Positive Psychology is receiving more and more consideration by mainstream psychologists. While traditionally
psychology has focused on understanding unhappiness and dysfunction, Positive Psychology, in the words of its founder, Martin Seligman, is the ‘scientific study of optimal human functioning [that] aims to discover and promote the factors that allow individuals and communities to thrive’. We can all learn by knowing how some people are resilient and resourceful in the face of adversity, while others crumble.
Positive Psychology was established about ten years ago and it is a rapidly developing field. Its aim is to bring solid empirical research into areas such as well-being, personal strengths, wisdom, creativity, psychological health and characteristics of positive people and groups.
See this link for more reading in Positive Psychology. It is not an established part of the IB Diploma Psychology course (yet) but an understanding of how it works can improve students’ writing on such topics as mindfulness (Abnormal Psychology), resilience (Development and Human Relationships), self-talk (Sport psychology) and how to manage their own stress and self-esteem as the exams loom.
Martin Seligman talks about Positive Psychology