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PSY 201:

Positive Psychology
The gross national product does not allow for the health of our childrentheir education, or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages; the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither wit nor courage; neither our wisdom nor our teaching; neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. Robert F. Kennedy, 1968

Part 1: History Part 2: Importance Part 3: Happiness Part 4: Money Part 5: Happier

Part 1: History Part 2: Importance Part 3: Happiness Part 4: Money Part 5: Happier

The Fall and Rise of Positive Psychology

The Original Goals of Psychology

1.Curing Mental Illness 2.Making lives of people more productive and fullling 3.Identifying and nurturing talent

WW II
Lack of MDs to treat veterans Psychology adopts the medical diseased model

VA and NIMH
Establishment of Veteran Affairs & National Institute of Mental Health Hiring psychologists to treat disorders Giving grants to study disorders

The New Goals of Psychology

1.Curing Mental Illness 2.Making lives of people more productive and fullling 3.Identifying and nurturing talent

Depressed, Hopeless, No Motivation

Neutral

Happy, Flourishing, Meaning in life

Treating depression doesnt make people happier

Depressed, Hopeless, No Motivation Neutral

Happy, Flourishing, Meaning in life

Different processes move people from unhappy happy

Daddy, I want to talk to you. ! Yes, Nikki. ! Daddy, do you remember before my fifth birthday? From when I was three until when I was five, I was a whiner. I whined every day. On my fifth birthday, I decided I wasnt going to whine any more. That was the hardest thing Ive ever done.And if I can stop whining, you can stop being such a grouch. - Seligman, 2002, p. 28

Depressed, Hopeless, No Motivation Neutral

Happy, Flourishing, Meaning in life

Elected in 1996 Established in 1998


Depressed, Hopeless, No Motivation Neutral Happy, Flourishing, Meaning in life

What is Positive Psychology?

Uses science to study positive emotions, human strengths, and psychological growth. I.E. The study of what makes life worth living!

Why have a positive psychology movement?

9:1

If the positive psychology movement is successful in rebalancing psychology [then] it will become obsolete
- Gable & Haidt, 2005

Part 1: History Part 2: Importance Part 3: Happiness Part 4: Money Part 5: Happier

Why are positive emotions important?

Why are negative emotions important?

Anger, fear, anxiety warn of dangers Activate the sympathetic nervous system (ght or ight) Help process threats and make quick decisions

Negative emotions ensure survival

What about positive emotions?

Think...Pair...Share

Why are positive emotions important?

Barbara L. Fredrickson

Broaden-and-build theory

Joy Contentment

Experiment #1

Fear Anger Placebo control (nonemotional) Creativity task

Stress (prepare a speech without warning)

Experiment #2

Show lms Measure cardiovascular system pre/post More positive emotions, more resilient

Undue negative emotions (parasympathetic nervous system) Expand attention and thinking Encourage exploration, creativity, and helping others Increase intellectual resources Build resiliency

Positive emotions expand our thinking, altruism, and friendship

Nun Study
Danner, Snowdon, Friesen (2001)

180 Nuns wrote bio sketch in 1932 All nuns had same lifestyles (daily routine, diet, activity, etc)

Happy Nun: The past year which I spent as a candidate has been a happy one. Now I look forward with eager joy to receiving the Holy habit of our Lady and to a life of union with Love Divine.

Unhappy nun: My candidate year was spent teaching chemistry and Latin.With Gods grace, I intend to do my best for our Order, for the spread of religion, and for my personal sanctification.

First nun alive at 98 Second nun died at 59 At age 85, 90% of happiest were still alive, only 34% of least happiest Happier nuns lived about 10 years longer

Life satisfaction Interpersonal relationships Job productivity Income Altruism Physical health Mental Health

Happy people...

Life expectancy

Single greatest intervention to improve the quality of life is to increase authentic happiness
Sonja Lyubomirsky

Part 1: History Part 2: Importance Part 3: Happiness Part 4: Money Part 5: Happier

10%

David Lykken

40%

50%

Circumstances

Set Point

Behavior

Happiness Set Point


Genetically inherited range of happiness Average long term emotional state Some have larger range, others are smaller Can learn to live in the highest point of your set range

MZ
Trying to be happier is as futile as trying to be taller. - Lykken & T ellegen (1996), p.189

DZ

...not true.

10%

40%

50%

Why are life circumstances only 10%?


Behavior

Circumstances

Set Point

Lottery Study
Brickman, Coates, JanoffBulman (1978)

22 state lottery winners ($50,000 $1,000,000) 58 controls in same area 29 recently paralyzed individuals Rated past, present, and future happiness

Present happiness > in lottery versus control Future happiness = in lottery & control Present happiness > in lottery versus paralyzed Future happiness > in paralyzed than lottery

Hedonic Adaptation

When I am in NewYork, I want to be in Europe, and when I am in Europe, I want to be in NewYork.


- Woody Allen

Changing life circumstances has little long term effect Humans rapidly adapt to physiologic and sensory changes (both positive and negative)

Most diagnosed with terminal illnesses & disabilities recover much of their happiness and return to their happiness set point

Post-traumatic Growth T edeschi & Calhoun (2004)

Believe one can endure and prevail Improved relationships More intimacy & compassion More deeper philosophy of life
New meaning and purpose in life

Pre-Trauma

Trauma

1 month Post

6 months post

12 months post

Survival

Recovery

Thriving

10%

40%

50%

Part 1: History Part 2: Importance Part 3: Happiness Part 4: Money Part 5: Happier
Behavior

Circumstances

Set Point

Are the rich happier people?

Money & Happiness Think...Pair...Share Csikszentmihalyi (1999)

Happiness and GDP Within Countries

Nope!

Overcoming poverty Temporary effects of wealth

Less than $30,000 would be happy with 50,000. Those with over 100,000 would be happy with 250,000

Hedonic adaptation Materialism & escalating expectations Upward comparisons to wealthy Distractions of materialism Success dened by income

1967: 42% important to be wealthy 86% meaningful life 2005: 71%: important to be wealthy 52% meaningful life

Lottery Winners

Part 1: History Part 2: Importance Part 3: Happiness Part 4: Money Part 5: Happier

How do you become happier?

10%

40%

50%

Circumstances

Set Point

Behavior

Positive Emotion (pleasant life) Engagement (engaged life) Meaning (meaningful life)

Pleasant Life
1. Experiencing

Past
Satisfaction Contentment Fulllment Pride Gratitude Forgiveness

Present
Savoring Immediate pleasures (eating, play, sex, etc)

Future
Hope Optimism Faith Trust Condence

positive emotion about the past, present, and the future 2. Learning how to increase these positive emotions

Engaged Life
A life that pursues engagement, involvement, and absorption in work, intimate relations, and leisure.

Csikszentmihalyi

Chick - sent - me - hi

Flow
Accompanies highly engaging activities. Time passes by quickly Attention completely focused on task Sense of self is lost

Im flowing right now!

Increasing Flow
Identify your greatest strengths and nd opportunities to use your strengths more.

Signature Strengths
1.

Meaningful Life
1. Using

A sense of ownership and authenticity (this is the real me) Excitement while displaying it Rapid learning curve related to the strength Continuous learning of new ways to use the strength

2. 3.

ones signature strengths to belong to and serve something that is bigger than the self. a sense of satisfaction and belief that one has lived a meaningful life

2. Produces

4.

Positive Institutions
Religion Politics Family Community Nation

Religious people happier, more satised, live longer, commit less crimes, divorce less, die less by suicide, cope better with stressors

Happiness Does not = Positive Thinking!

Create an account at www.authentichappiness.org Take the VIA-IS strengths test

Ali Mattu The Catholic University of America Department of Psychology 314 O'Boyle Hall 620 Michigan Ave NE Washington, D.C. 20064

Add stamp Jane Doe 1234 Main Street Anytown, MD 98765

Permanent address

1. Historically, psychology has focused on the negative

Review

2. Positive psychology aims to rebalance psychology to study the negative and positive 3. Positive emotions broaden and build our thinking and help provide resiliency in times of crisis 4. With hedonic adaptation, we adjust to most new positive and negative events 5. We largely return to our happiness set point 6. Can increase your happiness by increasing your pleasant, engaged, and meaningful lives