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PSYCH 3BA3 (49)
Chapter 3


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Richard B Day

PSYCH 3BA3POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY INTRODUCTION rdJanuary 3One of the oldest topics but also the newest field of psychologyPositive psychology is essentially how to live a good lifeAttention between two things defining personality in subjective termswhat makes you feel how you do as an individual person and a broader view in understanding positive psychologyour relationship with others you just cannot only consider the good life of a single person but society as a whole because they interact with others as well in our understanding of positive psychologyComplementary to abnormal psychology and the psychology of personalityStatistical CriteriaIndividuals significantly above the mean in positive qualities emotions traits and cognitions andor below the mean in negative emotions traits and cognitions o Lowin anxiety low in depressive symptoms etc Personal SatisfactionIndividuals pleased with the emotions traits and cognitionsif they feel good about their thoughts and behavioursAdaptive CriteriaIndividuals with emotions traits and cognitions that make it easier for them to succeed in life and work Sociocultural CriteriaIndividuals with emotions traits and cognitions that are valued by their culture or society Seligman and Csikszenmihaly 2000 Positive psychology is about valued subjective experiences how you feel about it wellbeing contentment and satisfaction in the past hope and optimism for the future and flow similar to peak experiences and happiness in the present At the individual level it is about positive individual traits the capacity for love and vocation courage interpersonal skill aesthetic sensibility perseverance forgiveness originality future mindedness spirituality high talent and wisdom At the group level it is about the civic virtues and the institutions that move individuals toward better citizenship responsibility nurturance altruism civility moderation tolerance and work ethicAvoidable trainingyou learn to avoid troubling situations o Dogs were put in a shuffleboard with a small barrier between them shock was administered every minute and the dog would jump to the side where it was safe eventually the dogs would jump to the other side even before the shock was administered Unavoidable trainingyou learn to accept the troubling situation and do nothing to get over it o Same situation as before but the barrier was raised so that the dog couldnt jump over it and they would just receive the shock and couldnt do anything about itLearned helplessnessyou are in a troubling situation and have an alternative way to get out of it but dont do it because you havent learned how to as yet o Dogs that got unavoidable training first then got avoidable training didnt jump over to the other side but still received the shock because they had learned that in this situation they are going to get hurt no matter whatWhat about learned optimism o We can learn to see the positive side of eventswhich is what positive psychology is about Gable and Haidt 2005 What is positive psychology It is nothing more than the scientific study of ordinary human strengths and virtues Positive psychology revisits the average person with an interest in finding out what works what is right and what is improvingpositive psychology is simply psychologyBasically the same as the aforementioned case Journal of Positive Psychology Positive psychology is about scientifically informed perspectives on what makes life worth living It focuses on aspects of the human condition that lead to happiness fulfillment and flourishing Positive Psychology Center Penn Positive psychology is the scientific study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive Positive psychology has three central concerns positive emotions positive individuals traits and positive institutions Understanding positive emotions entail the study of contentment with the past happiness in the present and hope for the future Understanding positive individual traits consists of the study of the strengths and virtues such as the capacity for love and work courage compassion moderation selfcontrol and wisdom An understanding positive institution entails the study of the strengths that foster better communities such as justice responsibility civility parenting nurturance work ethic leadership teamwork purpose and toleranceScientific study is very important in the understanding of positive psychologyWe need to start with philosophy to get an understanding of positive psychologyin fact all sciences started off with an understanding of philosophy Aristotle and the Good LifeThe Good Lifethe happy life o It was personal happinessbut what makes you happyThe Good Lifefunctioning well as person o This makes a person happy within societybut what causes you to function wellFunctioning wellliving a life of virtue o Moral virtuesubordinate carnal appetites to reason nothing in excess o Intellectual virtuewisdom and understanding understanding how the world worksVirtues are character traits between excess and deficiency o Virtues are in the middle not too much of one trait and not too much of a lack of anothernothing in excess William Bennet and Virtues 1995Self disciplineCompassionResponsibilityFriendshipWorkCouragePerseveranceHonestyLoyaltyFaith thJanuary 5 FreudOur motivation is to seek pleasure o Basic human motivehedonism sex and aggression o We try to maximize our pleasure and minimize our discomforts Life is a struggle between desires and realworld and moral constraints o What we want inner desire and societal expectations constraints we place on our choices we makeMental health is the ability to work and to love the good life o Lovewe need the ability to form lasting and intimate relationships with others o Workterrorist bombers think what they are doing is fine and are happy with it but it is not helping the greater good of society thus we want to be productive and inflict a positive contribution to the society to generate value in society that is accepted throughout o Sublimationthe defence mechanism where we channel the displace sexual aggression energy into social valued activitiesart science literatureJung
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