Self Help

Positive Psychology in Practice - P. Alex Linley & Stephen Joseph

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Matheus Puppe

· 89 min read



Here is a summary of the book Positive Psychology in Practice:

  • The book is an edited collection exploring the application of positive psychology in various domains like education, work, health, clinical practice, relationships, and public policy.

  • It is divided into 12 parts covering topics such as historical foundations, lifestyle practices, teaching methods, workplace applications, clinical interventions, character strengths, life span development, community building, and public policy initiatives.

  • Each chapter is authored by experts in the field and describes how insights from positive psychology can be applied in that particular area to enhance well-being, foster thriving, and prevent mental health issues.

  • Some key applications discussed include strengths-based coaching and development, positive psychology interventions, resilience-building, positive therapy, well-being therapy, development of character virtues, positive youth development programs, positive aging approaches, community forgiveness projects, and using subjective well-being as a policy aim.

  • The goal of the book is to describe the practical implications and “positive psychology in practice” across different life domains building on the empirical research in thenew field of positive psychology.

Here is a summary of the key points from the preface:

  • Positive psychology is still in the early stages of establishing solid theoretical foundations and accumulating experimental results. This volume aims to provide a complete package of positive psychological theory, research, and applications to help advance the field.

  • The three main strands interwoven throughout the volume are theory, research, and applications. Contributors were asked to provide comprehensive literature reviews tailored toward research and practice implications.

  • Each chapter reviews the current state of research in a particular domain, discusses implications for practice, and provides concrete recommendations for future applications and research.

  • The relationship between positive psychology and humanistic psychology has been debated, but the editors believe the similarities far outweigh the differences. The volume aims to speak to readers from both traditions and advance knowledge by acknowledging similarities, differences, and opportunities for cooperation.

  • In summary, the preface frames the volume as a key resource aiming to define the emerging field of positive psychology in practice for the next five years by integrating theory, research and practical applications and guidance.

This chapter introduces applied positive psychology as a new perspective for professional practice. Positive psychology has a long research tradition but its topics were previously isolated, lacking a shared framework. The emergence of positive psychology has unified these areas by highlighting their common goals of studying optimal human functioning. Applied positive psychology uses this research foundation to inform practices that can help people lead more fulfilling lives. It represents an opportunity for psychologists to focus on nurturing human strengths and potential, not just remedying weaknesses. This new perspective considers how research can translate into practical applications that enhance well-being and positive development.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

  • Positive psychology aims to study optimal human functioning and what allows individuals and communities to thrive. This focus on well-being and positive development has roots in early psychology but lacked an integrating framework.

  • Positive psychology provides a common identity and language for researchers studying topics like resilience, well-being, transcendent experiences, and human fulfillment. It brings together previously separate areas of study.

  • Applied positive psychology involves applying research on positive topics to facilitate optimal functioning in individuals, groups, organizations, and society. It aims to both alleviate distress and promote well-being across all levels of human experience.

  • The goal is to help people achieve their goals and values in a facilitative rather than prescriptive way. This includes developing positive traits, relationships, and communities.

  • Applied positive psychology addresses the full range of human functioning from disorder to fulfillment. The role is not complete when distress is gone, but to facilitate ongoing optimal development and prevention of future problems.

  • The approach provides a collective identity for professionals, not a new specialty, to work in positive psychological ways regardless of their specific field or work setting. There is a need to bring this perspective into professional practice.

Here are summaries of the key terms:

  • Depression - A mental health disorder characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and loss of interest in activities. It can impact mood, physical health, thinking, and behavior.

  • Anxiety - An emotional state or condition characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure. Common anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder.

  • Subjective well-being - A person’s cognitive and affective evaluations of their life. It includes positive emotions, life satisfaction, fulfillment and positive psychological functioning.

  • Psychological well-being - Refers to optimal psychological functioning and experience. It involves aspects like self-acceptance, personal growth, purpose in life, positive relationships, environmental mastery and autonomy.

In summary, depression and anxiety are focused on mental illness and dysfunction, while subjective well-being and psychological well-being refer more broadly to positive functioning, optimal experience and overall wellness and life satisfaction.

This section provides an overview of several parts in the book that discuss applications of positive psychology in different domains.

Part VI examines how transformational leadership can positively impact organizations. It also discusses strengths-based development and how positive workplace culture can be fostered.

Part VII looks at the integration of positive psychology with health psychology and clinical psychology. It argues for moving beyond the DSM diagnostic system and developing positive clinical approaches.

Part VIII reviews positive psychotherapy methods like well-being therapy and how hope, growth, and strengths can be facilitated in therapy.

Part IX discusses character strengths and their role in relationships, work, education and more.

Part X explores positive development across the lifespan, including resilience in children and positive aging.

Part XI examines how positive psychology can help those with disabilities and promote rehabilitation. It also discusses positive treatment of sex offenders.

Part XII covers public policy initiatives centered around well-being promotion and governance for the common good.

The volume aims to provide a valuable resource on developing and advancing applied positive psychology.

Here is a summary of the key points from the readings:

  • Positive psychology draws heavily on Aristotelian philosophy, which emphasized positive human strengths like virtues and flourishing. This is in contrast to much of modern psychology which focused more on pathology, disorders, and dysfunction.

  • Philosophers like Foucault argued that sciences develop “regimes of truth” about human nature based on the prevailing ideas of their time period. In psychology, this has led to a medical/pathology-oriented view dominating.

  • Positive psychology aims to revitalize perspectives that were marginalized in the 20th century psychology, especially the focus on positive traits, character strengths, subjective well-being, and human potential/growth.

  • A core idea is that human nature involves both positive “angelic” elements like morality and goodness, as well as negative ones like selfishness. Psychology should account for both.

  • Positive psychology wants to re-establish concepts like character and virtue as core parts of understanding human behavior, rather than just explaining them away as much of modern psychology has done.

  • In sum, positive psychology traces its philosophical roots to Aristotle and aims to correct the imbalance of modern psychology’s over-focus on pathology by bringing attention back to positive aspects of human nature and functioning.

  • Mainstream psychology has primarily focused on negative behaviors, dysfunctions, failure, illness, and classifying mental disorders. It sees humans as inherently selfish and asocial.

  • Positive psychology takes a different approach, focusing on positive experiences, character strengths, and human potential/virtues. It sees humans as having innate social and moral motivations.

  • Positive psychology aligns with Aristotle’s view of human nature as fundamentally social and capable of virtues. It rejects the predominant view in psychology of humans being solely motivated by self-interest.

  • Seligman is a major advocate for positive psychology’s approach of studying positive traits and how individuals can fulfill their moral potentials.

  • Positive psychology brings the field back to its Greek philosophical roots in emphasizing humans’ desire to better themselves and live virtuously through relationships with others.

  • Aristotle’s theory focuses on developing both intellectual and character virtues through habit and experience over time. Positive psychology draws from this Aristotelian developmental perspective.

  • Aristotle argued that virtues are not innate but must be cultivated through practice and habit. Virtues like wisdom, courage, justice and temperance are universal human potentials that people can develop toward.

  • For Aristotle, humans enjoy exercising their capabilities and experiencing a sense of growth as their abilities become more perfected and complex over time. Positive psychology adopts this Aristotelian view.

  • Gestalt psychology conceived of development as moving from an undifferentiated global state toward increasing differentiation, articulation, hierarchy and integration of functions - a process of cultivating more precise and harmonious functioning.

  • Positive psychology also sees living systems as self-organizing toward greater complexity, where psychological capacities, values and social connections become more elaborated. Optimal functioning involves continually seeking challenges to improve skills and cultivate more complex behavior overall.

So in summary, Aristotle, Gestalt psychology and positive psychology share the view that human virtues and abilities are not innate but can be cultivated through habit and practice toward greater differentiation, complexity and optimal functioning over time.

  • Living organisms are oriented toward increasing complexity over time.

  • Both Aristotle and positive psychology associate optimal functioning/well-being with “the good life.” For Aristotle, this meant exercising virtues and living fully.

  • Positive psychology takes two approaches to the good life - hedonic (focusing on emotions) and eudaimonic (focusing on optimal functioning).

  • Seligman proposed a model with four forms of the good life increasing in complexity: pleasant life (positive emotions), good life (using strengths), meaningful life (using strengths for something larger), and full life (integrating all aspects).

  • Seligman’s model builds on Aristotle’s idea of developing from simple to more complex/optimal functioning over one’s lifespan. However, it must consider multicultural perspectives to avoid imposing a single cultural view of optimal functioning.

Psychology has long debated the extent to which human nature is universal versus local/unique. Kurt Lewin’s field theory viewed behavior as a function of both person and environment factors. Positive psychology takes a universalist perspective, arguing there are common core human characteristics like virtues. However, it acknowledges cultures can influence what is viewed as positive. Others argue human nature is entirely a social construction that varies by culture and time. The debate centers around whether human potentials are preprogrammed or entirely plastic. Positive psychology believes in some universal potentials but that cultures shape their expression. It aims to identify cross-cultural psychological goals while recognizing diversity in what different cultures value. In summary, positive psychology endorses a moderate universalism perspective, believing in common human potentials but their manifestation is influenced by social and historical contexts.

  • Positive psychology aims to revitalize the Aristotelian idea of positive human nature and virtues that can be developed. It gives more weight to the individual (the “P” in Lewin’s formula) compared to mainstream psychology.

  • Science can be divided into different levels of activity - metatheory, theory, design, methods, data, and phenomena. For a new field to be a valid paradigm, it must develop new perspectives and tools at each level.

  • Positive psychology focuses primarily on changing basic assumptions and perspectives at the metatheoretical level, arguing that mainstream psychology’s views of human nature need to be reconsidered. However, it aligns more closely with mainstream psychology in terms of general methodology and specific research approaches.

  • Positive psychology connects to humanistic psychology in focusing on positive human qualities, but aims to identify additional historical, philosophical and epistemological roots beyond what humanistic psychology addressed.

  • The interest in positive psychology and virtues reflects a need to shift psychology’s focus from predominantly negative to studying positive experiences, traits and social factors given current societal challenges.

Here is a summary of some of the key passages cited:

  • Eysenck (1955, 1956, 1967) argued that personality traits like extraversion have a biological basis and can be inherited. He favored a nomothetic approach to understanding personality.

  • Foucault (1972, 1973, 1978, 1980) developed theories about knowledge, power, and discourse. He examined how social institutions and language shape understandings of reality.

  • Gergen (1973, 1982, 1985, 1989, 1991, 1994) promoted social constructionism and argued that social/cultural factors construct views of the self and psychology. He critiqued mainstream psychology.

  • Maslow (1965, 1968) developed theories of human motivation and self-actualization. He advocated for a more holistic, humanistic “psychology of being.”

  • Peterson and Seligman (2001) developed a “classification of strengths” which helped shape the focus of positive psychology on character strengths.

  • Rogers (1959, 1963, 1964, 1980) promoted client-centered and humanistic theories emphasizing congruence, empathy, unconditional positive regard. He discussed the “fully functioning person.”

  • Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi (2000, 2001) helped define the new field of positive psychology with a special issue in the American Psychologist. They sought to study human flourishing and strength.

  • Snyder and Lopez (2002) edited the influential Handbook of Positive Psychology which brought greater attention and legitimacy to the field.

  • Much of psychology focuses on promoting “good” lives that are fulfilling, virtuous, healthy, successful, or excellent. However, psychology has rarely explicitly defined what constitutes “the good life.”

  • Implicitly, psychology views the good life as the absence of mental illness and the presence of positive mental states like happiness. Happiness is seen as the natural human state and has numerous positive outcomes associated with it.

  • However, happiness alone may not fully capture concepts like eudaimonia. While happiness feels good, eudaimonia involves developing virtues and realizing one’s potential through effortful activities. Psychology has not fully distinguished between hedonistic pleasure and eudaimonia in its notion of the good life.

  • In summary, while preventing illness is important, psychology’s implicit focus on happiness may provide an incomplete view of what constitutes a truly “good” life according to philosophical concepts like eudaimonia that emphasize virtue and self-realization over pleasure alone.

  • The passage discusses conceptualizations of optimal well-being and a good life beyond just pleasure/happiness, such as intrinsic motivation, flow, and eudaimonia.

  • Intrinsic motivation refers to activity done for its own sake rather than external rewards. Self-Determination Theory links it to fulfilling central psychological needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness.

  • Flow involves optimal challenge where skills match task demands, fully engaging one in the present moment. It is enjoyable but demands effort unlike simply relaxing.

  • Happiness is strongly associated with intrinsic motivation and flow, though they are conceptually distinct from hedonism.

  • Other aspects like relationships, health, wisdom may require temporary sacrifices of happiness. Their presence is often linked to greater happiness.

  • Cultural differences exist, with individualists basing life quality more on emotions and collectivists considering social norms as well.

  • A balanced consideration of both positive and negative affect, and life domain evaluations, captures satisfaction with life on individual and cultural levels.

  • Researchers are studying “folk concepts” of what constitutes a good life by asking ordinary people to evaluate hypothetical lives that vary on dimensions like happiness, meaning, and wealth.

  • They assess both the “desirability” of a life (how much people would want it) and its “moral goodness.” Happiness is predicted to influence both, while meaning is also expected to contribute to a life being seen as desirable and morally good. Wealth may influence desirability but its impact on moral judgments is unclear.

  • An initial study found happiness and meaning did increase judgments of both desirability and moral goodness. Wealth increased desirability but its effect on moral judgments was mixed, reflecting ambiguous views of wealth in philosophical and religious traditions.

  • Overall, the research investigates lay perceptions of the components of a good life and how they compare to psychological findings on life satisfaction, values, and well-being. It aims to ground studies of the good life in what matters most to ordinary people.

Studies investigated folk concepts of the good life and morality. They found that people view fulfillment from relationships as more important than fulfillment from work. Relationships were seen as the main source of intrinsic needs satisfaction. Additionally, effort and hard work were seen as important components of a good life, but only when that work did not involve long hours or exhaustion. Pure pleasure without meaning was viewed negatively in terms of morality.

Overall, folk concepts favored lives with happiness, meaning, and effortful engagement, especially in relationships rather than work. While people recognize ideals like happiness from challenging activities, they still prefer an easy life without toil or resource depletion. Morality assessments suggested a purely hedonistic life lacks purpose. So naïve concepts incorporate aspects of well-being research but also show biases for comfort over difficulty.

  • The passage discusses the role of suffering in conceptions of the “good life”. While the good life is often viewed as happy and enjoyable, it must also incorporate less pleasant experiences that are an inevitable part of human life, like sadness.

  • Suffering can motivate searching for meaning and finding positives. Experiencing hardships can foster maturity as one develops more complex understandings of self and world through accommodating new challenging experiences.

  • Maturity and happiness are independent - one can be mature yet unhappy, or happy but immature. The ideal may be a “happy mature” life where one has grappled with difficulty but retains joy.

  • There is not one singular good life, but many potential paths involving different balances of goods like happiness, meaning, relationships and maturity. Cultural and individual factors shape each unique conception.

  • Suffering, when it leads to personal growth, can have a role in conceptions of a good life alongside more pleasant experiences. A good life incorporates the full range of human experiences, both positive and negative.

This summary covers several key articles on subjective well-being and factors that influence happiness and life satisfaction. Some major topics discussed are:

  • The relationship between positive emotions and longevity, as found in the Nun Study.

  • Intrinsic motivation and self-determination theory.

  • Cross-cultural studies on life satisfaction predictors.

  • The role of autonomy, competence and relatedness in daily well-being.

  • Hedonic (pleasure-focused) versus eudaimonic (purpose and growth-focused) conceptions of well-being.

  • The influence of goals, values, personality traits, social relationships and economic factors on subjective well-being.

  • Comparing satisfied versus very happy populations in terms of personality and life circumstances.

  • Developmental perspectives on ego development, personality change and narrative identity in relation to well-being.

The summary pulls together themes and findings from several seminal articles in the positive psychology literature on factors relevant to understanding human happiness, well-being and the conception of the “good life.”

Here is a summary of the article:

  • The article discusses two competing visions of the “good life” - the “goods life” promoted by consumer culture which focuses on wealth, possessions and material goods, and the “good life” promoted by positive psychology which focuses on personal growth, relationships and community.

  • Research cited by the author shows that when people’s values and goals are more oriented towards extrinsic pursuits like money, image and status (the “goods life”), their well-being is diminished in terms of life satisfaction, positive emotions, health, and mental health. In contrast, intrinsic pursuits related to relationships, community and personal growth (the “good life”) are positively associated with well-being.

  • The author argues that as positive psychology promotes its vision of the good life, it needs to also undermine the competing vision of the goods life promoted by consumer culture.

  • The article proposes several interventions and initiatives psychologists could undertake to both support intrinsic values and dislodge the social and psychological processes that encourage extrinsic values. This includes education, community involvement, media literacy, consumer activism, and challenging cultural assumptions around advertising and materialism.

  • The goal is to dual purposes of promoting intrinsic values related to well-being and undermining extrinsic values related to poorer well-being and the goods life vision marketed by consumer culture.

The passage discusses clinical practice and prevention practices related to intrinsic vs extrinsic values and goals.

In clinical practice, intrinsic and extrinsic values have been linked to psychological issues clients present with. However, these issues are often overlooked by clinicians. The passage suggests two themes clinicians could explore with clients - examining psychological needs and using consumption/acquisition to cope with negative emotions. Helping clients pursue intrinsic goals and satisfy needs in adaptive ways could improve well-being. Relapse prevention is also important given societal pressures towards extrinsic living.

For prevention, the passage discusses targeting children and their parents. Children are highly susceptible to marketing pushing extrinsic goals. Risk factors for materialism in children include parental control/harshness, divorce, poverty. African American and girl children face especially heavy marketing. The passage suggests psychologists could help educate parents on media literacy and promote parental styles fostering intrinsic motivations in children.

  • Psychologists interested in prevention efforts with at-risk groups could focus on developing interventions for populations susceptible to consumerism and extrinsic values like materialism.

  • Potential interventions mentioned include media literacy programs, programs capitalizing on teenage rebellion against marketers, and programs using cognitive dissonance to motivate behavior change away from inconsistency with environmental values.

  • Interventions could also support intrinsic values like generosity and community feeling.

  • Programs could target parents to help model intrinsic values and examine how their own behaviors may inadvertently promote extrinsic values in children.

  • Voluntary simplicity programs like simplicity circles and workshops based on the book Your Money or Your Life have attracted many adherents and provide models for interventions.

  • However, interventions may have limited impact without also addressing broader social and cultural factors that promote consumerism, like pervasive advertising and lack of regulation of marketing to children.

  • Psychologists could become involved in public policy areas like advocating for ethical standards and regulation of advertising, especially advertising targeted at children. Educating teachers and the education system to counter pro-consumerist messages could also help shift societal values.

  • Schools have become a “captive audience” for advertisements, as children are exposed to advertising in various ways while at school.

  • Channel One broadcasts news mixed with ads in classrooms. Two students were put in juvenile detention for protesting this by walking out of class viewing Channel One.

  • A student was also suspended for wearing a Pepsi shirt when the school was hosting Coca-Cola executives to obtain funding.

  • Other ads children see at school include vending machines, corporate sponsor names on scoreboards/jerseys, and using brands like M&Ms in lessons.

  • Some argue low funding forces schools to accept corporate donations, undermining education’s purpose of building skills rather than promoting consumerism.

  • Psychologists could work on reforms to ensure education’s primary goal remains empowering students’ minds rather than promoting commercial values. This is an issue they are well-positioned to address through research on impacts and potential solutions.

Here are summaries of the key papers:

  • Asser and Sheldon (2000) found that reminding people of their mortality (mortality salience) increased materialistic thoughts and consumer behavior. This suggests that a emphasis on materialism may be motivated by an unconscious desire to buffer existential insecurities.

  • Kilbourne (2004) discussed how advertising and media promote unrealistic thin body ideals that negatively impact girls’ self-esteem and psychological well-being.

  • Kim, Kasser, and Lee (2003) compared self-concept, aspirations, and well-being between South Korea and the US. They found intrinsic aspirations were linked to well-being in both cultures.

  • Kottler et al. (2004) discussed assessment and treatment of “acquisitive desire,” or a drive to acquire possessions beyond one’s needs. Excessive acquisitiveness can detract from well-being.

  • LaPoint and Hambrick-Dixon (2004) examined how commercialism influences Black youth, using dress-related challenges as a case study. They argue commercialism promotes unrealistic ideals that threaten well-being.

  • Levin and Linn (2004) discussed how commercialization of childhood undermines child development and well-being by promoting materialism and competitive consumption at young ages.

The other papers covered similar topics around defining and measuring materialism and extrinsic/intrinsic goals; relationships between materialism, goal contents, and well-being; and societal influences on values and their impact on well-being. The general theme across the papers is that intrinsic, self-determined goals and values tend to promote well-being, while materialism and other externally-driven goals can undermine well-being.

  • Studies examined the relationship between life aspirations/goals (both intrinsic like autonomy, community; and extrinsic like popularity, wealth) and well-being.

  • Findings showed prioritizing intrinsic goals over extrinsic goals correlated with higher well-being (self-actualization, vitality) and lower negative well-being (depression, physical symptoms). Prioritizing extrinsic goals had the opposite correlation.

  • Additional studies using diary entries also found power aspirations correlated with distress/negative affect, while affiliation aspirations correlated with positive affect.

  • These relationships between goal priorities and well-being held cross-culturally, including in American, Russian, German and Singaporean samples.

  • Schwartz’s model identified 10 universal value types, including intrinsic values like self-direction linked to well-being, and extrinsic values like conformity linked to lower well-being.

  • Relationships were stronger for affective well-being versus cognitive well-being. Different patterns emerged for different well-being measures.

  • Later studies examined the relationship between values and types of worries - intrinsic values correlated with lower worries about self/others, while extrinsic values correlated with higher personal worries.

The study found that having macro worries (worries about society/world) correlated positively with universalism values (protecting the environment, equality, unity with nature, a world at peace) and, to a lesser degree, with benevolence values (helpfulness, honesty, forgiveness, loyalty). Having macro worries correlated negatively with attributing high importance to power, hedonism, achievement, and stimulation values.

In other words, people who had greater worries about large-scale societal or world issues tended to value ideals of environmental protection, equality, peace, and compassion more, and tended to value power, pleasure-seeking, success, and excitement less.

  • Environments provide affordances or opportunities for people to pursue their goals and values. Congruent environments allow people to act on their important values and attain goals, while incongruent environments block fulfillment of goals.

  • Well-being results from attaining important values, whether intrinsic or extrinsic, as long as the environment supports those values.

  • Social support is an important source of well-being. People whose values align with the norms of their environment receive validation and social support, while incongruent values may face social sanctions like ostracization.

  • Internal value conflicts from emphasizing incompatible values can also undermine well-being. This may occur when people adopt new environment values that differ from their original upbringing.

  • Studies have found subjective well-being is highest when people’s personal values match the dominant values of their environment or subculture, like certain academic fields, professions, or organizations. Incongruent values predict lower well-being.

  • Values congruency appears to affect both cognitive and affective aspects of subjective well-being. The interaction between personal and environmental values is important for understanding impacts on well-being.

  • The article discusses three perspectives on how values relate to well-being: the healthy values perspective, person-environment congruency perspective, and goal attainment perspective.

  • It applies these perspectives to understand well-being in immigrants. From the healthy values perspective, emphasizing openness to change values may facilitate adaptation, while conservatism values could hinder it.

  • The person-environment congruency perspective suggests well-being is higher when the culture of origin and host culture have similar values, reducing conflicts. Value similarity also aids successful acculturation.

  • For immigrants, greater value similarity between family members reduces intrafamily conflicts from different acculturation paces. Adolescents adhering to original culture values experience better family functioning.

  • Each perspective has implications. The healthy values perspective suggests nurturing intrinsic values like autonomy. The goal attainment perspective means helping people fulfill important, attainable goals.

  • Career counselors can give tools for autonomous decisions or identify goals likely to succeed based on the client’s abilities and circumstances. Parents and teachers can encourage intrinsic motivation and support for relatedness, competence, autonomy.

Counselors and clients may identify goals for clients based on intelligence and aptitude tests, simulations, and clients’ past successful experiences. Counselors then encourage clients to focus on and pursue these plausible goals instead of less probable goals.

Societal institutions like education systems and parents can help people attain goals. Education systems should allow students to identify and follow their interests and aspirations. Parents can expose children to suitable experiences and help them develop values that suit their nature.

The person-environment congruency perspective suggests subjective well-being depends on the fit between a person’s values and the values of their environments. Finding an environment congruent with one’s intrinsic values is important for well-being, even if the values are truly intrinsic.

Career counseling aims to identify occupational environments congruent with a client’s characteristics, values, and goals. Counseling may help those valuing autonomy choose autonomous roles, and avoid highly structured roles.

Congruent environments allow intrinsic and extrinsic values to lead to well-being through social support, goal attainment opportunities, and shared values. People and societies use selection and socialization to seek and provide congruent environments through environment choice, value change, and environment shaping.

Here is a summary of the key points from the paper “Doing Better but Feeling Worse: The Paradox of Choice” by Barry Schwartz and Andrew Ward:

  • Modern society has greatly increased the number of choices people have in many areas of life compared to the past. This includes more options for goods and services as well as new areas where choice is now possible.

  • Having some choice is important for autonomy, well-being, and getting what we want out of life. However, the paper argues that an abundance of choices can become excessive and actually reduce well-being.

  • When faced with too many options, people often experience paralysis and stress in decision-making. With more choices comes more opportunities for regret over the alternatives not chosen.

  • Research cited in the paper found that increased choices can lead to both subjective and objective worse decisions. People presented with more choices were less satisfied with their selections.

  • The authors contend that complete freedom of choice is not optimal and can be debilitating. Some constraints on choices are needed to avoid overload and maximize well-being.

  • Suggestions are made for how individuals can mitigate the negative effects, like setting priorities to narrow options and seeking advice to simplify choices.

So in summary, the paper presents the paradox that while some choice is good, an overwhelming abundance of choices in modern society can actually decrease well-being rather than increase it as more options might suggest. Both constraints and strategies are needed to deal with this proliferation of choice.

The passage discusses how the range of choices available to consumers has expanded dramatically in recent decades across many domains of life. It provides examples of increased choice in areas like telecommunications, retirement planning, medical care, cosmetic procedures, work arrangements, relationships, and personal identity. While increased choice was thought to improve well-being through greater autonomy and self-determination, recent studies suggest the opposite may be true. Having more close social ties that bind people together, rather than liberate them with endless options, appears to correlate most strongly with increased happiness and life satisfaction. Some specific studies also found that when presented with too many choices, people actually felt demotivated and were less likely to choose or make a purchase. So greater choice does not always improve individual well-being as more choice can sometimes be overwhelming and undermine decision-making.

The study tested two groups of students who were given different sizes of chocolate arrays to sample from - one group had 6 chocolates and the other had 30 chocolates. The key results were that the group with only 6 chocolates to choose from reported being more satisfied with their tasting experience and were four times more likely to choose chocolate over cash as compensation for participating in the study.

This seems counterintuitive, as one would expect having more options (30 chocolates vs 6) to lead to a higher chance of finding something liked. However, people seem to find it difficult to ignore extra options and instead feel pressure to choose the “best” option when faced with more choices.

The study discusses the concepts of maximizing vs satisficing when making decisions. Maximizers try to find the absolute best option, while satisficers select the first option that meets an acceptable threshold. More choices can lead maximizers to feel they must optimize their selection rather than just be satisfied, which can increase regret if they do not pick the best option. The study found that maximizers reported greater unhappiness, depression, regret and social comparison behaviors compared to satisficers.

  • The study examined whether maximizers (people who aim to make the best possible choice) or satisficers (people who aim for good enough options) are happier with their choices and less prone to regret.

  • Maximizers were found to experience more regret than satisficers, both anticipated and post-decision regret. They considered more potential ways their choices could have turned out better.

  • Regret was a mediator for maximizers’ lower life satisfaction, optimism, and higher depression. Concern about regret drives maximizing behavior.

  • More options means more opportunities for regret as there may have been a better alternative. Maximizers feel they should find the best option to avoid regret.

  • Opportunity costs, or what was given up by not choosing other alternatives, loom larger with more options. People consider what each rejected option was best at.

  • Adaptation means satisfaction from choices diminish over time as one adjusts. Maximizers adaptation is slower as they constantly consider alternatives could have been better.

So in summary, numerous factors related to having more choices undermine well-being for maximizers, whereas satisficers are less affected by these issues. The quest for the best option induces more unhappiness and regret for maximizers.

  • The study looked at lottery winners, accident victims who became paralyzed, and the general population. Surprisingly, lottery winners were no happier than the general population despite their windfall, and accident victims rated themselves as happy despite significant life changes.

  • People expect adaptation to new positive experiences but ultimately feel disappointment as the excitement fades over time. This drives them to constantly seek new commodities and experiences for temporary pleasure gains in a never-ending “hedonic treadmill.”

  • High expectations, social comparison, a need for control, and tendencies toward learned helplessness, depression, and self-blame can exacerbate the issues caused by endless options and adaptation. As choices increase, expectations and standards rise accordingly, preventing lasting satisfaction. Comparing oneself to others also influences evaluations.

  • The proliferation of choices despite increasing autonomy has coincided with growing rates of depression, especially among youth, suggesting societal and individual factors like unrealistic expectations, an emphasis on individualism over community, and internalizing blame may be contributing factors above and beyond the effects of choice and adaptation alone. Maximizers in particular are more susceptible.

  • The passage discusses research showing that “maximizers” who aim to make the single best choice tend to be more prone to depression than “satisficers” who are willing to settle for good enough options.

  • Maximizers put more work into decisions, have higher expectations, and are more disappointed when choices do not meet those expectations. This pattern of disappointment and failure to meet high standards can contribute to depression.

  • Future research is needed to better understand the domains where people maximize versus satisfice, whether maximizers sometimes behave like satisficers for strategic reasons, and the origins of maximizing versus satisficing styles.

  • To mitigate the potential negative effects of increased choice, the passage recommends strategies like choosing when to choose, satisficing more and maximizing less, limiting thinking about opportunity costs, practicing gratitude, regretting less, controlling expectations, limiting social comparison, and learning to appreciate constraints. This can help simplify decision-making and increase satisfaction.

The passage discusses how having a vast number of choices, while offering freedom, can ultimately lead to distress and unhappiness. While people value having choices in areas they care about, the cumulative effect of many small choices throughout life traps people in a “tyranny of small decisions.” Even though people say yes to choice in each specific situation, the aggregation of all these choices results in a package that people may not actually want if considered as a whole. This tyranny of too many choices can lead to misery rather than liberation and satisfaction. The passage cites sources that discuss analysis and evidence of the paradox of choice - that having more choices available does not necessarily lead to greater well-being and happiness. Rules and limits on choice can free up mental resources and reduce decision fatigue.

  • Self-determination theory (SDT) distinguishes between types of motivation based on the reasons or goals that drive behavior. Some motivations are more autonomous/self-determined than others.

  • Autonomous motivation comes from internal interests and values, while controlled motivation comes from external pressures, demands or rewards.

  • SDT proposes a continuum of motivation from amotivation to intrinsic motivation. In between are four types of extrinsic motivation that vary in their level of autonomy.

  • External regulation is the least autonomous, driven by external rewards/punishments. Introjection is somewhat internal but still controlled, driven by ego/self-worth. Identification is more autonomous, involving consciously valuing an activity. Integration is the most autonomous extrinsic type, where an activity is fully assimilated with one’s values/needs.

  • More autonomous types of motivation are associated with better behavioral outcomes like persistence and performance, as well as better well-being. Factors that support versus undermine autonomous motivation are important to consider.

  • Self-determination theory posits that as children grow older, socialized behaviors tend to become regulated in a more autonomous fashion, as they become integrated into the self. However, this is not inevitable and can be disrupted by various social and environmental factors.

  • Integrated regulation is considered more autonomous than external or introjected regulation. Empirical research has shown positive outcomes linked to higher relative autonomy across diverse domains like academics, healthcare, relationships and more.

  • Cognitive evaluation theory focuses on the social factors that support vs undermine intrinsic motivation. Providing autonomy supports like choice, acknowledgment of perspective, and competence supports like feedback without control enhances intrinsic motivation. Contingent rewards and controlling behaviors undermine intrinsic motivation by reducing feelings of autonomy.

  • Autonomy supportive parenting and teaching styles have been shown to facilitate intrinsic motivation in children by supporting their autonomy, competence and relatedness needs. Relational support also tends to foster intrinsic motivation from a young age through development.

So in summary, SDT posits ways that social environment can either support or disrupt the internalization and integration of regulation, and emphasizes autonomy supports as key to fostering more self-determined, autonomous forms of motivation and behavior.

This summary focuses on supporting autonomy as key to fostering more autonomous forms of extrinsic motivation according to self-determination theory (SDT). Some key points:

  • SDT posits three basic psychological needs - competence, relatedness, and autonomy. Autonomy refers to feeling like the initiator of one’s own actions.

  • While intrinsic motivation involves inherent interest, most behaviors are extrinsically motivated due to external factors like social obligations.

  • Research shows contexts supporting competence, relatedness, and autonomy facilitates internalization and integration of extrinsic behaviors, making them feel self-endorsed.

  • Factors like autonomy-supportive parenting, empathetic teaching, and offering rationales for behaviors promote internalization versus external controls like rewards/punishments.

  • Studies provide evidence that autonomy-supportive contexts in areas like healthcare predict better treatment adherence and outcomes.

So in summary, the theory discusses how social environments can foster more autonomous forms of extrinsic motivation by supporting individuals’ basic psychological needs, particularly the need for autonomy. Autonomy-supportive contexts appear key to internalization and integration of behaviors driven by external factors.

The passage discusses how mindfulness can foster more autonomous self-regulation from within. It argues that in addition to social contextual factors, internal processes also influence autonomous motivation. Two ways attention is usually limited are its narrow focus and motivated selectivity biased toward ego protection. This compartmentalizes experience and hinders integration of self-aspects. However, attention can be modified. Research shows heightened awareness can interfere with automatic processes and override stereotypes. Mindfulness, defined as open awareness of present moments, can continually mediate between stimuli and responses, allowing for more autonomous functioning even in the face of external controls. By enhancing attention and awareness, mindfulness has potential to promote healthier, more self-endorsed behavior regulation from within.

  • Mindfulness refers to maintaining present-focused, non-judgmental awareness of one’s thoughts, feelings, and sensations. It has origins in Eastern philosophy and has been discussed in Western psychology as well.

  • Mindfulness enhances self-awareness by creating mental distance between oneself and the contents of consciousness. This allows for more autonomous choice in how to act.

  • Research found mindfulness is associated with greater openness to experience, emotional intelligence like clarity of feelings, and congruence between implicit and explicit emotions. This suggests mindfulness facilitates self-knowledge.

  • Studies also found trait and state mindfulness predicted more autonomous regulation of daily behavior. Mindfulness seemed to override the effects of implicit motivations on behavior and allow for self-endorsed choices.

  • Mindfulness is also associated with endorsing intrinsic life values over extrinsic ones, and intrinsic values predict better well-being. So mindfulness facilitates healthy self-regulation through values.

  • Mindfulness can be enhanced through training programs involving daily mindfulness practice, which are associated with benefits like improved well-being and health outcomes. More research is still needed on if it fosters more autonomous self-determination.

The chapter discusses how autonomous self-regulation of inner states and behavior leads to positive outcomes like healthy psychological functioning. Research shows that when people act autonomously, either intrinsically or through more internalized motivation, their well-being benefits.

Autonomy can be fostered both externally, through social supports, and internally through mindfulness. Studies examined whether inducing mindful states leads to more autonomous behavior. Given the relationship between dispositional/state mindfulness and autonomous functioning, mindfulness training may enhance behavioral regulation.

The chapter argues that mindfulness enhances self-knowledge and autonomous action, undermining past conditioning and external control of behavior. Mindfulness may help inoculate against social/cultural forces that inhibit choicefulness. In today’s world of ubiquitous messages seeking attention, mindfulness reflects on life energy expenditure.

Overall, the chapter demonstrates how autonomy and mindfulness interact to support healthy self-regulation from both internal and external sources. More research is still needed but mindfulness training may enhance autonomy. Both factors are important for well-being in contexts like relationships, health, work and beyond.

This summary provides references for sources related to the concept of “Self” and self-determination theory. The sources referenced include books, journal articles, and book chapters published between 1959-2003. Many of the references are related to intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, autonomy, mindfulness, motivation for behavior change, internalization of motivation, and psychological needs like competence and relatedness. The sources come from a variety of academic presses including University of Rochester Press, Guilford Press, Cambridge University Press, and others.

Here is a summary of the article:

  • The authors argue that it is possible to sustainably increase a person’s level of happiness, contrary to some theories that suggest happiness has a genetic set point or tends to adapt over time.

  • Three common arguments for why increasing happiness may be impossible are: 1) considerable evidence that happiness has a high genetic basis/set point, 2) personality traits related to happiness show long-term stability, 3) concept of hedonic adaptation where people quickly habituate to changes in circumstances.

  • However, the authors provide counterarguments, such as some successful interventions showing short-term increases in happiness. Long-term effects of depression interventions are also encouraging.

  • Their own model distinguishes genetic set point, positive circumstantial changes, and positive activity changes enacted by the person, arguing the latter can lead to sustainable gains.

  • Specific activities proposed to increase happiness long-term include regularly counting blessings, pursuing meaningful goals, and acts of kindness.

  • The authors discuss how to best design and implement interventions to maximize chances of sustainable happiness increases.

In summary, the article debates whether increases in happiness are possible long-term or if people revert to a set point, ultimately arguing sustainable gains are achievable through the right voluntary activities and lifestyle changes.

  • A trait like happiness can be elevated for a specific population under the right conditions, even if people maintain their same relative rankings compared to others.

  • Longitudinal studies have shown that consistently attaining personal goals over time can lead to sustained increases in well-being. Students who achieved their goals in the first semester of college experienced well-being gains, and those who continued successfully pursuing goals maintained those gains.

  • New activities, like achieving personal goals, can initially boost well-being and maintain it at the higher level if the person remains successful with those activities over the long-term. Consistently successful goal pursuit in college correlated with maintaining well-being gains throughout the four years.

  • The article presents a conceptual model that happiness is determined by three main factors: a genetically-determined set point, circumstantial life factors, and intentional activities. Circumstances provide temporary boosts that fade with adaptation, while intentional activities can sustainably increase well-being if varied and pursued consistently over time to counter adaptation.

  • Activities have more potential than circumstances to create sustained positive change and increase happiness over time for a few key reasons:

    • Activities tend to be more dynamic and varied in nature, producing a steady stream of rich experiences that circumstantial changes cannot match.
    • People adapt more quickly to changes in circumstances but not to new activities they take on.
  • A longitudinal study tested these predictions, finding that both positive activity changes and positive circumstantial changes predicted short-term increases in well-being. However, only positive activity changes predicted maintained gains in well-being over the long-term.

  • The potential for activities to fulfill psychological needs for competence and relatedness may explain why they have longer-lasting impacts on happiness. Circumstantial changes do not provide the same opportunities.

  • Two happiness-inducing interventions found that regularly committing random acts of kindness or counting blessings can sustainably boost well-being, consistent with the idea that activities have more lasting positive effects than circumstances alone.

  • The study consisted of two interventions to test if short-term happiness-enhancing activities could increase well-being.

  • The first intervention had students engage in a kind act like visiting a sick relative. Those who did this activity reported increased well-being compared to the no-treatment control group.

  • The second intervention had students engage in grateful thinking by counting blessings either once a week or three times a week. Those who did it once a week reported increased well-being, but not those who did it three times a week.

  • Future research on interventions should examine potential moderators of activity effects, such as person-activity fit, different types of effort needed, role of habits, social support, and cultural factors. Properly accounting for these moderators may help design more effective long-term interventions.

  • Key moderators include selecting activities well-matched to individual strengths, interests and values; balancing intrinsic motivation with effort needed for initiation and maintenance; understanding optimal timing and variations; leveraging social support systems; and turning effective activities into sustainable habits over time.

  • Repeatedly engaging in an activity can turn it into an unconscious habit that is done automatically without variation. This can lead to “hedonic adaptation” where the activity loses its ability to boost happiness over time.

  • However, not all habits are the same. Regularly initiating an activity, like going for a run daily, can still provide benefits if it helps a person consistently engage in that beneficial behavior. But doing the activity exactly the same way each time may lead to boredom and adaptation.

  • To avoid adaptation, people should mindfully vary how they do the activity - change the route, time of day, pace, etc. This can help prevent boredom and keep the activity novel and engaging. Paying attention to optimal timing is also important to sustain happiness effects.

  • Cultural norms may also impact how effectively certain happiness- boosting activities work. Activities that satisfy relatedness rather than competence needs may be more effective in collectivist cultures that value social connection over individual goals. More research is needed on cultural moderators.

  • Factors like autonomy support, demand effects of explicit happiness labeling, and person-activity fit all influence how well participants respond to interventions. Careful experimental design is needed to account for these contextual factors.

This article summarizes several key studies on subjective well-being and happiness:

  • Deci and Ryan (2000) discuss the “what” and “why” of human goal pursuits and the role of needs in determining motivation and behavior.

  • Diener et al. (1999) provide a review of three decades of research on subjective well-being, focusing on components like life satisfaction, positive affect, and negative affect.

  • Lykken and Tellegen (1996) discuss happiness as a stochastic (random) phenomenon based on both genetics and environment.

  • Lyubomirsky (2001) examines cognitive and motivational processes that influence individual differences in well-being.

  • Sheldon and Lyubomirsky (2004) argue that sustainable increases in happiness come more from changes in voluntary actions and behaviors rather than life circumstances.

  • Sheldon et al. (2003) discuss models of pursuing happiness through architecture of sustainable intentional activity change rather than passively hoping for improvements.

The article summarizes several influential studies on key topics in the positive psychology literature like self-determination theory, subjective well-being components, genetic/environmental influences, cognitive/motivational influences, and models of sustainably increasing happiness through voluntary behavior/activity changes rather than circumstance changes.

Here is a summary of the key points from the article:

  • Physical activity refers to any bodily movement that increases energy expenditure above the resting level, while exercise refers to structured physical activity aimed at maintaining or improving fitness.

  • Physical inactivity has become a major public health problem due to modern sedentary lifestyles, and is linked to numerous chronic diseases.

  • Regular physical activity can help both prevent mental illness and positively impact psychological well-being. It has four main psychological functions:

  1. Preventing mental health problems like depression and anxiety.

  2. Treating existing mental illness when used as a therapy.

  3. Improving quality of life for people with mental health issues.

  4. Enhancing psychological well-being in the general population.

  • There is strong evidence that physical activity reduces risks of diseases, controls weight, improves mood, promotes psychological well-being, and buffers stress. It can also prevent and treat depression and anxiety when used therapeutically.

  • Regular physical activity allows people to feel more confident, improves self-esteem through positive self-perceptions, and helps people persist in activity for continued mental and physical benefits.

So in summary, the article argues that regular physical activity has significant preventative, therapeutic and general well-being benefits according to positive psychology principles. It can help both individuals and communities survive and flourish.

  • Several large epidemiological studies have found an association between physical inactivity and increased risk of clinically defined depression. This suggests physical activity may play a preventative role against depression.

  • Meta-analyses have found moderate effect sizes for exercise as a treatment for depression, comparable to other psychotherapies. One study found exercise was as effective as antidepressant medication.

  • For people with mental disorders like schizophrenia, regular physical activity can improve quality of life and help people better cope with and manage their condition, even if they do not see clinical improvement in symptoms. It provides positive psychological effects.

  • Physical activity is associated with improved subjective well-being, mood, and affect. It reduces stress and improves self-esteem and self-perceptions. There is also some evidence it benefits sleep and cognitive performance.

  • For severe mental illnesses, even if full remission is not possible, improved quality of life through physical activity is still important. It gives people a sense of identity beyond just their illness.

In summary, there is persuasive evidence that regular physical activity plays an important preventative and therapeutic role for depression specifically, and can provide wider psychological benefits for mental health more generally.

  • Physical activity has been shown through randomized controlled trials and epidemiological studies to improve subjective well-being and mood. Both single bouts of exercise and longer-term exercise programs produce benefits.

  • Multiple studies have found a positive relationship between physical activity and subjective well-being, though not all groups benefit. Experimental trials also report small but consistent improvements in subjective well-being after exercise.

  • Meta-analyses show exercise can produce small improvements in mood, reductions in both negative and improvements in positive mood states. Effects are seen for both acute and chronic exercise.

  • Physical activity is associated with reduced anxiety. Both single exercise sessions and long-term training programs can lower trait and state anxiety. Effects range from small to moderate.

  • Exercise may act as a buffer against stress by reducing physiological and psychological reactivity to stressors and enhancing recovery. Effects tend to be stronger for randomized studies.

  • Physical activity promotes physical self-worth and body image. It can improve specific physical self-perceptions linked to better mental health and well-being. Global self-esteem may also increase for some people in some situations.

  • Meta-analyses show small to moderate effects of single exercise bouts on improving certain sleep parameters like sleep duration and quality. Regular physical activity also provides benefits.

  • Higher physical activity and fitness are linked to better cognitive performance, particularly on attention-demanding tasks, and reduced risk of cognitive impairment and dementia in older age. Small improvements in cognitive functioning have also been reported with exercise.

Here are the key points summarized from the passage:

  • Studies have found that physical activity can improve academic performance in youth. Moderate levels of physical education in schools do not negatively impact academic performance and provide health benefits.

  • The underlying mechanisms linking exercise to mental health are complex and not fully understood. Multiple biological, physiological and psychological factors likely interact in individual-specific ways.

  • A process-oriented approach acknowledges the diversity of triggers and individual circumstances. Different mechanisms may operate for different people at different times. Basic psychological needs like competence, autonomy and relatedness are commonly impacted by exercise and associated with well-being.

  • Getting people more physically active is challenging as belief in benefits often outpaces actual behavior change. Evidence-based strategies include point-of-decision prompts, community-wide campaigns, social support networks, personalized programs, and improved access to opportunities. Exercise counseling may also help individuals increase activity levels.

  • While a precise dose-response relationship remains unclear, current guidelines recommending 30 minutes of moderate activity most days are supported. Both aerobic and resistance exercise seem to provide benefits, and even short bouts of 10-15 minutes of walking can positively impact mood. Accumulated moderate activity may also contribute to improved psychological well-being.

  • Physical activity has potential benefits for mental health promotion and reducing social exclusion. It can enhance social outcomes like social interaction and feelings of community. However, this area remains under-researched.

  • Possible ways physical activity could address social determinants of health include reducing social exclusion through group activities, reducing crime through projects for at-risk youth, increasing family bonding through joint activities, building community solidarity, improving environments, and creating leisure opportunities.

  • However, most projects lack systematic evaluation of presumed social outcomes. Physical activity alone is unlikely to solve issues - it may help as part of broader initiatives addressing crime, education, employment and community development.

  • Physical activity participation embodies positive psychology principles. It can provide feelings of enjoyment, empowerment and being energized from full-body motion. While benefits are complex, regular physical activity generally enhances well-being across the lifespan.

  • In summary, while more research is still needed, physical activity holds potential as an ally to mental health promotion and community development by addressing various social determinants of health when implemented as part of wider-ranging initiatives. A variety of activity types and intensities should be recommended based on individual preferences and goals.

Here are the key points from the sources provided:

  • Regular physical activity and exercise are associated with improved mental health, cognitive functioning, well-being and quality of life. Numerous studies and reviews have found links between exercise and reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety.

  • Physical activity can enhance mood in the short term. Even short walks have been found to temporarily improve affect. Both acute and chronic exercise are linked to anxiety reduction.

  • Exercise may help improve self-esteem and self-perceptions by facilitating positive physical self-concepts. It can also satisfy intrinsic needs of competence and autonomy.

  • Risk of cognitive impairment and dementia may be reduced in older adults who are more physically active. Some studies show exercise benefits cognitive functioning and brain health.

  • Social relationships formed through group exercise and activities can also benefit psychological well-being in older adults in particular.

  • Factors like personal characteristics, environment and contextuality influence the psychological impacts of exercise. Not all studies findings identical benefits.

  • Barriers to physical activity adoption and maintenance include environment/infrastructure issues and a lack of motivation. Changing social norms also presents a challenge.

  • Public health guidelines recommend regular aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities to confer health benefits, including mental health benefits. However, more research is still needed.

Here is a summary of the key points from the selected articles:

  • Physical activity has been shown to reduce the risk of subsequent depression in older adults (Strawbridge et al., 2002). Regular exercise was associated with a lower likelihood of developing depression later in life.

  • Physical activity can help reduce anxiety and stress (Taylor, 2000). Engaging in exercise has psychological benefits and can improve mood.

  • In a report by the U.S. Surgeon General (1996), physical activity was found to have significant health benefits and reduce the risk of various diseases. Regular exercise promotes health and well-being.

  • A study in Germany found that physical inactivity was linked to higher rates of depression in the community (Weyerer, 1992). Lack of exercise was associated with increased depression.

  • Acute bouts of exercise can improve sleep quality and duration (Youngstedt et al., 1997). Working out prior to bedtime seems to facilitate better sleep.

In summary, the articles provide evidence that physical activity and exercise have wide-ranging mental and physical health benefits. They reduce the risks of depression, anxiety, stress and diseases. Lack of exercise is conversely linked to poorer health outcomes like increased depression.

The Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory (ZTPI) is a widely used and validated instrument for measuring time perspective across three temporal dimensions - past, present, and future. It identifies five predominant time perspectives: Future, Past-Positive, Past-Negative, Present-Hedonistic, and Present-Fatalistic. Research using the ZTPI has generated profiles characterizing individuals high on each time perspective factor. Future-oriented individuals focus on goals and consequences. Past-Positive considers traditions and relationships important. Past-Negative dwells on negative past experiences. Present-Hedonistic lives for pleasure in the moment without consideration of consequences. Present-Fatalistic feels outcomes are outside of personal control. Excessive orientation towards Past-Negative and Present-Fatalistic perspectives is linked to depressive symptoms and lack of adaptability, while Present-Hedonism puts one at risk for addiction and failure due to short-term thinking. The ZTPI provides a reliable and validated way to measure individual differences in time perspective across multiple dimensions.

  • The Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory (ZTPI) has found correlations between time perspective (TP) and various attitudes, values, behaviors, and life outcomes. For example, future orientation is linked to higher educational achievement and greater risk-taking, while present hedonism is associated with substance abuse.

  • TP can also differ across cultures, regions, and levels of individualism vs collectivism. Protestant cultures tend to be more future-oriented than Catholic cultures, for example.

  • An optimal or balanced TP blends aspects of past-positive, present-hedonic, and future orientation depending on circumstances. This flexibility is argued to support psychological and physical well-being better than a single-minded temporal focus.

  • Measures have attempted to capture a balanced TP integrating elements of continuity, positivity toward time, and temporal awareness and structure. Self-actualizing personalities are said to demonstrate “time competence” through balanced temporal perspectives.

  • While some studies link present orientation or optimism to well-being metrics, the relationship between TP and well-being is inconsistent in research. A balanced, flexible TP may best support well-being by allowing an adaptive temporal mindset. However, more definitive evidence is still needed.

In summary, this discusses research establishing connections between TP and various attitudes/behaviors, comparisons across cultures/regions, arguments for an optimally balanced TP, and mixed evidence for how TP relates to well-being. The key idea is that flexibility in temporal perspective depending on circumstances may be most adaptive.

The passage discusses the relationship between time perspective (TP) and well-being. It notes that most literature finds positive correlations between future orientation measures and well-being. A focus on the future is seen as fundamental to well-being and optimism. Higher levels of future orientation are linked to greater perceived control, efficacy, long-term goals, and aspects of well-being. By contrast, higher present orientation correlates with less control, negative affect, distress, and hopelessness.

The ability to be future-oriented is argued to be important for development as it allows possibility, agency, responsibility, and choice. However, an optimal balance between past, present and future perspectives is stressed as important. Few studies look at relationships between balanced TP measures and well-being specifically. More research is needed using valid, reliable and multidimensional measures of both balanced TP and well-being. Applications of TP concepts in clinical, occupational and time management interventions are also discussed.

The concept of balanced time perspective (TP) has potential benefits for clinical psychology and organizational contexts. For individuals, having a balanced TP can facilitate finding meaning and connections between past, present and future. This contributes to a sense of continuity and helps with processes like aging and end of life.

In organizations, time management trainings often don’t lead to sustained changes because they don’t address underlying psychological factors like workers’ TP profiles and associated cognitive biases. Training focused on developing a balanced TP may help reduce stress and find a better work-life balance. Achieving a balanced TP on a personal level can increase happiness, meaning, involvement in life, and ability to fully experience different temporal zones like enjoying present moments and planning for the future. The concept of balanced TP offers a framework for interventions across psychology and ways to pursue an optimally-functioning life.

Here are the key points about the “balance theory of wisdom” discussed in the chapter:

  • The theory defines wisdom as the application of tacit and explicit knowledge to balance intrapersonal, interpersonal, and extrapersonal interests over short- and long-term goals to achieve adaptation, shaping, or selection of environments in service of a common good.

  • Important elements are balance among multiple interests, consequences, and environmental responses based on one’s value system. Values determine what constitutes a common good and weightings of interests.

  • Tacit knowledge plays a role by allowing appreciation of situational nuances beyond rules to flexibly achieve goals.

  • Intrapersonal interests affect only the individual, interpersonal involve others, and extrapersonal affect wider groups. Balancing these interests over short and long term is part of wise decision making.

  • The chapter argues this theory provides a framework for integrating cognitive and moral objectives in education by fostering both critical thinking and character development centered around wise judgment.

Here are the key long-term objectives mentioned in the passage:

  • Applying relevant values and knowledge, together with considering multiple interests and consequences, must lead to choosing a particular behavior. This draws on the idea of balancing adaptation, shaping, and selection of environments.

  • Wisdom is oriented toward action that balances interests over the long term, not just an intellectual exercise.

  • The balance theory framework can help evaluate decisions by considering all factors like interests, consequences, and environmental responses over the long term. For example, a decision may score higher on short-term interests but lower on long-term consequences.

  • A wise action requires balancing intrapersonal interests over the long term, including resolving tension between emotional and cognitive appeals. Behaviors like impulsiveness can be reduced through self-management techniques over the long run.

So in summary, the key long-term objectives mentioned are taking multiple long-term interests, consequences, and environmental factors into account to make wise decisions and take wise actions that achieve balance over the long run, not just short-term gains.

The passage summarizes and explains how Sternberg’s theory of wisdom was used to guide the design of a middle school curriculum intended to help students develop their ability to make wise judgments.

Some key points:

  • The goal was not to directly teach wisdom, but rather provide contexts for students to develop the cognitive and affective processes underlying wise decision-making.

  • These include engaging in reflective, dialogical, and dialectical thinking through classroom activities and assignments.

  • Reflective thinking involves awareness, monitoring, and regulation of cognitive and emotional processes. Activities aim to help students explore their values and learn metacognitive strategies.

  • Dialogical thinking requires considering multiple perspectives, and is promoted through discussion of different viewpoints.

  • Dialectical thinking emphasizes integrating opposing views through a thesis-antithesis-synthesis process, to arrive at more complex understandings.

  • The teacher’s role is to scaffold these kinds of thinking through design of instruction, discussions, and assignments that require students to construct their own understandings across content areas.

So in summary, the theory guided a curriculum aimed at having students actively develop the thinking skills of reflection, considering multiple perspectives, and integrating opposites, seen as important for making wise judgments.

  • Teachers should look for opportunities both in and outside the classroom to model and encourage wise thinking and decision-making in students. This could include using real-life conflict situations as teaching examples.

  • It’s important for teachers to recognize and praise good judgments made by students to reinforce wise behaviors.

  • Students need to experience that wise thinking can be achieved and leads to better outcomes. Creating a classroom community where wisdom is practiced is important.

  • Teaching for wisdom integrates intellectual and socio-moral development, unlike approaches that focus solely on critical thinking skills or character development.

  • Specific curriculum examples are provided that employ reflective, dialogical and dialectical thinking to develop wisdom based on the balance theory of wisdom.

  • Activities involve applying concepts like historical inquiry methods, generating personal maxims, considering different perspectives, and reconciling opposing viewpoints.

  • The goal is to help students develop intellectual abilities, ethical values, and competencies integral to wisdom through cognitive apprenticeship and group/paired work.

Here is a summary of the two main points:

  1. The British-American conflict involved two opposing positions on the issues of representation, taxation without representation, and the authority of Parliament over the colonies. The British asserted authority over the colonies and the right to tax them, while the Americans argued they should have representation in Parliament if taxed and that Parliament had no authority over them.

  2. The instructional activity has students discuss the notion of compromise to resolve the conflict. They are asked to synthesize the opposing perspectives of the British and Americans and then propose their own resolutions to the conflict. This allows students to practice considering multiple viewpoints on an issue and to recognize that historical questions can be answered differently at different times.

The key opposing positions were around representation, taxation without representation, and the authority of Parliament over the colonies. The British asserted authority and taxation rights while the Americans argued for representation and no Parliament authority without it. The activity then has students discuss compromise and propose resolutions by synthesizing the opposing views, practicing considering multiple perspectives on an issue.

  • Positive psychology emerged as an antithesis to the traditional focus of psychology on mental disorders and deviance. However, introductory psychology texts and curricula remain heavily centered on examining the negative aspects of human behavior and experience.

  • The core domains covered in introductory psych (methodology, biological bases, cognition, social/culture, development) have evolved over time but still emphasize understanding problems more than strengths.

  • Textbooks play a role in focusing teaching on negative psychology due to the vast scientific literature supporting concepts like disorders, compared to newer areas like positive psych.

  • A survey of introductory text glossaries found few terms related to positive psych even in chapters where it would be relevant, like therapy, social psych, personality, and motivation/emotion. Terms primarily reflect psychoanalytic concepts or problems like aggression and prejudice.

  • The author argues this textbook and curricular emphasis on negative aspects almost requires teaching intro psych from a negative psychology perspective rather than incorporating the growing study of the positive as well.

So in summary, the article examines how introductory psych remains centered on the negative due to textbook and scientific literature biases, despite the emergence of positive psychology as a field of study.

  • Traditional introductory psychology courses tend to focus overwhelmingly on negative psychology, the disease/illness model, and concepts like brain injuries, disorders, and controversial psychological studies. This leaves little room for coverage of positive psychology concepts like flow, optimism, and human strengths.

  • Positive psychology is better covered in upper-level and graduate courses that are specifically devoted to the topic. These allow for a more comprehensive and in-depth examination of topics in the field.

  • However, it is still important to introduce positive psychology concepts in introductory courses as well. Doing so provides balance and gives students a more complete picture of human experience where positive and negative interact.

  • Some challenges of including positive psychology in intro courses are that curriculums are already full, established concepts focus on negative psychology, and exams/licensing emphasize those established concepts.

  • However, the benefits of exposure to positive psychology include developing students’ critical thinking skills, knowledge of wellness promotion, and reinforcing effective teaching practices for educators. Including some positive psychology can be done without compromising foundations of the field.

So in summary, while positive psychology is better served through dedicated upper-level courses, the passage argues it is still worthwhile and beneficial to introduce concepts from the field in introductory psychology courses to provide a more balanced perspective for students.

  • Teaching positive psychology concepts in introductory psychology courses can promote mental well-being and prevent illness, as opposed to just treating problems after they arise. Studies show techniques like optimism training can significantly reduce depression in adolescents.

  • Students should learn to evaluate scientific studies with critical thinking, separating dubious claims from validated ones, especially regarding concepts like happiness, money and attractiveness influencing well-being.

  • Positive psychology focuses on building individual strengths like courage, love and perseverance, as well as civic virtues. These goals align with what educators aim to instill in students to help them thrive.

  • Positive psychology provides insights to help with motivational issues in teaching. Teachers can consider students’ optimism, goal-setting, achievements comparisons, and flow experiences when planning lessons.

  • Positive psychology can be introduced by infusing concepts across an existing curriculum or through a dedicated unit, without requiring major changes. This exposes students to cutting-edge areas and where the field is headed.

  • In 2000, Martin Seligman helped launch the positive psychology movement by convening the first Positive Psychology Teaching Task Force meeting. This group aimed to introduce positive psychology concepts into high school and college curriculums.

  • The three pillars of positive psychology outlined at this meeting were positive subjective experience, positive individuals, and positive institutions.

  • A major goal was to create introductory psychology lesson plans that incorporated positive psychology, in order to expose students earlier to this perspective.

  • Pioneering researchers in positive psychology like Snyder, Diener, and Csikszentmihalyi had been developing concepts for decades prior, though Seligman is credited with championing the field as APA president.

  • The unit plan developed from this meeting was well-received and adopted by many high school and college instructors. It helped establish positive psychology as a recognized area within introductory psychology courses.

  • However, challenges remain in fitting positive psychology content into the already full curriculums for intro and high school psych courses. Creative approaches are needed to supplement rather than take away from other material.

So in summary, the early positive psychology movement focused on introducing its concepts through teaching, established its three pillars, and started gaining recognition in introductory courses, but implementation challenges still need creative solutions.

The passage discusses the challenge of motivating unmotivated students and proposes that positive psychology can help provide teachers with tools to address this issue. It argues teachers are trained to teach content but not motivation.

Research shows teachers’ optimism can impact students, but more research is needed. Early studies found optimism training for teachers increased their optimism and a future study will examine if this impacts student achievement.

Stand-alone positive psychology lessons have also been successful, like the Penn Optimism Program which reduced student depression. A new program infuses positive psychology into an English curriculum.

The passage then discusses how positive psychology could be integrated not just in intro psych but throughout the humanities curriculum. While established curriculums should not be discarded, the themes of triumph and resilience in literature and history could be emphasized more to provide balance. Positive role models could also be highlighted.

In conclusion, positive psychology has the potential to revolutionize psychology teaching and education more broadly by bringing a new focus on optimal functioning in addition to psychopathology. Teachers are well-placed to communicate these ideas.

Here is a summary of the key sources provided:

  • Myers in modules (6th ed.). New York: Worth. - This appears to be a textbook on psychology titled “Psychology: Myers in modules” by David G. Myers, published in 6th edition by Worth Publishers in New York.

  • Seligman, M. E. P. (1998). Learned optimism: How to change your mind and your life (2nd ed.). New York: Pocket Books. - A book by Martin Seligman titled “Learned Optimism” published in 2nd edition by Pocket Books in New York.

  • Seligman, M. E. P., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology: An introduction. American Psychologist, 55, 5 –14. - An article introducing positive psychology published in the American Psychologist journal.

  • Seligman, M. E. P., Reivich, K., Jaycox, L., & Gillham, J. (1995). The optimistic child: A proven program to safeguard children against depression and build lifelong resilience. New York: Harper Perennial. - A book about developing optimism in children published by Harper Perennial in New York.

The other sources provided were conference presentations, journal articles, or book chapters discussing topics related to positive psychology, teaching psychology, attribution theory, explanatory styles, hope, resilience, intrinsic motivation, and happiness.

  • Positive psychology aims to study positive experiences like happiness, well-being, flow and strengths rather than solely focusing on distress and pathology.

  • It aims to help ordinary lives improve and thrive, not just treating illness or problems.

  • Common misunderstandings include equating it with positive thinking or viewing absence of illness as sufficient for health.

  • Mainstream psychology literature has tended to omit studies of positive topics like high achievement and focus more on disorders.

  • Teaching positive psychology includes experiential exercises like remembering inspiring movies or doing mindfulness activities.

  • Drawing on students’ own life experiences can motivate scientific exploration of positive topics through reflection on what intrigued them personally.

  • Brief biographies are given of prominent positive psychologists and what inspired their work based on their own life experiences and observations.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

The passage discusses positive psychology’s perspective on upward social comparisons (comparisons to people superior to oneself). While positive psychology authors recognize that such comparisons can lead to dissatisfaction through envy or unrealistic expectations, the passage argues this isn’t the whole story. Downward comparisons are encouraged to foster reasonable expectations and gratitude, but upward comparisons also play an important role in modeling, mentoring and teaching. Throwing them out would mean discarding research in these areas.

The passage notes there are nuances differentiating jealousy from admiration. While popular positive psychology works cite inspirational figures, the authors’ conclusions seem to implicitly understand these nuances without fully exploring them. The passage aims to rescue upward comparisons’ role in relationships, education and work by distinguishing unhealthy and healthy varieties. Upward comparisons need not always breed dissatisfaction and can instead stimulate person growth when placed in a supportive context.

  • Past research on social comparisons focused on it as a source of information about one’s own performance or as a way to regulate self-esteem. More recent research looks at comparisons as a way to self-improve.

  • Upward comparisons can have positive effects like inspiration and learning if the target is attainable and similarities are emphasized. Downward comparisons are generally used to regulate affect and involve little concern for the target.

  • Reflecting glory from associating with successful others can boost self-esteem. Reducing importance of the domain can also make upward comparisons less threatening.

  • The mutability-by-distinctiveness model finds upward comparisons lead to self-improvement if one’s self-image is malleable and the target’s qualities are emphasized over their individual distinctiveness.

  • Positive psychology can benefit from focusing on utilizing beneficial upward comparisons to foster skills, optimism, resilience and adaptive relating. This involves assimilating information from superior targets into one’s self-image rather than contrasting or avoiding comparisons.

  • Elements of positive upward comparisons include focusing on performance information, having an assimilation versus contrast mindset, and emphasizing similarities and attainability versus differences and competition. Specific domains and social structures can also encourage beneficial comparisons.

The passage discusses four elements that can contribute to making upward comparisons (comparing oneself to someone better off) a positive experience rather than a negative one:

  1. Having a mutable self-image, meaning believing one’s abilities and traits can change with effort rather than being fixed. This allows one to see upward comparisons as opportunities for growth rather than evidence of intrinsic inferiority.

  2. Having a nuanced understanding of the comparison target, so their advantages seem attainable rather than stemming from an inscrutable quality. Knowing them personally helps with this.

  3. Choosing an appropriate target whose situation is similar enough for one to envision closing the gap, but different enough to provide useful information.

  4. Choosing valued domains where progress is gradual rather than dependent on absolute outcomes, and where skills can continually improve to match new challenges. Intrinsically motivating domains are better.

The passage advocates focusing on specific behaviors and skills of the target rather than abstract outcomes like salary, cultivating an open mindset focused on learning over evaluation, and choosing domains with a wide range of skill levels. Brief interventions can help cultivate a growth mindset conducive to positive upward comparison.

This section discusses different techniques for making upward social comparisons in a constructive way. It focuses on ways to manipulate attentional focus and cognitions to promote learning from superior others.

Some key techniques mentioned include selectively attending to similarities between oneself and superior targets, focusing on specific behaviors/techniques rather than personalities, and engaging in absorbing tasks to achieve a state of flow where comparisons can occur automatically. It also distinguishes between using heroes/role models for inspiration versus interacting with teachers for concrete skill development.

The discussion then moves to applying these principles in contexts like school, work, and relationships. In school, it promotes the idea of a mutable self-concept so students see their abilities as changeable through effort. In work, it emphasizes learning from colleagues by focusing on specific skills. In relationships, it suggests cultivating appreciation for each other’s strengths to facilitate mutual upward comparisons.

Overall, the main idea is that carefully controlling attentional and cognitive processes can allow upward comparisons to feel inspiring rather than intimidating, fostering improvement and learning from those who excel in important domains. Both conscious manipulation and automatic processes have a role to play in making comparisons constructive.

Here are the key points about grades, standardized tests, and ability grouping:

  • Grades and test scores are commonly used to group students by perceived ability level, but this can ultimately limit educational and career opportunities if students are stuck in lower tracks.

  • Ability praise like “you’re very smart” can reinforce a fixed mindset, while effort praise like “you worked hard” encourages a growth mindset where students see intelligence as malleable.

  • Grades should be less final by allowing students to correct work and review material. Exposure to peers who initially struggled but later mastered material can also help.

  • Cooperative learning is generally more effective than individual or competitive approaches. Students benefit from learning strategies from each other and gaining a deeper understanding of peers’ approaches.

  • Comparisons based solely on grades are not very informative and can encourage contrast effects. More detailed information about peers’ strategies, habits, and accomplishments would enable students to learn from higher-performing classmates.

  • Reducing fear and anxiety in the classroom, such as through an incremental view of intelligence, can make students more open to upward comparisons rather than defensive downward ones. Grades should not be final punishments that students dread.

  • Having a mutable self-image with multiple professional identities (e.g. changing jobs/fields) allows for more comparisons that pose less threat to self-evaluation. Comparisons across different professions are less meaningful than direct peer comparisons.

  • Maintaining diverse interests and roles prevents any one specialized job from limiting one’s self-image. Multiple domains provide alternative areas for self-affirmation if inferior in one domain.

  • Mentorship relationships can facilitate positive upward comparisons by increasing understanding of successful others and observing their techniques closely. This provides a richercomparison than just observing performance levels.

  • Appropriate comparison measures focus on domain-specific skills and efforts rather than simple metrics like salary. Comparison domains should relate to personal fulfillment rather than just work performance.

  • Upward comparisons in relationships require differentiation if improvement is unlikely. Emphasizing differences in histories/roles/opportunities reduces implied attainability. For closer comparisons, elaborating minor differences or developing new interests/skills can also help.

  • The passage discusses how social comparisons with friends can be beneficial or harmful, depending on the nature of the comparison.

  • Harmful comparisons are “information-poor” and directly measure things like wealth or status in an unidimensional way, fostering competition.

  • Beneficial comparisons involve finding niches that don’t directly compete, allowing each person to achieve mastery in different fields without direct comparisons. This increases cohesion.

  • Similarities with friends are also important for close relationships. Beneficial comparisons can involve admiring strengths like devotion, vision or skills that friends possess rather than just outcomes like wealth or status.

  • Similarities can also come from identifying deeper character traits that underlie a friend’s achievements, which are more attainable forms of comparison than surface-level outcomes.

  • Specialization in social networks and finding ways to value each person’s contributions can increase cohesion while reducing direct status competitions. The key is focusing on learning and improvement rather than outcomes.

Here is a summary of the key points about s’ upward comparison tendency and its beneficial impact on performance from the sources provided:

  • S’s tendency for upward social comparison, comparing oneself to those who are better off, can have beneficial effects on performance and motivation under certain conditions (Mussweiler, 2001; Lockwood & Kunda, 1997).

  • Upward comparisons allow people to identify successful strategies and behaviors used by better performers that they can emulate to improve their own performance (Lockwood & Kunda, 1997). This helps people set goals to close the gap between their current abilities and those of the upward comparison target.

  • However, overly salient upward comparisons can undermine inspiration and motivation if they make people’s own abilities seem inferior and induce negative affect (Lockwood & Kunda, 1999). The impact of comparisons depends on factors like how accessible and attainable the upward comparison target seems.

  • Role models only inspire better performance in the domain being modeled if they seem attainably better rather than unattainably exceptional (Lockwood et al., 2002). Comparing to attainable targets allows people to connect their current abilities to what is possible with effort.

So in summary, s’ tendency for upward social comparison can benefit performance by identifying strategies to emulate, but only if the comparison targets seem attainably better rather than unmatched; this maintains positive motivation and inspiration rather than inducing negative affect. The impact depends on factors affecting how the comparison is framed.

  • The chapter focuses on the concept of job-related well-being, which includes both psychological and physical health in the workplace. This goes beyond just the absence of illness to promoting positive mental and physical states.

  • Warr (1987) identified key aspects of well-being including pleasure/displeasure, anxiety vs comfort, and depression vs enthusiasm. They also identified related concepts like self-esteem, coping ability, goal-directedness, proactivity, and balance.

  • Transformational leadership has four main components: idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration. These behaviors have the potential to promote employee well-being.

  • Idealized influence involves leaders acting ethically rather than expediently and building trust. Inspirational motivation inspires employees to achieve more. Intellectual stimulation challenges employees’ assumptions to build confidence. Individual consideration provides empathy, care and development support.

  • The chapter hypothesizes that transformational leadership can positively impact both psychological well-being and physical health/safety at work through these four leadership behaviors and components. But more research is still needed on the specific links to well-being.

The passage proposes that transformational leadership has the potential to enhance a leader’s well-being through improving relationships with followers. Specifically, when leaders gain trust from followers due to their leadership behaviors, and experience care and consideration in return, it can increase their well-being levels.

It suggests several potential psychological mechanisms that may underlie this relationship. Transformational leadership may improve followers’ self-efficacy, trust in management, ability to find meaning in work, and identification with their work and leader. Each of these in turn could positively impact well-being. However, the relationship between transformational leadership and leader well-being remains an untested proposition requiring empirical validation.

  • Transformational leadership is proposed to indirectly impact employee well-being through four key mechanisms: self-efficacy, trust in management, meaningful work, and organizational/occupational identity.

  • Self-efficacy refers to one’s belief in their ability to perform. Trust in management is the belief in one’s leader. Meaningful work is the sense of making a valuable contribution. Identity refers to a sense of belonging to an important collective (organization or occupation).

  • These mechanisms are likely interrelated. For example, high self-efficacy could lead to deriving meaning from work, and identification could manifest as trust in management.

  • While the model proposes links between the mechanisms and well-being, the specific links are not depicted. It is likely some mechanisms are more strongly linked to certain well-being indicators.

  • Future research needs more rigorous longitudinal designs combining multiple levels of analysis to rule out alternative explanations. Exploring transformational leadership’s effects on group-level constructs and emergent informal leaders could provide insights.

  • In summary, the model proposes transformational leadership indirectly impacts employee well-being through increasing self-efficacy, trust, meaningful work experience, and organizational/occupational identity.

  • Future research on transformational leadership and well-being could explore more positive aspects of well-being broadly, rather than just focusing on mental health. It could distinguish between job-related well-being versus general life satisfaction.

  • Researching how job well-being spills over into life satisfaction could be important for positive psychology and organization perspectives.

  • Given evidence that transformational leadership is trainable, an important focus should be improving well-being of young workers, as the workforce increasingly comprises youth and TL has been shown valid for them. Better well-being could improve future organizational effectiveness.

  • A less researched group is “dirty workers” in stigmatized roles like janitors, prison guards, sex workers etc. who must cope with negative stigma. TL may have an even stronger positive effect on well-being in these marginalized groups.

  • Continuing to study work and well-being through a positive psychology lens can deepen our knowledge and allow employees and leaders to truly flourish in their work.

Here is a summary of the key points about strengths-based development from the provided text:

  • Strengths-based development focuses on drawing out innate talents and strengths, rather than trying to fix weaknesses. Many great managers focus on identifying individual talents and managing to people’s strengths.

  • However, most people globally believe the important is knowing weaknesses to improve them, not focusing on strengths. So strengths-based thinking is still a minority view.

  • Key terms include: Strength is the ability to provide consistent excellent performance in an activity. Talent themes are the innate tendencies that lead to strengths with practice.

  • The Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment is introduced as helping hundreds of thousands identify their top 5 talent themes.

  • Examples are given of strengths-based interventions having positive impacts, like increases in engagement and performance.

  • Future research directions discussed include more fully evaluating the outcomes and applications of strengths-based development approaches.

In summary, the passage outlines the theory and evidence for a strengths-based approach to development, as an alternative to a weaknesses focus, and introduces relevant concepts and assessment tools, as well as examples of applications and need for more research.

  • Talents are naturally recurring patterns of thought, feeling or behavior that can be productively applied. They exist naturally within a person, unlike skills and knowledge which must be acquired.

  • Between ages 3-15, the brain organizes itself by strengthening synaptic connections that are used often and weakening those used less frequently. After age 15, a person’s unique network of connections does not significantly change.

  • Strengths-based development involves 3 stages: 1) Identifying talents 2) Integrating talents into one’s self-identity 3) Changing behaviors to align with talents.

  • Talents can be identified through spontaneous reactions, yearnings, rapid learning, and satisfaction from particular activities.

  • Gallup’s StrengthsFinder assessment measures patterns of behavior to identify 34 talent themes. It provides a starting point for self-discovery.

  • Studies show strengths-based development can increase productivity, self-confidence, life choices, employee engagement, and positive psychological capacities like hope and well-being.

Recent studies have explored the impacts of strengths-based development interventions in education and workplace settings. In education, a 4-year study of a high school intervention found that students who received individualized feedback on their strengths had fewer absences, fewer tardies, and higher GPAs compared to a control group. A college study also found higher first-semester GPAs and course completion rates for students who participated in a strengths coaching program.

In the workplace, a study of a warehouse that implemented a strengths-based team building program found a 6% increase in productivity within a year. Another study of work teams that received more intensive coaching saw a 9% productivity increase in just 6 months.

Research also links strengths-based development to improved employee engagement, which is positively associated with outcomes like productivity, customer satisfaction, and retention. A meta-analysis found that employees having opportunities to use their strengths leads to 38-44% higher success rates. A study of companies using strengths development found higher engagement gains compared to a control group, translating to over $1000 in annual productivity per employee. One hospital that implemented strengths-based team building saw employee engagement and satisfaction scores rise significantly while turnover declined by 50%.

  • Strengths-based development in faith-based communities was associated with increased congregation engagement. Members who invited others were more likely to be using their strengths.

  • Strengths-based interventions can increase positive psychological factors like hope, subjective well-being, and confidence.

  • A study showed business students’ hope increased after a strengths intervention. Another study at a hospital found hope increased more for employees who received strengths feedback.

  • The hospital study also found increased life satisfaction for employees who participated more in the strengths program.

  • A study with students found increased confidence after a strengths-based class involving identification and using strengths.

  • While several studies show impacts, more research is still needed, including longitudinal studies, testing different interventions, and addressing potential biases. Future research should continue expanding our understanding of strengths-based development.

Here is a summary of the relationships between strengths-based development and other positive psychology/organizational behavior constructs like resilience:

  • Resilience refers to the ability to overcome challenges and adapt well in the face of adversity or stress. Strengths-based development is linked to resilience because identifying and using one’s character strengths helps build confidence, self-esteem, coping skills, and a sense of purpose - all of which facilitate resilience.

  • The Pygmalion effect is the phenomenon where expectations influence performance - if leaders expect subordinates to perform well, they tend to perform better. Strengths-based development could enhance the Pygmalion effect by identifying strengths and setting expectations of success aligned with those strengths.

  • Future research should directly compare strengths-based development programs to other approaches like the Pygmalion effect to better understand their relative impact. Advanced statistical analysis of existing programs could help establish causal relationships and identify mediating factors between strengths and outcomes.

  • Overall, strengths-based development is considered a core component of positive psychology because it focuses on amplifying individual and team capabilities rather than merely fixing weaknesses. Continued research is still needed but it shows promise for driving performance outcomes in education, business, and other organizational settings.

  • The passage discusses how work is important for well-being and can provide benefits like identity, social interaction, purpose and engagement. Certain job characteristics like control, variety and skill use positively impact well-being.

  • It examines various organizational practices aimed at improving individual, group and organizational well-being and performance. At the individual level, this includes job redesign, motivation enhancement through rewards and intrinsic motivation, building confidence through mastery experiences, and personal development training.

  • Research suggests job satisfaction correlates moderately with job performance. Job variety interventions aim to enhance satisfaction but need to consider expenses. Intrinsic motivation is important for creative jobs and free time/project grants can boost it. Control and feedback also enhance motivation.

  • Confidence or self-efficacy positively impacts goals and performance, and can be developed through modeling, positive feedback and reframing negative experiences. Hope may also benefit those in stressful occupations, though more research is needed.

  • Different practices may be effective depending on personalities, sectors and cultures. The goal is to find an appropriate balance between individual and organizational well-being and performance.

  • Alist staff are concerned with developing psychological and interpersonal skills in individuals, such as listening, communication, and understanding group processes.

  • Many managers complete personality assessments and participate in role plays to help them relate better to staff.

  • Developing individuals professionally is now expected, such as committing to ongoing training. Annual reviews include individual development plans.

  • Training focuses on competencies, though critics argue skills don’t always transfer between situations.

  • Attention is also given to strengths-based development rather than just fixing weaknesses. Identifying natural talents and building on them can boost performance.

  • Assessments like MBTI help people understand cognitive preferences and differences between individuals to improve team dynamics.

  • Teams are important to organizations, and team-building aims to develop relationships, commitment and group cohesion to enhance performance and well-being. Interpersonal and group skills are important for effective team functioning.

The passage discusses positive aspects of group process training and organizational structures/culture that can promote well-being.

Regarding group process training, it emphasizes valuing diversity by acknowledging others’ perspectives, recognizing good work, adopting a win-win approach, and applying conflict resolution principles. This stresses psychological maturity by respecting differences.

Evidence also shows diverse groups are more innovative if they have commitment to the group and participation in decision-making, rather than rigid rules. Rewards for the group, not individuals, may enhance innovation.

Organizational structures have shifted from rigid hierarchies with little staff autonomy to more decentralized, participative structures like project teams. While offering more control, these changes also brought stress from increased workload and job insecurity.

Positive orientations in organizational culture promote visions, recognizing excellence, forgiveness of mistakes, and value-sharing between staff and organization. Successful companies focus on positive practices like continuous learning rather than quick fixes. An emphasis on strengths-based approaches and positive behaviors seeks to develop thriving workplaces.

  • Many organizational interventions are based on management fads and practices seen to work elsewhere, not robust academic research. Benchmarking involves comparing processes to successful competitors but success is not guaranteed long-term.

  • Organizations overly accept positive views of interventions without considering drawbacks of transplanting practices elsewhere. Comprehensive organizational change affecting many subsystems has a better chance of success.

  • A shift toward more participatory and open cultures emphasizes trust over status differences. While innovative companies benefited, culture change is difficult and effects may be short-lived. Different personalities and departments prefer different cultures.

  • Empowerment ranges from nominal to extensive self-organization where teams control operations autonomously. Partnerships across supply chains also blur organizational boundaries.

  • Approaches to increase creativity depend on beliefs about its causes, such as selecting creative individuals, nurturing all staff’s adaptive creativity, or facilitating networking to leverage emergent properties. Both revolutionary and evolutionary innovations are important.

  • There are two dimensions that correlate with creativity - challengers and adaptors. Challengers favor challenging assumptions and the status quo, doing things differently, while adaptors favor improving tried and tested practices, essentially doing things better. Adaptors may be more inclined toward evolutionary creativity.

  • Research suggests creative companies tend to have more open climates where people feel able to challenge the way things are done and try new approaches. Many organizations aim to build climates of trust where people can make suggestions and act on them, sometimes through formal suggestion schemes.

  • Another view is that creativity is a mental skill involving lateral thinking, brainstorming, mapping, etc. Courses are offered to teach these techniques, but research finds individual brainwriting tends to generate more ideas than group brainstorming.

  • Experience in a domain is important for substantive creativity. Creative people spend long periods in their fields. Creativity is also situated within domains of expertise.

  • Intrinsic motivation is important for creativity as creative ideas often challenge the status quo and take significant effort to develop. Supervisory support helps nurture new ideas.

  • Creativity emerges from the interaction of individual flexibility, domain expertise, and open gatekeepers. Networking among people of related interests inside and outside organizations can also facilitate creativity.

  • Both individual-focused strategies (developing tacit creativity, open climate, idea nurturing) and system-focused strategies (facilitating networking) should be pursued to build creative organizations.

Here is a summary of the article:

  • Executive coaching has traditionally been based on a medical model, viewing the client as “less well” and in need of skills development from the coach.

  • Positive psychology offers an alternative perspective, viewing the client as already whole and skilled, with the coach serving as a catalyst to help access and develop inherent strengths.

  • The field of executive coaching is moving from a “first generation” model where coaches functioned as inspirational gurus, to a “second generation” model seeking to integrate scientific rigor.

  • A positive psychology model of coaching would view the client through a strengths-based lens, focus on building client self-efficacy, and cultivate positive subjective experiences like flow and engagement.

  • Applying positive psychology principles could enrich coaching by drawing on its rigorous research traditions and theoretical solidity. However, more empirical research is still needed to fully integrate positive psychology into coaching frameworks and evaluate outcomes.

  • Incorporating positive psychology represents an opportunity to advance coaching from an art to a true evidence-based profession grounded in scientific theory and methods.

  • Early executive coaching was primarily based on the personal strengths and experiences of a few pioneering coaches. The field is now maturing and needs more rigorous theoretical and empirical foundations.

  • Positive psychology provides an appropriate framework, shifting away from the implicit medical model toward a strengths-based, “coactive” model where the client is an equal partner rather than a patient.

  • Most coaching clients are highly successful individuals looking to enhance performance, not remediate problems. They want data and feedback to develop their strengths.

  • The fields of executive coaching and positive psychology are naturally aligned in focusing on building client strengths and potential rather than pathology.

  • While coaching techniques have drawn from clinical psychology, positive psychology offers alternative theoretical bases to explore strengths and optimal functioning rather than just illness.

  • Leading coaching models like Co-Active Coaching assume the client possesses everything needed and the coach’s role is to help articulate and achieve their goals by accessing their strengths.

  • For positive psychology to influence coaching, it must understand current practices and offer psychological principles to support strengths-based and actualizing models of change.

In recent years, coaching approaches that are directly based on or consistent with positive psychology have steadily increased their market share among coaching approaches. Positive approaches include focusing on strengths rather than weaknesses, building upon techniques from areas like behavioral psychology, cognitive behavioral therapy, and solution-focused coaching. Models rooted in theories like the transtheoretical model of change, emotional intelligence, and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator are also generally compatible with positive psychology. The newest wave of coaching is now directly based on applying the principles and findings of positive psychology, like identifying strengths and building upon talents and values rather than aiming to fix weaknesses. This positive, strengths-based perspective has been gaining popularity and changing the landscape of executive and life coaching approaches.

  • Many Fortune 500 companies use Gallup’s strengths-based assessment tool to identify each employee’s top 5 strengths out of 34 possibilities like action, accountability, connectedness, and command.

  • Their goal is to create a strengths-based corporate culture where everyone focuses on strengths rather than deficits.

  • Executives receive training in the model first. Then all employees (usually over 1,000) take the assessment and receive an interview about their top 5 strengths.

  • Positive psychology is also being applied through assessments of signature strengths and flow experiences. Coaches help clients identify strengths and recraft jobs to utilize them more.

  • Preliminary studies show promising results, like increased well-being and satisfaction when using strengths at work.

  • While coaching is widely used, there are surprisingly few rigorous scientific outcome studies due to challenges like correlations vs causation and companies preferring non-shared evaluations.

  • More research is needed on individual differences, personality matches between coaches and clients, and largers sample group studies with controls.

Here is a summary of the key factors that would be rated to determine if the intervention was deemed a success:

Health ratings: Have customer satisfaction ratings improved according to surveys? Has quality of care or patient outcomes improved based on clinical measures?

Sales: Have total sales or revenue improved compared to before the intervention?

Profits: Has the corporation shown higher profits in recent financial reports than prior to the intervention?

Expansion: Is the corporation growing by opening new locations, increasing size of facilities, or hiring more employees?

Stock performance: Has the stock price increased over the duration of the intervention, showing investor confidence in the company’s improved performance?

Overall, if the majority of these key factors show positive improvements since implementing the intervention, it would likely be deemed a success. The intervention aims to enhance the health, operations, and financial viability of the corporation long-term. Upward trends across these important ratings would indicate the goals of the intervention are being achieved.

  • The passage discusses the opportunities and challenges for the second generation of executive coaches in applying scientific research and positive psychology principles to their work.

  • It hopes that future coaches will develop their own research projects using these ideas as a basis, and that there will be more collaborations between academics and practitioners in the field.

  • Integrating the strengths of those in academia and the corporate world would benefit the field of executive coaching.

  • There is significant potential for theory development and research on executive coaching, which could greatly help the many busy practitioners.

  • Incorporating positive psychology and strengths-based coaching into the mainstream of executive coaching may have benefits like moving beyond a medical model focus on weaknesses toward an appreciation of strengths.

  • Initial empirical research provides support for these approaches, and executives seem to enthusiastically receive strengths-based coaching.

  • The authors encourage future work continuing to integrate scientific research with coaching practice to advance the field.

  • Health behaviors like smoking, diet and exercise directly impact health and can form lifelong habits that influence illness over time. Health psychologists aim to understand what influences positive health behaviors and behavior change.

  • Early approaches emphasized fear and vulnerability to motivate behavior change, but this approach has modest effects and fear can backfire. The Health Belief Model proposed vulnerability plus efficacy of behaviors could motivate change.

  • Positive psychology research found optimism allows people to better process negative health information and change behaviors. Optimistic people were more receptive to threats.

  • Self-affirming experiences also reduce defensiveness to threats and motivate behavior change. Reflecting on values made people open to information about behavioral risks like caffeine.

  • Writing about a positive future reduced distress from medications for HIV+ women and increased optimism and adherence, showing interventions can influence perspective.

  • Positive feelings act as a psychological resource to confront threats without becoming defensive. Social support also impacts behavior change and adjustment to illness, though early work focused on relationship problems from illness threats.

  • When a heart patient returns home from the hospital, families can experience strains like changed roles and routines. Early research highlighted potential maladaptive family dynamics that could worsen or prolong illness.

  • Research also found cancer patients often experienced rejection, avoidance and feelings of “victimization” from acquaintances, friends and family.

  • Social relationships are important for the illness experience. Social support, defined as feeling loved/cared for by others, can benefit mental health and physical health outcomes.

  • Perceived and actual social support are associated with lower psychological distress and better adjustment to chronic illnesses. Social ties predict increased longevity.

  • Social support may help prevent illness, aid recovery, and influence allostatic load (stress-regulated biological systems). Interventions provide social support to hospital patients to improve adjustment and recovery.

  • Support groups and involving family in behavior changes can help manage chronic conditions. Internet support groups expand access and are growing in popularity, especially for isolated individuals.

  • Across the lifespan, social support, belonging and group participation confer mental and physical health benefits. Psychological control over illness experiences through adaptive coping can also benefit health.

Here is a summary of the key points about adjustment to treatment and its aftermath:

  • Early research by Irving Janis found that patients who were moderately fearful/anxious before surgery adjusted best afterwards, as they had realistic expectations. Those who were very fearful did poorly.

  • This sparked interest in better preparing patients for procedures through enhanced information and participation to boost psychological control.

  • Studies found preparatory instructions on pain management, recovery process, etc. led to better postoperative adjustment, less pain medication needed, and shorter hospital stays.

  • Automated interventions like preparatory video tapes for CABG surgery patients had similar benefits of improving preparation, self-efficacy, adherence to recovery steps, and shorter hospitalization.

  • Reviews found combinations of information, relaxation techniques, and mild cognitive behavioral interventions helped reduce anxiety, improve coping, and aid recovery from medical procedures.

  • Psychological control interventions work best for those with a high desire for control, but can backfire if they provide too much information or multiple coping techniques.

Here is a summary of key points about entive self-care from the provided text:

  • Entive self-care refers to how people cope with and respond to disease or medical illness. Positive coping strategies and beliefs can affect subsequent psychological health and illness behavior.

  • Research has shown that finding benefits or positive aspects of a medical experience (like a cancer diagnosis) is associated with better psychological adjustment and physical health outcomes.

  • One study found that breast cancer patients who were randomly assigned to write about benefits they found from their cancer experience reported less psychological distress over time compared to other writing conditions.

  • Positive beliefs like optimism or finding meaning have been linked to slower progression of diseases like HIV/AIDS. Positive self-perceptions are also related to longer longevity in older adults.

  • Positive psychological states may influence disease courses through impacts on biological systems like the cardiovascular, endocrine and immune systems. For example, optimism is tied to reduced stress responses which could benefit health.

  • Overall, entive self-care focuses on how positive coping strategies and mindsets can positively influence psychological and physical health outcomes during and after an illness experience.

Here is a summary of the sources from 69-86:

  • Helgeson and Fritz (1999) studied cognitive adaptation as a predictor of new coronary events after angioplasty.

  • Hogan and Najarian (2002) reviewed the literature on social support interventions and their effectiveness.

  • Holahan et al. (1997) explored relationships between social context, coping strategies, and depressive symptoms in cardiac patients.

  • House et al. (1988) studied social relationships and health in Science.

  • Isen (2000) discussed positive affect and decision making.

  • Janis (1958) explored psychological stress.

  • Johnson and Leventhal (1974) studied the effects of expectations and instructions on reactions during medical exams.

  • Kessler et al. (1997) analyzed patterns and correlates of self-help group membership in the US.

  • Kulik and Mahler (1987, 1993) studied the effects of preoperative roommate assignment and emotional support on recovery from coronary bypass surgery.

  • Kunda (1987) examined motivated inference and self-serving generation of causal theories.

  • Leventhal et al. (1989) found active coping reduced pain reports during childbirth.

This passage discusses the traditional conception of clinical psychology known as the “illness ideology” and proposes replacing it with a positive clinical psychology based on positive psychology.

Some key points:

  • Clinical psychology has long been steeped in an illness metaphor and ideology that emphasizes abnormality, disorder, sickness, and weakness over health, normality, and strengths.

  • This illness ideology narrows the focus only on what is defective about people rather than what is strong and healthy.

  • It promotes dichotomies between normal/abnormal and locates problems internally rather than considering environmental/social factors.

  • It portrays people as passive victims rather than active agents in their own well-being.

  • The authors argue it is time to abandon the illness ideology and replace it with a positive clinical psychology based on positive psychology’s emphasis on health, happiness, and strengths.

  • This would bring clinical psychology more in line with trends in medicine and health psychology toward prevention, wellness, and optimization of human potential.

So in summary, the passage critiques the traditional “illness ideology” in clinical psychology and calls for a positive paradigm shift focused on human strengths and well-being.

  • Despite its origins not being steeped in illness ideology, clinical psychology became dominated by it in the 20th century due to several factors. Psychoanalysis influenced psychiatry and clinical psych. Training also occurred mostly in psychiatric settings.

  • The illness ideology assumptions that dominated clinical psych view psychopathology as distinct from normal problems, locate the causes internally rather than environmentally, see treatment as curing illness, and define the clinician’s role as diagnosing and treating disorders.

  • This pathologizing of clinical psych took hold in the 1950s and was strengthened by groups like the NIMH and utilization of the medical model. The illness ideology assumptions continue to dominate views of clinical psych.

  • The DSM has come to dominate the field and reinforce the illness ideology through its increasing size, influence on research/practice/training, and role in reimbursement. While disavowing the assumptions, the DSM otherwise operates within an illness view of psychopathology. The illness ideology remains deeply ingrained in clinical psychology.

  • The illness ideology conceptualizes problems in living as symptoms of psychological illness or disease. This is reflected in the DSM-IV which describes things like humor and affiliation as “defense mechanisms.”

  • The illness ideology and DSM have become closely aligned, with the DSM having strong influence over clinical psychology in the US.

  • Positive clinical psychology rejects the illness ideology as the most accurate or effective way to conceive of psychological problems. It views the illness perspective not as scientific fact but as a socially constructed ideology.

  • Social constructionism views concepts as defined by cultural and historical factors rather than universal truths. Categories like mental illness reflect the values of those in power rather than objective scientific categories.

  • Rejecting the illness ideology means rejecting the DSM as the best way to conceive of psychological difficulties, as the two are so intertwined. Alternative conceptions are needed that move away from a pathology perspective.

  • The emergence of the DSM and categorical model of mental illness was influenced by social and political factors, not just scientific facts. It benefited various social groups like clinicians, researchers, advocacy groups, and pharmaceutical companies.

  • An alternative is the dimensional model which views psychological phenomena on a continuum, not distinct categories. Considerable research supports this dimensional approach.

  • The notions of mental health and illness are social constructions, not scientifically determined. However, science can still study psychological distress and functioning.

  • To move beyond the limitations of the illness ideology, clinical psychology should embrace the positive psychology movement. This involves a new language focusing on strengths rather than weaknesses, problems in living versus disorders, and enhancement of functioning rather than pathology. The role of professionals would be facilitators of well-being like teachers and coaches rather than medical clinicians.

  • The positive psychology ideology emphasizes goals like well-being, satisfaction, happiness, skills, wisdom, and personal responsibility over a focus on illness and pathology.

  • It gives equal emphasis to mental health as to mental illness, and to identifying human strengths as much as weaknesses.

  • Interventions would be focused on enhancing strengths and assets rather than just treating weaknesses and disorders.

  • Facilities for assistance would include community centers, schools, churches rather than just clinics/hospitals. Treatment could happen in more natural settings.

  • The positive psychology perspective is not claiming to be more “true” but rather more useful for clinical psychology by offering an expanded view of what’s important for quality of life beyond just identifying weaknesses.

  • Assessments and interventions would evaluate strengths in addition to weaknesses and aim to strengthen strengths to indirectly weaken weaknesses.

  • The key difference from traditional approaches is in the focus or “mission” rather than specific strategies or tactics.

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About Matheus Puppe