The objective of positive psychology is to gain further understanding and intervene in order to increase the level of fulfillment in the course of normal life and thereby, strengthen the community as a whole. The field also includes nurturing of the positive aspects of life, including the strengths and talents that each one of us has. Herein, a treatment of mental illness is not the only goal. Positive psychology engages with the emotionally fulfilling aspects of human behavior and tries to artificially reinforce them.
When the field was delineated in the late 90s, there was a pressing need for something positive in psychology. Thus far, for the most part, psychology had only been used to address the abnormal or the aspect that was not working for the human psyche. Therefore, positive psychology in addressing the normal and the commonplace, and trying to improve upon it was a positive revolutionary initiative. However, with pressing psychological issues and diseases still prevalent, with no effective, universal cure, ethics can only go so far as to justify the elitist attitude that some claim helped create the field. At the same time, positive psychology has also come under criticism for curing the healthy.
Research has centered on the neuro-scientific approach as well as the evolutionary approach. Noted researchers including Stefan Klein, Eric Kandel and Cynthia Fu have delved into brain imaging to help understand happiness or depression via fMRI scans. Evolutionary research focuses on the features present in the human brain to distinguish happiness and focus on it (Compton and Hoffman, 2013).
Positive psychology was introduced to me by the writings of Mihaly Csikszentmihaly. I have found substantial satisfaction in reading about the psychology of flow; I often find myself trying to synchronize my activities with how I feel in order to enjoy what I am doing. I have also disassociated myself from activities that are not fulfilling to me, or those where I do not find that work comes naturally to me without having to lust after a goal.
Compton, W. C., and Hoffman, E. (2013). Positive Psychology: The Science of Happiness and Flourishing. 2nd ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Question: A developing field in psychology is called Positive Psychology, which is exploring ways to help people become happier and productive in life. Research the Internet to learn more about this type of psychology. Share what you learn with your classmates on the discussion board. Your discussion board post should contain the following: A description of the field of positive psychology Your critique of positive psychology What research suggests on the value of this developing field How you would apply what you have learned about positive psychology to enhance your happiness and positive outlook on life – ways to build a positive perspective and state of mind