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Flourish: The Search for Well Being

Flourish: The Search for Well Being. Berlin 10 July 2010 Martin E.P. Seligman marty@apa.org In Memory: John R. Z. Abela d. June 18, 2010, age 39 years. HappinessTheory. Life Satisfaction (Intervening Variable) Positive Emotion Engagement (Flow) Meaning

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Flourish: The Search for Well Being

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  1. Flourish:The Search for Well Being Berlin 10 July 2010 Martin E.P. Seligman marty@apa.org In Memory: John R. Z. Abela d. June 18, 2010, age 39 years

  2. HappinessTheory • Life Satisfaction (Intervening Variable) Positive Emotion Engagement (Flow) Meaning • Aim: Increase Life Satisfaction • Problems Subjective Variables Not Exhaustive Mood 70% of Life Satisfaction

  3. Well Being Theory • Well Being (Hypothetical Construct) Positive Emotion (Life Satisfaction, Engagement) Meaning Positive Relationships Accomplishment • Aim: Increase Flourishing • Improvements Objective and Subjective Variables More Exhaustive of Uncoerced Choice

  4. Central Europe & PP • 100 years of LH and Tragedy • Intellectual Dogma Background Darwin, Marx, Freud Prison of the Past • Entrenched Pessimistic Premises Negative Emotion & Negative Events Illness and Depression Childhood and History Hard Determinism The Goal: Remediation

  5. Prevalence of flourishing in Europe by age groupESS data 2006/7, n=43,000

  6. Prevalence of flourishing in Europe by years of educationESS data 2006/7, n=43,000

  7. Radical Positive Premises Positive Emotion, Meaning, Harmony, Accomplishment Drawn by the Future (vs Driven by the Past) Will, Freedom, Health The Goal: Growth

  8. Active Constructive Constructive Destructive Active Passive

  9. What is Positive Psychology? psychology should: • Be as concerned with strength as with weakness • Be as interested in building the best things in life as in repairing the worst • Be as concerned with making the lives of normal people fulfilling as with healing pathology • Develop Interventions to increase well being, not just to decrease misery • Break

  10. Skepticism about Happiness • Feeling vs Doing (Instrumental) • Suffering Trumps • Nothing New Here (Wealth, Longevity, LS) • Fuzzy • Antagonizes Traditional Learning • Antagonizes Altruism

  11. Should Positive Psychology Be Taught at School?

  12. First Onset Change • 1960—mean onset age of 30 years • 1995—mean onset age of 14.5 years • Recurrent Disorder

  13. Little Increase in Well Being

  14. Denmark USA Italy Russia

  15. Positivity Promotes Learning • Baby Explores under Positive • Broadens Attention • Promotes Creativity • Success in the Workplace

  16. PP Should Be Taught • Fights Depression • Raises Well Being • Synergy with Classroom Learning • Synergy with Worldly Success

  17. But Is Well Being Teachable?

  18. Positive Interventions Empirically Validated Examples • Optimism: Penn Resilience Training • Positive Emotion: 3 Blessings • Engagement: Signature Strengths • Positive Relationships: ACR • Meaning & Purpose: Altruism vs Pleasure

  19. Penn Resilience Training (PRP) • 21 replications worldwide (3000 children) • Whitehall • Controlled Experiments • Diverse Samples • Led by Teachers • Children learn to handle day to day stressors realistic optimism assertiveness decision-making

  20. Well Being Can Be Taught • Well Being is Being Taught UK (250 trained PRP teachers) USA Australia • Entire US Army (Comprehensive Soldier Fitness) • BREAK

  21. Gratitude Exericse

  22. Politics of Well Being • Military & Economic Centuries • What is Wealth For? GDP vs GWB • The Safety Net and Florence • The Camel, The Rebel, & The Child Reborn • What can every human being say “Yes” to? More Positive Emotion More Engagement More Noble Purpose More Positive Relationships More Positive Accomplishment

  23. Sources & Resources • www.positivepsychology.org (Literature) • www.psych.upenn.edu/seligman (Literature & Manuals) • www.authentichappiness.org (Questionnaires) • seligman@psych.upenn.edu • Flourish, 2011: N.Y.: Free Press (My New Book)

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