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Authentic Happiness is a website that is sponsored by The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania. It is found in the online directory of the University of Pennsylvania web portal, and managed by Dr. Martin Seligman who is the Director of the Positive Psychology Center in the University of Pennsylvania.
Authentic Happiness was a product of Dr.Seligman’s study and exploration of Positive Psychology which was recently presented as a new branch of Psychology. For Seligman Positive Psychology delves into human emotions that might be considered positive, the features and characteristics of man that are considered his strong points, and healthy customs or traditions that help people focus on their life, happiness, and positive thoughts.
Seligman’s study of these three main focal points of Positive Psychology has led him to the conclusion that human beings are able to achieve authentic happiness despite the circumstances or situations that he might find himself in through the incorporation of techniques and methods that constitute psychological interventions founded on the background and framework of Positive Psychology for the purpose of alleviating the symptoms of depression.
(Authentic Happiness) With almost 700,000 registered users of Authentic Happiness, the website provides its members with access to numerous tools and resources that might help individuals to jumpstart their lives in order for them to attain authentic happiness.
These tools and resources include various questionnaires that focus on assessing or evaluating different areas of life such as the ability of a human being to socialize and empathize with other people, the happiness that an individual feels towards his life, the strengths or strong points of an individual, the pleasure and fulfillment that one feels towards his work or career, the appropriate approaches for individuals to achieving authentic happiness, and such.
(“Questionnaires Center”) The online resource center, on the other hand, reveals various links to other websites that are related to happiness such as other sites that apply the concepts of Positive Psychology, online research centers and journal publications where one might be able to obtain information about Positive Psychology and other studies and findings about happiness, online news articles that provide tips in achieving happiness in life, and such.
(“Resource Center”) In addition, the members of Authentic Happiness may also subscribe to newsletters by which they are able to receive important information and other new links to external online or offline resources regarding Positive Psychology and authentic happiness in their personal electronic mails. (“Newsletter Center”) The overall design of Authentic Happiness is professional or academic looking, especially because it is part of the online portal of the University of the Pennsylvania.
The colors used are a combination of white which helps in organizing an orderly looking website, and different shades of blue which makes the website look interesting and visually stimulating. The main page of Authentic Happiness is well organized as the general and most important information were displayed side by side, through a three-sectioned page, as well as the inclusion of four simple links – the register button, the questionnaires center button, the research center button, and the newsletter center button – at the top that will bring the user to other web pages.
The design of the letters of the various headings in the main page helped in allowing the user to explore and read through the main page easily. The main headings were in bold and highlighted in a color that is different from the body of the text underneath it. The links to other websites from where individuals might obtain other information about Positive Psychology were presented through icons or images that made them look attractive and interesting to visit.
The links to the questionnaires, resources, and newsletters directly takes the user to the log-in page wherein members will be able to log in directly. On the other hand, non-members may opt to register for membership by clicking on the link that will direct the user to the registration form or page. Registering for membership is easy and hassle-free because it will not require one to check personal electronic messages to click links for verification or to log in again, and other hassling requirements that other websites necessitate before one is able to use their services.
After registration, Authentic Happiness directly takes one to the personal profile or the Authentic Happiness Testing Center wherein a member is able to check which questionnaires he already answered including one’s test scores and the results of the test. Taking the tests is also easy. The questions for each survey or test are not that many, ranging from one to twenty five or thirty questions. Answering each question is easy the tests are multiple choice questions.
A scroll bar is located near each question wherein one will only scroll down to select an answer. After taking the tests, a table or a graph shows how one’s scores compare with other individuals who took the test according to gender, age, online users, occupation, education level, and location. However, for some of the tests in the questionnaires center, the interpretation of the scores as they are related to happiness are not shown due to ongoing research studies that are in progress to finalize the framework and design of the tests.
Aside from the primary purpose of Authentic Happiness to help individuals obtain a clear insight of themselves from the results of the tests and surveys that they take in the questionnaires center to help them obtain happiness and to gather information and knowledge about Positive Psychology and how it relates to happiness from the resources and newsletters made available for members in the website, I think that the other goal or objective of Authentic Happiness is to further the improvement or development of the science of Positive Psychology by gaining data from the members who take the tests.
From the graphs and tables found at the end of each tests which analyzes the relation of one’s score to specific demographic information, I think that the tests taken by members is part of developing Dr. Seligman’s Positive Psychology and happiness. Overall, what the website offers for its members is access to various tools and resources that will help them take a closer look on their lives and determine the positive things that will make them happy, such as their strengths or strong points, their feelings and emotions toward themselves, other people, and their lives, and such.
By promoting positivity, the development of a positive outlook and life, and the refocusing of the individual to concentrate on the wonderful things in life through the process of introspection during taking surveys and reading resources and newsletters, Authentic Happiness is able to help individuals find their personal happiness enduringly and independently without even seeking the help of psychology professionals.
The authority of the website is not only fuelled by what it offers to its members as aforementioned in the previous statements, but by the technical aspects or features of Authentic Happiness that proves how reliable and justifiable it is as a source of facts and information. It carries the logo of the University of the Pennsylvania, endorsed and managed by a reliable source, Dr. Seligman, and is registered under the copyright of the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, the extension of the website is .
edu. For these reasons, I would have to say that Authentic Happiness has established its authority and legitimacy as a source of information. With this comprehensive review of Authentic Happiness, I would recommend it to individuals who realize the importance of taking questionnaires and tests for introspection. People who are in a state of confusion and depression who want to learn more about themselves in order to get over their difficulties to finally realize happiness should visit Authentic Happiness.
For people who dislike the process of test-taking, they will also benefit from Authentic Happiness by exploring the resource center as relevant information about happiness are posted in their and by subscribing to the newsletter for updates or new information about Positive Psychology and happiness. The strengths or advantages of Authentic Happiness are the website’s being based on an accepted science, that is Positive Psychology, and it’s being supported by an academic institution and professional in psychology.
The drawbacks, however, is the need to conclude of finalize research studies and findings in order to finish some of the tests that were not able to interpret test results due to lack in information. Dr. Seligman definitely needs to restructure the tests to provide its members with full and complete information.
Authentic Happiness. (2006). Retrieved from The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania. 02 Feb 2009. <http://www. authentichappiness. sas. upenn. edu/Default. aspx>. “Newsletter Center.
” (2006). Retrieved from The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania. 02 Feb 2009. <http://www. authentichappiness. sas. upenn. edu/newsletters. aspx>. “Questionnaires Center. ” (2006). Retrieved from The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania. 02 Feb 2009. <http://www. authentichappiness. sas. upenn. edu/questionnaires. aspx> “Resource Center. ” (2006). Retrieved from The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania. 02 Feb 2009. <http://www. authentichappiness. sas. upenn. edu/resources. aspx>.
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