What is Positive Psychology?

Positive psychology is the scientific study of human flourishing and an applied approach to optimal functioning. It has also been defined as the study of the strengths and values that enable individuals and communities to thrive (Gable & Haidt, 2005, Sheldon & King, 2001). 

Positive psychology is grounded in the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within them, and to enhance their experiences of love, school, faith and play. Positive psychology represents a commitment to the sources of psychological wellness, such as positive emotions, positive experiences and human strengths and virtues (Lyubomirsky, 2007).

 “Positive Psychology is not a self-help movement or a re-packaging of “the power of positive thinking.” It is not American-style “happy-ology,” and it is not a passing fad. Positive Psychology is a science that brings the many virtues of science – replication, controlled causal studies, peer review, representative sampling (to name a few) – to bear on the question of how and when people flourish." (Robert Biswas-Diener, 2008).