PSYC 342 Study Guide - Final Guide: World Health Organization, Day Care, Problem Solving

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Published on 11 Oct 2012
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Chapter 1- Introduction Lecture
What is positive psychology?
- Positive psychology= the scientific and applied approach to uncovering people’s strengths and promoting their
positive functioning
- Applied psychology questions
o What is wrong with people? (study of deficits)
o Understanding humans by only looking at weaknesses and pathologies
o When working in one specialty, we are at risk of forgetting we are dealing with multiple difficult issues
- Positive psychology questions
o What is right with people? (study of assets)
o ‘The things that make life worthwhile’- Robert Kennedy
Benefits of Focusing on the Positive
- In daily life it feels good!
- In psychological research:
o Balances already developed pathology model
o Informs us about that which is good and strong in people
- Ultimate goal= psychology as an inclusive approach:
1) Individual strengths
2) Individual weaknesses
3) Environmental stressors
4) Environmental resources
Going from Negative to Positive
- i.e. negative newspaper article focusing on the bad side of human behaviour in an airport
- A Positive Story: coping in an airport, the readers loved the change in tone
Balancing, not replacing
- Avoid pathology versus positive debate
- Avoid ‘us-versus-them’ thinking: trying to see the GOOD in others and the BAD in ourselves
- Previous paradigm explained behaviour at the time, focusing on disease PATHOLOGY MODEL
- Focus instead on the common goal of both camps: to understand and help people
o Both perspectives are linked to social values of the society’s most powerful individuals, groups and
institutions
History of Positive Psychology
Martin Seligman
- University of Pennsylvania
- President of the APA in 1998
- To further “knowledge about what makes life worth living”
- Science as the backbone
Basic Mechanisms
Chapter 2- Eastern and Western Perspectives on
Positive Psychology
Culture and Positive Psychology
- More focus on Western values and experiences: hope, optimism, personal self-efficacy
o North America is the beginning of the transition from ignorant power to more western values (i.e. love)
- Eastern perspectives now being consulted
o Eastern ways of thinking are flowing through popular psychology and then academia
o “a good fortune may forebode a bad luck, which may in turn disguise a good fortune”
o Perpetual state of flux
o Desire for balance
o Cycle of life until the change process becomes natural and enlightenment (being able to see things clearly
for what they are) is achieved
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- East and west combination produces multiple viewpoints of human strengths
- Western= linear/physical plane
o “Harder I work, the farther I get”, planning, direction, etc.
- Eastern= fluid/spiritual plane
o Runs with the physical plane
o Seek to transcend the physical plane and rise to the spiritual one
Western Traditions
Athenian Views
- Ancient Greek scholars: i.e. Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle
o Aristotle: intellectual virtues associated with wisdom
- 11 Moral Virtues: courage, moderation, generosity, munificence (not spending all your money), magnificence
(evenness of the soul), even temper, friendliness, truthfulness, wit, justice, friendship
- Children are innately virtuous
- Philosophy brought a freedom of thought to the public life (elitist)
- ‘The Good Life’ virtuous
- Intellectual virtues
- Correlation between virtues and political community
o Only within a life of order and sanction can one rise above hedonistic desire and become truly virtuous
- Government responsible for virtue development via early education and training
o They wanted virtuous living to be policy, but as history shows this didn’t happen
Judeo-Christianity
- 3 Old Testament Virtues: Faith, hope and charity
- History promoted these virtues; we were lost and needed to anchor those virtues with an example GOD
- 7 Heavenly Virtues (Aquinas): fortitude (courage), justice, temperance, wisdom, faith, hope and charity
o Lots of overlap with Greeks but different perspectives
- Guide books for living life
o Ten Commandments: Prohibit acts that fall under cardinal virtues
o New Testament- Book of Romans, Book of Proverbs, Book of Matthew: Describes “gifts” from god as
affirmations of virtues
o The Talmud: Judaism followers believe in being a hospitable host, particularly to the poor, being fair in
decision making and judgements and seeking peace in everyday life
Eastern Influences
Confucianism
- Confucius: The Sage, from China
- Morality as a cure for evil (crime, illness, poverty, war, etc.)
- Leadership and education are central to mortality
- “You would like others to do for you what you would indeed like for yourself”- “you get what you give”
- Collectivist ideal= leaders caring for the group- parallel thoughts by Aristotle and Plato regarding the responsibility of
leaders to take charge of the group BUT emphasize the collectivist ideal
- Attainment of Virtue to Reach Enlightenment/sense of well-being: people strive to follow while making decisions
o Jen (humanity)
o Yi (duty to treat others well)
o Li (etiquette and sensitivity for others’ feelings)
o Zhi (wisdom)
o Xin (truthfulness)
Taoism
- Lao-Tzu: creator of Taoism; from China
o Must live according to the Toa
o Toa= “the way”= the energy that surrounds everyone and flows through all things
o “the way” cannot be taught, but must be experienced
- Spiritual plane; direction, movement, method, thought
- Examination of the self
- Goal= achieve naturalness and spontaneity (at peace/free)
- Key virtues to be practiced without effort= humanity, justice, temperance, and propriety
- Transcendence= behave virtuous naturally
Buddhism
- Buddha: “the Master”; “the Enlightened One”
- Key themes:
o Seeking the good of others
o Suffering as a part of being alive
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o Nirvana- self is freed from the desire from everything, can be pre-mortal and post-mortal
UTOPIA
- Brahma Viharas:
o Maitri- love
o Karuna- compassion
o Mudita- joy
o Upeksa- equanimity (mental calmness)
- Achieve virtues via divorcing self from desire
- Stop being hedonistic and materialistic
Hinduism
- No specific founder (roots in Southeast Asia)
- Emphasis on interconnectedness of all things
- Goal= live life fully and correctly in order to achieve afterlife without need for reincarnation
- Avoid reincarnation by:
o Attaining ultimate self-knowledge
o Strive for ultimate self-betterment
- Karma= good actions in one life result in a better placement in the next
East Meets West
Value Systems
- Cultural value systems determine strengths and weaknesses
- Comparison of cultural values via commonly told stories, fairy tales, and folklore
- Western: individualistic, independence, competition
o Individualist= focus on single person held in terms of important. Emphasizes competition and personal
achievement
o Future- oriented
- Eastern: collectivistic, interdependence, cooperation
o Collectivist= group is valued above individual and cooperation is emphasized
o Past- oriented
Thought Processes
- Stark differences in thought processes= divergent worldviews and meaning making of living a good life
- Western pursuit of happiness:
o Linear deterministic world
o Goal-directed
o Built on strength of hope
- Eastern pursuit of balance:
o Cyclical always changing
o Yin Yang= circular, always changing nature of the world. Each part exists because of the other and couldn’t
exist alone.
Dark- feminine and passive
Light- masculine and active
o Built on strength of endurance
Orientation to Time
- Western cultures= future oriented
- Eastern cultures= past oriented
Different Ways to Positive Outcomes
Western: rugged individualism
- reject help, skeptical, etc. and hope= belief in a positive future
- begins as early as the bible
- Dark ages made hope viable in real life the brightness of the renaissance (1700s), Age of Enlightenment, science
and education
Eastern:
- Compassion= both eastern and western; fosters groups and cohesion
1. Difficulties of recipient must be serious
2. Difficulties can’t be self-inflicted
3. Observers must be able to identify with recipient
- Harmony= eastern only; state of balance
o Collective agency in working out what is good for the group
- A cultural challenge:
o Be open minded about that which you consider to be strengths
o Be open to different perspectives, traditions, and values
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Document Summary

Positive psychology= the scientific and applied approach to uncovering people"s strengths and promoting their positive functioning. Applied psychology questions: what is wrong with people? (study of deficits, understanding humans by only looking at weaknesses and pathologies, when working in one specialty, we are at risk of forgetting we are dealing with multiple difficult issues. Positive psychology questions: what is right with people? (study of assets) The things that make life worthwhile"- robert kennedy. In psychological research: balances already developed pathology model. Informs us about that which is good and strong in people. Ultimate goal= psychology as an inclusive approach: Going from negative to positive i. e. negative newspaper article focusing on the bad side of human behaviour in an airport. A positive story: coping in an airport, the readers loved the change in tone. Avoid us-versus-them" thinking: trying to see the good in others and the bad in ourselves. Previous paradigm explained behaviour at the time, focusing on disease pathology model.

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