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Positive Psychology Manifesto

Updated: Apr 28, 2010

The Positive Psychology Manifesto was created during the first Akumal meeting in 1999 and revised during the second Akumal meeting in 2000 by the following authors: Ken Sheldon, Barbara Frederickson, Kevin Rathunde, Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi, and Jonathan Haidt.

Definition of Positive Psychology:

“Positive Psychology is the scientific study of optimal human functioning. It aims to discover and promote the factors that allow individuals and communities to thrive. The positive psychology movement represents a new commitment on the part of research psychologists to focus attention upon the sources of psychological health, thereby going beyond prior emphases upon disease and disorder.” (Sheldon, Fredrickson, Rathunde, Csikszentmihalyi, & Haidt, 2000)

Goals of Positive Psychology:

“To meet these objectives we must consider optimal functioning at multiple levels, including biological, experiential, personal, relational, institutional, cultural, and global. It is necessary to study
“a) the dynamic relations between processes at these levels,
“b) the human capacity to create order and meaning in response to inevitable adversity, and
“c) the means by which ‘the good life,’ in its many manifestations, may emerge from these processes.” (Sheldon et al., 2000)

Applications of Positive Psychology:

Potential applications of positive psychology include: Improving child education, improving psychotherapy, improving family life, improving work satisfaction across the lifespan, improving organizations and societies, and improving the moral character of society. (Sheldon et al., 2000)

Other Aspects:

Form research networks, foster communication among scientists and professionals, secure funding, establish publication outlets, foster careers for positive psychologists, and making findings accessible to the general public.

References:

Sheldon, K. M., Fredrickson, B., Rathunde, K., Csikszentmihalyi, M., & Haidt, J. (2000). Positive psychology manifesto. Manifesto presented at Akumal 1 conference and revised during the Akumal 2 meeting. [free full text link]


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