Positive Psychology, Essay Example
Positive psychology is that branch of psychology that focuses in on the mental wellbeing of humans. It examines those items that lead towards happiness and how individuals gain satisfaction and fulfilment of a satisfying life. The author Martin Seligman in his book entitled ‘Authentic Happiness’ considered how positive psychology helped in the identification of those factors that influenced happiness in a person’s life.
Positive psychology has been defined as a scientific study that embraces aspects of psychology, but is focused on those aspects that make you happy and life worth living. It attempts to focus both the science and practical applications of psychology with the strengths and weaknesses of an individual’s life. As such leading towards a healing pathology to help people fulfil both a rewarding and normal life. (Peterson, C. 2008).
The field of Positive Psychology can briefly be said to include the following areas: (i) It is a science of well-being and that of optimal functioning in human beings (ii) A study of those strengths and weaknesses that the human embraces in the context of normal life and survival (iii) The process that identifies the conditions and behavioural characteristics of how people, groups and institutions optimally flourish and (iv) The science that underpins or depicts what makes life worth living. (Davies, W. 2011). The following subject headings are generally found under the description of Positive Psychology: (a) Happiness or well-being, (b) Optimism, (c) Emotional Intelligence (d) Intrinsic motivation.
Although a relatively new concept it has not been well received in many academic circles. It is argued that the premise of positive psychology is based upon a series of fallacious arguments i.e. circular reasoning, tautology, and lack of clearly defined terms and the tendency to identify causal relationships where they do not exist. This resulting in series of unjustified reasoning and generalisations of the subject matter. (Miller, A. 2008).
From a personal perspective positive psychology leads you to enhance those qualities of life that lead to more sustained personal happiness and wellbeing. This is not necessarily the struggle for material wealth and monies but more the concept of a ‘healthy mind in a healthy body’ and underpins the importance of knowledge acquisition that is channelled more towards that of a healthy lifestyle.
Davies, W. (2011). Positive Psaychology. Retrieved 1 1, 2012, from Generally Speaking: http://generallythinking.com/what-is-positive-psychology/
Miller, A. (2008). A Critique of Positive Psychology–Or “The New Science of Happiness. Journal of Philosophy of Education, v42 n3-4, 591-608.
Peterson, C. (2008). What Is Positive Psychology, and What Is It Not? Retrieved 1 1, 2012, from Psychology Today: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-good-life/200805/what-is-positive-psychology-and-what-is-it-not
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