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Positive Psychology Essay

Martin Seligman is considered the father of positive psychology (Friedman & Schustack, 2012). Positive psychology pertains to helping people live happier and healthier lives (Friedman & Schustack, 2012). Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi states that “positive psychology at the subjective level is about valued [sic] subjective experiences,” such as “well-being, contentment, satisfaction (in the past), hope and optimism (for the future) and flow and happiness (in the present)” (McNulty & Fincham, 2011, p. 101). Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi are also states that the “individual level is about positive individual traits” and the capability “for love and vocation, courage, interpersonal skill, aesthetic sensibility, perseverance, forgiveness, originality, future mindedness, spirituality, high talent and wisdom” (McNulty & Fincham, 2011, p. 101). Finally, Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi state that positive psychology “at the group level is about the civic virtue’s” and” the institutions that move” individual’s “toward better citizenship” and the “responsibility, nurturance, altruism, civility, moderation, tolerance and work ethic” (McNulty & Fincham, 2011, p. 101).

The chosen article states that the “field of positive psychology” believes that people have specific “psychology traits” that are inherited of the individual’s positive mental health (McNulty & Fincham, 2011, p. 101). Studies show that “forgiveness, optimistic, positive thoughts and kindness” can “benefit or harm” individuals (McNulty & Fincham, 2011, p. 101). The researchers state that the psychologist should move forward and examine the individual’s traits that may support well-being. The researchers show three approaches to search for a better understanding to positive psychology. First, psychologist need to examine the process of happiness and factors (McNulty & Fincham, 2011). Second, psychologist need to understand, prevent, relieve and understand people who suffer (McNulty & Fincham, 2011). And finally, to study shows that “short term” and “long term” effects of psychological traits characteristics (McNulty & Fincham, 2011, p. 107).


Friedman, H. S., & Schustack, M. W. (2012). Personality Classic theories and modern research (5th ed.). [Vital source ebook]. Retrieved from Vital Book file

McNulty, J. K., & Fincham, F. D. (2011). Beyond positive psychology? Toward a contextual view of psychological processes and well-being. American Psychologist, 67(2), 101-110. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0024572

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