positive psychology  POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY Definition:

“Positive Psychology  is the side of the science of human mind and behavior that studies and promotes the best of humanity.” It has always been part of psychological science, but modern life has heightened the need to give special attention specifically to the positive aspects of psychology. Positive psychology is the positive half of psychological science. As such, it will end up as composing half of almost every chapter in an Introductory Psychology textbook.


  • To provide an overview of the major subfields of positive psychology
  • To highlight and discuss the importance of emotional, cognitive, and prosocial factors which could make one’s life more meaningful.
  • To gain a deeper insight in the current research focused on pleasure, joy, creativity, self-efficacy, flow, well-being, etc.
  • To discuss how positive changes can be made in one’s life by thinking and behaving positively
  • To get an understanding of the valued personal experiences in the past, in the present and for the future contributing to personal satisfaction and happiness.
  • To identify and use positive emotions and strengths to spark personal growth.
  • To use the knowledge obtained through the Positive Psychology course to promote the development of those positive features of human psychology, by guiding both individuals and the institutions within which they function.

Learning Outcomes

  • After completion of this course the students will be able to:
  • Understand the importance of personal experiences and traits contributing toward greater subjective well-being.
  • Improve their relationships and interaction with others.
  • Conquer or reduce stress in life.
  • To develop a deeper insight in the current research focused on human strengths and virtues.

Text Books

  • Snyder, C.R., & Lopez, S.J.(2007). Positive Psychology. London: Sage Publications.
  • William, C., & Compton (2005). An Introduction to positive Psychology. London: Thompson Learning
  • Journal Articles

Reference Books

  • Snyder, C.R., & Lopez, S.J. (2003). Handbook of Positive Psychology. London: Sage Publications.
  • Seligman, M. E. P. (2002). Authentic Happiness. Free Press.

Books on Positive Psychology

positive psychology  POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY Definition:

Teaching Strategies

Formal Lectures

The lectures are designed for greater and deeper understanding of course content. Students are expected to write short papers and assignments about their best thoughts or questions about the course content and prepare a final portfolio after brainstorming.

Classroom activities

  • Personal Mini-Experiments
  • Life Enhancing Activities


An Overview of Positive Psychology
Positive Emotional States and Processes
Positive cognitive states and processes
Prosocial Behavior
Understanding and changing human behavi


Positive environments

George Bernard Shaw

Bernard Shaw expressed about human’s positive imagery that you see things, and you say, “Why?” But I dream of things that never were; and I say “Why not?”

What is Positive Psychology?

Positive psychology is the scientific and practical pursuit of optimal human functioning and it augments psychology’s long-term focus on weakness and illness. Positive psychology efforts underway to shift focus from preoccupation only with repairing the worst things in life to also building positive qualities while traditional focus in psychology has been on pathology Asks fundamental questions:

  1. What kinds of families result in children who flourish?
  2. What work settings support the greatest satisfaction among workers?
  3. What policies result in the strongest civic engagement?
  4. How can people’s lives be most worth living?

Dimensions of Positive Psychology

The range of possible interest areas in positive psychology is quite large, however, some broad dimensions have been used to define the new area in general way. In order to nurture talent and make life more fulfilling, positive psychology focuses on three areas of human experience that help to define the scope and orientation of a positive psychology perspective.

Subjective level

At the subjective level, positive psychology looks at positive subjective states or positive emotions such as happiness, joy, satisfaction with life, relaxation, love intimacy, and contentment. Positive subjective states also can include constructive thoughts about the self and the future, such as optimism and hope. Positive subjective states may also include feelings of energy, vitality, and confidence, or the effects of positive emotions such as laughter.

Individual Level

At the individual level, positive psychology focuses on a study of positive individual traits, or the more enduring and persistent behavior patterns seen in people over time. This study might include individual traits such as courage, persistence, honesty, or wisdom. That is, positive psychology includes the study of positive behaviors and traits that historically have been used to define “character strengths” or virtues. It can also include the ability to develop aesthetic sensibility or tap into creative potentials and the drive to pursue excellence.

Society/Group Level

At the group or societal level, positive psychology focuses on the development, creation, and maintenance of positive institutions. In this area, positive psychology addresses issues such as the development of civic virtues, the creation of healthy families, the study of healthy work environments, and positive communities.

Psychology’s Forgotten Mission

Psychology has not always focused on the adaptable, the healthy, and the positive aspects of humanity. In fact, for many years professional psychology largely ignored the study of the positive side of human behavior. Seligman (2000) noted that prior to World War II there were only three major missions in psychology:

  1. The first early mission of psychology was to cure mental illness. The terrible consequences of mental illness for many people, their families, and the community demanded that psychology use the methods of science to seek solutions to this problem.
  2. The second early mission of psychology was to find and nurture genius and talent. Many of the early studies in this area focused on the development of intelligence.
  3. The third early mission of psychology was to make normal life more fulfilling. Obviously, there is more to living a satisfied and happy life than simply getting one’s immediate needs met in a reasonable amount of time.

Treating mental illness aspect was remarkably successful, in the early 1950s, however no real cures existed for mental illness. Human beings were perceived as passive creatures in face of childhood repressed impulses, environmental influences or genetic factors. Psychologists started curing damaged brains, damaged childhood, damaged habits, damaged drives. Face of Psychology changed after War and last two missions were forgotten.


Snyder, C.R., & Lopez, S.J. (2007). Positive Psychology. London: Sage Publications (pp. 3-7) Snyder, C.R., & Lopez, S.J. (2003). Handbook of Positive Psychology. London: Sage Publications (pp. 3-6)

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