Why the Science of Happiness will have a huge Impact on the Economy
A Few Thoughts on Positive Psychology
The term “positive psychology” was introduced by Prof. Martin Seligman in 1998, with a focus on personal growth rather than pathology, with was hitherto psychologists’ prevailing area of interest.
“Build what’s strong” instead of “Fix what’s wrong”
"Build what's strong" became a new paradigm in psychology, with a focus on looking for personal growth and mental health rather than treating illness.
Positive psychology serves as an umbrella for many topics:
“Psychology should be able to help document what kind of families result in children who flourish, what work settings support the greatest satisfaction among workers,
… and how our lives can be most worth living….
The field of positive psychology at the subjective level is about valued subjective experience:
- well-being, contentment, and satisfaction (past),
- hope and optimism (future), and
- flow and happiness (present).
At the individual level it is about positive individual traits -- the capacity for love and vocation, courage, interpersonal skill, aesthetic sensibility, perseverance, forgiveness, originality, future-mindedness, spirituality, high talent, and wisdom. At the group level it is about the civic virtues and the institutions that move individuals toward better citizenship: responsibility, nurturance, altruism, civility, moderation, tolerance, and work ethic…
It will also re-orient psychology back to its two neglected missions, making normal people stronger and more productive as well as making high human potential actual.” (Seligman, Csikszentmihalyi, 2000)
The fields of application are varied including, positive education, positive health, positive coaching and positive business.
Positive Psychology in Business
Human strengths - and not the absence of weaknesses - are the keys to productivity, resilience, increased job engagement and customer satisfaction. Moreover, the enormous effect of positive emotions in business creates a vision of positive psychology playing a major role in the economy within the next years.
Applying positive psychology to single persons or teams can help to establish higher levels of well-being and self-esteem across the entire organization. For instance, it can reduce the fear of change and build up an appreciative communication culture.