Positive Psychology

Positive Psychology is the scientific study of what makes life worth living - the study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals, organizations, and communities to flourish.
Primary elements of human flourishing: positive emotion, engagement, good relationships, meaning, accomplishment
Primary positive emotions: joy, gratitude, serenity, interest, hope, pride, amusement, inspiration, awe, love

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A Partial and Very Incomplete History of Positive Psychology:

The term Positive Psychology is a fairly new term minted around 1998, but scholars have been developing and applying positive psychology since well before the field had a name.

Dr. William E. Hall - www.talentplus.com/component/content/article/386 - and Dr. Donald O. Clifton - www.strengths.org/clifton.shtml - are considered the pioneers of the study of positive psychology. Their realm of academic study centered on examining students who seemed to relate well with people. Throughout all of their years of research, they learned that these students shared a common theme: they had people in their lives ("difference makers") who identified their strengths and provided them with opportunities to develop those strengths.

The powerful outcomes of this research sparked a new idea - the Nebraska Human Resources Research Foundation, which was established in 1949 at the University of Nebraska. In this innovative organization, outstanding college students (counselors) were paired with equally outstanding local high school students (counselees) in one-to-one relationships. Dr. Hall and Dr. Clifton continued to see that the best way to help people grow and to build on their strengths is to be involved in positive relationships with successful people who are willing and capable of investing in others.

At that time, the field of psychology was primarily focused on the diagnosis and treatment of people with problems. Very little was known about the psychology of success, the psychology of strengths, and the benefit of the positive psychology approach.

Dr. Hall and Dr. Clifton took positive psychology to the market for several decades to provide companies with talent selection and development tools. Don Clifton used Gallup to helped convene positive psychology after Dr. Martin Seligman made it the central focus of his term as president of the American Psychological Association in 1998.

The first positive psychology summit was held in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1999
www.ppc.sas.upenn.edu/lincoln.htm