you […]

Nov 28
The Politics of Happiness

Can Gross National Happiness ever be an accepted substitute for GDP? The Kingdom of Bhutan, a predominantly Buddhist country of approximately 750,000 inhabitants in the Eastern Himalayas, has been measuring Gross National Happiness since the late ’80s. The King, Jigme Singye Wangchuk, was concerned about the sorts of issues affecting countries which focussed only on […]

Nov 21
Life Lists: Goal Achievement and Happiness

As we mentioned in this post, it seems that Seligman’s 3 pillars of happiness and well-being (positive emotion, engagement and meaning) may soon be joined by two more, namely positive relationships and positive achievement. I doubt many would argue about positive relationships being a corner-stone of happiness and well-being, although you might be interested to […]

Nov 9
Positive Psychology Conference – UEL

The times they are a-changin’Yesterday many of my co-students and I attended the first “Positive Psychology: Well-Being and Business” Conference hosted by the University of East London – where we are almost half-way through our Masters in Applied Positive Psychology (the first programme of its kind outside of the US). The lecture theatre was full, […]

Nov 5
A Less Positive Perspective?

You don’t often find Positive Psychology being overtly criticised (I suppose this would be very un-American) so when I came across this article on Richard Dawkins’ website, I thought you might be interested; it gives a very different perspective. It would appear that the Templeton Foundation does fund a huge amount of academic research into […]

Oct 30
Positive Psychology or Positive Social Science?

I hear it on good authority that at the recent Gallup Positive Psychology Summit* in Washington DC, Martin Seligman announced that Positive Psychology should now be known as ‘Positive Social Science‘. Unfortunately I wasn’t at the conference to hear the initial reaction, but I understand that the majority of delegates were somewhat shocked. As a […]

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