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, […]

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 […]

Jun 19
Positive Psychology – Strengths

At college today our MAPP class completed a SWOT Analysis for Positive Psychology. Here’s a summary of what we thought are its greatest Strengths (not necessarily in priority order) : Evidence-based Universal – applies to all cultures and all life-stages Captures the public imagination Provides a common language Deals with real-life issues Brings together diverse […]

Nov 27
Regret, Well-being and Maturity

Regrets, I’ve had a few: How finding the silver lining contributes to happiness and maturityThis article on yesterday’s Positive Psychology News Daily looks at research into regret which suggests that it’s about more than learning from experience, it’s beneficial for the process of psychological maturity itself, and that the accommodation of regret has profound implications […]

Nov 13
Economics of Happiness – More or Less

This Radio 4 programme today is a great introduction to the pros and cons of measuring happiness, and whether it’s possible, desirable or indeed useful to do so, with Professor of Economics, Paul Omerod, one of the principals of Volterra Consulting, Lord Richard Layard, Emeritus Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics, and […]

Sep 14
Green and Happy?

You’ll be interested to know that in July, the independent think-tank the New Economics Foundation (NEF) published the European Happy Planet Index of carbon efficiency and well-being in the EU. It reveals that Europe is less carbon-efficient at delivering well-being (measured in terms of the happy, long lives of its citizens) than it was over […]

Sep 12
The Hamburger of Happiness

A simple 2×2 model for understanding Happiness In his recent book ‘Happier‘, Harvard University lecturer Tal Ben-Shahar presents a wonderful model of happiness which he has christened The Hamburger Model. What I really like (apart from the 2×2 format which all MBAs love…) is the simplicity of it. It goes something like this: Junk Food […]

Aug 26
Measuring Happiness

You’ll be interested to hear that the British government is now tracking the well-being of its citizens annually along with other social, economic and environmental indices. For further information see this DEFRA press release, and for a concise summary, see this excellent post on Positive Psychology News Daily by my MAPP colleague, Rosie Milner. …

Apr 14
Searching for Happiness (again)

We wrote a couple of blogs in February / March about the UNICEF study about child well-being in rich countries . On Thursday night the BBC Radio 4’s Analysis programme, Miserable Children , looked at the subject again. The presenter, Andrew Brown, points out that whatever the criticisms of the study’s methodology, the popular explanations […]