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Positive Psychology : Theory- Research And Applications

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Positive Psychology : Theory, Research And Applications

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Positive Psychology : Theory, Research And Applications

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Question:
Discuss about the Positive Psychology for Theory, Research and Applications.
 
 
Answer:

Introduction
Positive psychology refers to a science of human life’s positive aspects such as well-being, flourishing as well as happiness. It is the study of processes and conditions which contribute to people or groups’ optimal functioning (Carr, 2004).  It scientifically studies the strengths as well as virtues which enable individuals and communities to grow and prosper. This field is based on the perspective that humans are willing to live meaningful as well as fulfilling lives, enhance their love, work and play experience as well as achieve what is best within (Carr, 2004). The scientific method is often applied in understanding as well as enhancing life’s positive aspects. Positive psychology also aims at developing meaningful and positive relationships, institutions and social systems.
Traditionally, clinical psychology focused on psychological deficits as well as disability. In addition, positive psychology has been updated in taking account of recent primary advances in the field, particularly development regarding psychotherapy, emotional intelligence, character strengths as well as virtues. Basically, positive psychology entails the aspects of the meaningful life, life of engagement as well as the pleasant life. In clinical context, it aims in enhancing well-being as well as happiness. The paper will be based on the article “A Critique of Positive Psychology— or ‘The New Science of Happiness” by Alistair Miller (Miller, 2008). This paper will also examine Miller’s arguments about critics concerning positive psychology. Miller’s paper aims at discussing a variety of arguments concerning new science of positive psychology.
 
Discussion of the concepts involved
Miller’s article articulates that positive psychology’s new science is based on a variety of contradicting arguments. Moreover, these fallacious arguments include failure to clearly define as well as apply terms, unjustified generalization, causal relations identification where none exist, tautology as well as circular reasoning. According to the paper, positive psychology hardly relates mental healthcare with any form of personality. Thus, they show those attitudes which are positive describe happiness, well-being, success as well as achievement. The article states that the scientific perspective of positive psychology aspect lies in the evolutionary-based psychology (Miller, 2008). This tends to explain the ultimate people’s motivations as well as values in terms of need which have evolved through natural selection. Miller also states that positive psychology tends to have a particular appeal in education due its close relations to emotional intelligence. Several debates concerning advantages regarding positive psychology have been based on research results.
Positive psychology advocates argue that its assertions are seen through a vast research amount. The acknowledged positive psychology founder, Martin Seligman argues that authentic happiness can be achieved if an individual works toward utilizing as well as developing positive character traits which are endowed in a purposeful activity (Miller, 2008). Happiness itself tends to comprise positive feelings as well as emotions about the past as well as future in terms of pride, optimism, trust, faith and satisfaction. However these arguments tend to be based on several beliefs which have no proof. The concept that life of human can be considered as having a variety goals which an individual is in the process of attempting to attain is a significant characteristic of behavioral psychological aspects. According to Miller, behavior must be considered as actions with intent which are determined by various set goals as well as motives in order for psychology to explain human behavior (Miller, 2008). Therefore, positive psychology includes optimism which is a tool in helping a person achieve the goals he or she sets.
The paper highlights that the two pivotal concepts learned in optimism are explanatory style as well as helplessness. In this case, learned helplessness refers to the response intended to quit which implies that whatever one does it does not matter. On the other hand, explanatory style refers to the manner in which one habitually explains to himself why events occur. According to Miller, learned helplessness is a chronic as well as debilitating condition. He states that is a mental abnormality which requires treatment. In Seligman’s “Learned Optimism,” learned helplessness tends to usefully describe a specific perspective of the self. Moreover, it describes a terminal condition which hinders a normal life. In this case, there is no clear evidence that this condition can be treated by applying cognitive therapy. In addition, it well known in social psychology context that self-efficacy as well as style of attachment is determined by the environment in a social manner which is seen at a young age. Shell Gable and Jonathan Haidt’s “In What Is Positive Psychology?” tend to acknowledge and accept that pessimists who defend themselves are individuals who would not acquire any benefit from being shown how to stay optimistic. Moreover, these authors argue that positive psychology should depict positive aspects in the manner that is complex. The pessimism term tends to have quite negative effects. However, in the case where pessimism is related to justified fatalism and criticism as well as realism, it becomes more positive. Therefore, it depends on how one defines and interprets pessimism. 
Additionally, in Seligman’s “Learned Optimism,” persistence is success’s key ingredient. Persistence means the ability to not giving up in the failure face. Therefore, a person’s explanatory style explains his or her ability in persisting when faced with a certain challenge or difficulty. Optimists tend to persist as pessimists give up easily. Seligman also states that an explanatory style which is pessimistic tends to be debilitating since it inhibits individuals from attaining and achieving full potential (Miller, 2008). The other positive psychology’s main tenet might seem to be more promising if people’s categorization and the goal-achievement method are of insignificant value. Positive emotions as well as feelings are generated by engagement to absorb activities thus maximizing the feelings of pleasure and happiness. Also, positive psychology’s special insight is that it is the expression as well as engagement of an individual’s signature strengths which produces authentic positive emotion. In the paper, it is stated that Seligman has come up with twenty four personality traits and strengths regarding character and has divided these aspects into six core values.
 
Role of positive psychology through counseling
There has been a wide positive psychology applications accompanied by significant benefits across populations as well as contexts. First, there positive psychology can be used in individual counseling. In most cases, clinicians work with individual therapy clients by utilizing more therapy forms which are informed by positive psychology as the main treatment form. Models related to formal positive psychology therapy include Strengths-Centered Therapy, Well-being Therapy, Positive Psychotherapy and Strengths-Based Counseling. Under Strengths-Based Counseling, there is combination of positive psychology, narrative therapy, social work, youth development, focused therapy and counseling psychology (Magyar-Moe, Owens & Conoley, 2015). Thus, clients are educated how to reframe life stories from a strengths point of view. Moreover, there is enhancement of a deep assessment regarding perceptions of individuals in relation to the experienced problems. In addition, Quality of Life Therapy tends to blend positive psychology tenets with cognitive therapy in helping clients discover as well as proceed towards achieving their goals, wishes and needs. Quality of Life Therapy tends to use cognitive interventions in addressing issues which are revealed in life satisfaction’s fivefold model (Magyar-Moe, 2009).
Furthermore, positive psychology plays a key role in child as well as adolescent counseling. Research argues that positive psychology principle’s application in early childhood is quite beneficial since positive and long-lasting outcomes are achieved (Snyder & Lopez, 2009). For instance, preschool-aged kids who are said to experience positive psychology aspect on a regular basis are more likely to receive acceptance from colleagues and tend to show positive relationships with other individuals. Therefore, many constructs of significant psychological impact have been introduced into existing forms of treatment for young kids as well as teenagers (Magyar-Moe, Owens & Conoley, 2015). Strengths-based forms which are related to positive-psychology have rapidly been applied in treating concerns of mental health. Also positive psychology plays a great role in schools. Interventions based on positive psychology within different schools are growing toward meeting the increasing children and adolescents’ well-being challenge (Gilman, Huebner & Furlong, 2009).
 
The application of positive psychology techniques
Many interventions regarding positive psychology have been incorporated in the setting of school. For instance, Strengths-gym incorporating with character exercises for teenagers has proved to be quite useful in enhancing positive psychology (Hefferon & Boniwell, 2011). In Miller’s article, positive psychology is said to have an appeal in education. This is explained by stating that positive psychology promotes emotional intelligence as well as multiple intelligences. The paper further states that it seems to work toward promising achievement as well as empowerment for all. For instance, the SEAL programme has been put in place to develop the social as well as emotional aspects of learning in primary schools in UK. Group and career counseling has been considered to apply positive psychology. Positive psychology teams benefits tend to base on strengths, values as well as goals which develop a powerful growth experience (Miller, 2008). Moreover, vocational development has been considered counseling psychology’s core value. Positive psychology in career construction tends to involve surveying how work enhances meaning as well as happiness via individuals giving career autobiographies.
 
Conclusion
There has been increase of arguments for and against positive psychology. Generally, positive psychology has played a key role in several fields including education and healthcare. In Miller’s article “A Critique of Positive Psychology— or ‘The New Science of Happiness,” the concept regarding new science of positive psychology has been founded on a variety of fallacious arguments. Positive psychology is purposefully meant to bring about an individual well-being as well as happiness. Also, positive psychology’s central contention aims at making people goal achievers in being able to control their emotions as well as feelings thus enhancing positive energies. The role of psychology has also been depicted through counseling and coaching. 
 
References
Baumgardner, S. R., & Crothers, M. K. (2009). Positive psychology. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Prentice Hall.
Carr, A. (2004). Positive psychology: The science of happiness and human strengths. Hove:  Brunner-Routledge.
Gilman, R., Huebner, E. S., & Furlong, M. J. (2009). Handbook of positive psychology in   schools. New York, NY: Routledge.
Hefferon, K., & Boniwell, I. (2011). Positive psychology: Theory, research and applications. Maidenhead, Berkshire, England: McGraw Hill Open University Press.
Magyar-Moe, J. L., Owens, R. L., & Conoley, C. W. (April 21, 2015). Positive Psychological Interventions in Counseling: What Every Counseling Psychologist Should Know. The Counseling Psychologist, 43, 4, 508-557.
Magyar-Moe, J. L. (2009). Therapist’s guide to positive psychological interventions. Amsterdam: Elsevier/Academic Press.
Miller, A. (2008). A critique of positive Psychology—or ‘The new science of happiness’. Journal of Philosophy of Education, 42(3?4), 591-608. 
Snyder, C. R., & Lopez, S. J. (2009). Oxford handbook of positive psychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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