Evaluation of Positive Psychology
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THOROUGHLY Evaluate Martin Seligman’s positive psychology theory.
Write a 3-page paper evaluating the theory using three of the ‘criteria on which to evaluate theories’ listed in the chapter of Sternberg et al. (2007) 2nd edition critical thinking in Psychology ISBN-10: 1108739520. To complete this assignment, you must reference empirical articles from the Fielding library; 3-5 articles would suffice. Textbooks are also appropriate resources. It is best to select articles published within the last 5 years, although you can also use older sources for this assignment.
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*****PLEASE DO NOT USE UNNECESSARY SENTENCES IN AN ATTEMPT TO LENGTHEN PAPER!!! This is highly frowned upon at my university.*****
Evaluation of Positive Psychology
Mainstream psychology focuses primarily on the negative aspects of life. Psychologists believe in rectifying life by focusing on its mistakes. As such, they sought to understand negative aspects such as depression and anxiety. However, leading a successful life depends on personal perspectives and the environment. Gable & Haidt (2015) mention that. The biggest insight into happiness is that it is not just a place but a process. Happiness is an ongoing practice of challenges, the right attitudes and behaviours. Seligman emphasized optimism and happiness as part of a happy life. He gave birth to the rise of positive psychology. Fundamentally, psychology incorporated curing mental illness, identifying and nurturing life’s high potential to make it fulfilling.
Evaluation of Positive Psychology Theory
Seligman wanted to achieve more in the field of psychology. Given the traditional understanding of human psychology, Seligman develops the positive psychology theory by moving against the dark side of life and its weaknesses. As such, the scope of positive psychology is not based on trying to fix what is broken in life but focusing on the beauty and strengths of a person in a bid to make life more fulfilling. MacIntyre (2016) explains that Seligman, through his experience with his 5-year-old daughter, helped him realize the importance of nurturing and fostering one’s strengths instead of correcting negative attributes. Positive psychology is defined through the lens of personality traits and evolutionary traits. It creates a science that aims at developing an understanding of how to foster values of hope, ethics and faith in life. Additionally, a focus on positive psychology is termed by Seligman (2017) as psychotherapy which goes against the idea of personal damage to engaging one’s strength,
Positive Emotion and Virtues.
It can be proved that positive psychology depends on the applicability of an ever-changing social environment. The scope of positive psychology is embedded in life’s values respective to how they change. Therefore, happiness is based on individual daily interaction with their families, organization and communities. Interaction with the outside environment helps to foster respect and productivity as fundamental to positivity. According to Gable & Haidt (2015), the theory of positive psychology can be evaluated based on multiple attributes. The utility of the study is based on three points; first, at the subjective level, the theory of positive psychology emphasizes individual experience. An individual’s experience allows them to evaluate life based on their experiences. MacIntyre (2016) adds that as an individual is nurtured in a loving environment, they develop positive traits, such as satisfaction, hopefulness, satisfaction and happiness.
On the contrary, a person raised in a harsh environment will become harsh, inconsistent and doubting. Given the first subjective level of personal experience, positive psychology theory is also based on one’s capacity to love. Happiness is considered a shared trait ultimately provided by the love for life and one another. The third utility of the theory is interpersonal skills, such as perseverance, sensibility, cooperation and originality. The last attribute of the theory is based on the idea that institutions are made of different individuals. Therefore, creating a cohesive environment depends on one’s culture, behaviours and association with other people. To this accord, interpersonal skills are made up of individual intention to attain responsibility, work ethics and altruism. Given the components of positive psychology, it makes it possible for people to position themselves to a different trajectory of their personal, professional and social experiences.
According to Fredrickson (2012), the theory can be evaluated based on its testability. It emphasizes that working on the theory can strengthen the perception and quality of life. According to Linley & Joseph (2014), every person can improve their life by focusing on psychological well-being, positive emotions and experiences. Thus, when faced with negativity, one can improve their life by challenging their negative emotions. On the scope of the study, the theory posits that happiness and quality of life depend on personal perception of well-being and overall existence. In a study by MacIntyre (2016), the article concludes that positive emotions successfully encourage negative ones while preventing and treating issues arising from anxiety, depression and aggression. It emphasizes that when subjects learn to harness their positive emotions, they can accept and understand negativity. Finally, Fredrickson (2012) adds that a person’s ability to develop coping strategies increases significantly with the ability to cultivate positive emotions.
Positive experiences have the potential to lead an individual to understand their ability to handle negative feedback. Additionally, it fosters the performance of an individual within a particular set of tasks. Positive psychology can be evaluated based on its accuracy and validity. People who encounter positive experiences demonstrate an increased willingness to accept negative feedback. Therefore, the success of positive psychology is dependent on a tendency to seek positive experiences and turn negativity into positive outcomes. The basis of the theory includes; positive emotions, engagement, relationships and meaning. Positive psychology is deemed effective in increasing the subjective well-being of subjects.
- Fredrickson, B. L. (2012). The role of positive emotions in positive psychology: The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. American psychologist, 56(3), 218.
- Gable, S. L., & Haidt, J. (2015). What (and why) is positive psychology? Review of general psychology, 9(2), 103-110.
- Linley, P. A., & Joseph, S. (2014). Applied positive psychology: A new perspective for Professional practice. Positive psychology in practice, 3-12.
- MacIntyre, P. D. (2016). So far, so good: An overview of positive psychology and its contributions to SLA. Positive psychology perspectives on foreign language learning and teaching, 3-20.
- Seligman, M. E. (2017). Coaching and positive psychology. Australian Psychologist, 42(4), 266-267.