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Positive PsychologyEverett L. Worthington, Jr.Virginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmond, VA, USA : Positive PsychologyEverett L. Worthington, Jr.Virginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmond, VA, USA Presented at the University of Hong Kong, June 27, 2006 Objectives : Objectives Define positive psychology and show what I think its place in the Psychology curriculum is Provide an overview of the major subfields of positive psychology Provide an illustration from my own research of forgiveness and justice and their relationship to each other and to other virtues I. What is Positive Psychology? : I. What is Positive Psychology? What do you think Positive Psychology is? I. What is Positive Psychology? : I. What is Positive Psychology? What do you think Positive Psychology is? Is it the power of positive thinking? Is it what feels good? I. What is Positive Psychology? : I. What is Positive Psychology? What do you think Positive Psychology is? Is it the power of positive thinking? Is it what feels good? Is it, like Paul Vitz (2005) argues, the resuscitation of applied psychology? Experimental psychology  cognitive science and neuroscience Tests and measures  social scientific measurement (including economics, political science, sociology, and psychological science and psychotherapy) Psychotherapy  (psychotherapy, narrative, spirituality, personalism, and positive psychology) I. What is Positive Psychology? : I. What is Positive Psychology? A. Positive Psychology is the side of the science of human mind and behavior that studies and promotes the best of humanity. It has always been part of psychological science, but modern life has heightened the need to give special attention specifically to the positive aspects of psychology. B. Historical context that brings about Positive Psychology : B. Historical context that brings about Positive Psychology II. What Is the Place in the Curriculum of Positive Psychology? : II. What Is the Place in the Curriculum of Positive Psychology? A. What Positive Psychology is NOT Not a mere appendage onto Introductory Psychology—a few token sections that textbook authors toss in Not segregated as one of many sub-disciplines of psychological science Not the repackaging of the “Personal Adjustment” course Not some form of therapy or counseling (though its applied side might be used in therapy or counseling) Slide 9: B. What Positive Psychology IS Positive Psychology is the psychological scientific study about the best in human life. It is about virtue—and the varieties of virtues. Simply put, positive psychology is the positive half of psychological science. As such, it will, I believe, end up as composing half of almost every chapter in an Introductory Psychology textbook. Objective 1 : Objective 1 Define positive psychology and show what I think its place in the Psychology curriculum is C. Steps to Realizing the Potential of Positive Psychology : C. Steps to Realizing the Potential of Positive Psychology Step 1. Organize into a Positive Psychology course using the typical organization of Introductory Psychology and allowing for the discussion of emergent concepts that relate to the positive side of psychology. Step 2. The literature grows and differentiates. Step 3. Integrate positive psychology into an Introductory Psychology textbook that has half traditional psychology and half positive psychology. D. Organizing the Field : D. Organizing the Field 1. There is no agreed upon organization. 2. Snyder and Lopez (2002) Handbook of Positive Psychology provides one organization 2. Snyder and Lopez (2002) Handbook of Positive Psychology : 2. Snyder and Lopez (2002) Handbook of Positive Psychology History Organizing Strengths Emotion-focused Approaches Cognitive Approaches Self-based Approaches Interpersonal Approaches Biological Approaches Specific Coping Approaches Special Populations and Settings Future of the Field (See Appendix for more detail) 3. My Preferred Organization : 3. My Preferred Organization Part 1: Foundations of Positive Psychology What Is Positive Psychology? Definition, context, history of positive psychology, values (i.e., adherence to rigorous methods of psychological science, contextualization within more general psychological science) [Introduction to Psychology (1)] The Biology of Positive Experiences Biology of positive emotions set against negative emotions and stress, sensation and perception of experiences that people interpret as positive [The Biology Underlying Behavior (2); Sensation and Perception (3)] Positive Development over the Life Span Child development, resilience, aging, finding meaning throughout life [Development (9)] Positive Personality Hope, optimism, personal control, self-efficacy, humor [Personality (10)] Positive Experiences, Health, Stress, Coping and Well-Being Pursuit of virtue, happiness, psychoneuroimmunology, stress and positive coping, well-being [Health Psychology,. Stress, Coping, and Well Being (11)] 3. My Preferred Organization (cont.) : 3. My Preferred Organization (cont.) Part 2: Positive Experiences of Individuals Positive Consciousness and Performance Flow, creativity, dreams States of Consciousness (4) Positive Learning and Memory and Positive Thinking The passion to know; problem solving, wisdom [Learning (5); Memory (6); Thinking, Language, and Intelligence (7)] Positive Emotions Compassion, empathy, forgiveness, sympathy, gratitude, humility, positive affectivity [Motivation and Emotion (8)] Positive Motivations Altruism, love, justice, achievement, grace, mercy motives, goal setting, goal striving, morality [Motivation and Emotion (8)] Making Positive Growth Emerge from Serious Problems Finding meaning in health disorders, psychological disorders and suffering, pain, stress, tragedy, trauma; finding benefits; positive responses to loss [Psychological Disorders (12)] 3. My Preferred Organization (cont.) : 3. My Preferred Organization (cont.) Part 3: Positive Experiences in Relationships Positive Interpersonal Relations Relationships in general, romantic relationships, dating, cohabitation, marriage, work relationships, family relationships, social support [Social Psychology (14)] Positive Community and Societal Interactions Group dynamics, community psychology and prevention, the promotion of positive community attributes, religion and spirituality, societal interactions, multicultural and cross-cultural interactions, resolving conflicts, reconciliation, peace [Social Psychology (14)] Interventions to Bring about More Positive Life Writing interventions, meditation, psychoeducation, support groups, diagnosing and building strengths in therapy [Treatment of Psychological Disorders (13)] Objective 2 : Objective 2 Provide an overview of the major subfields of positive psychology IV. An Example of Positive Psychology in Action: Forgiveness and Virtues : IV. An Example of Positive Psychology in Action: Forgiveness and Virtues Two studies: On college students and on college students who had been crime victims (or a close friend or relative had been a crime victim). This addresses Objective 3: Provide an illustration from my own research of forgiveness and justice and their relationship to each other and to other virtues Virtue : Virtue Is virtue a global universal good? And thus people who are virtuous tend to be virtuous in many regards, valuing many specific virtues. OR Is virtue localized to specific virtues? Thus, some people could be (for instance) justice-seeking but not forgiving. Perhaps there is a third alternative : Perhaps there is a third alternative Worthington, Berry, and Parrott (2001) hypothesized that there are generally virtuous people and those who aren’t, but there are classes of virtues that are preferred, valued and practiced more than others. Worthington, E.L., Jr., Berry, J.W., & Parrott, L. III. (2001). Unforgiveness, forgiveness, religion, and health. In T. G. Plante & A. Sherman (Eds.), Faith and health: Psychological perspectives (pp. 107-138). New York: Guilford. They identified two: Warmth-based (more associated with the BAS—behavioral activating system; approach, action) Consciousness-based (more associated with the BIS—behavioral inhibiting system; avoidance, inhibition of action) Slide 21: Worthington and Berry (2005) refined the thinking, identifying other classifications of valued virtues Worthington, E.L., Jr., & Berry, J.W. (2005). Character development, virtues, and vices. In William R. Miller & Harold D. Delaney (Eds.), Human nature, motivation, and change: Judeo-Christian perspectives on psychology (pp. 145-164). Washington, DC: APA Books. 18 Classic Virtues and Definitions : 18 Classic Virtues and Definitions 1.___ Justice: treating others with fairness according to what they deserve. 2.___ Self-control: the ability to control one’s emotions, desires, and actions. 3.___ Forgiveness: to replace anger with positive feelings toward someone who hurt or offended you. 4.___ Compassion: to sympathize with the suffering of others. 5.___ Temperance: moderation or self-restraint in desires or actions. 6.___ Courage: facing danger with confidence, resolution, and firm control of oneself. 7.___ Patience: ability to endure difficulties with calmness and understanding. 8.___ Humility: lack of vanity, arrogance, or self-righteousness. 9.___ Honesty: being truthful and genuine. 10.___ Prudence: wise and careful in handling practical matters. 11.___ Love: intense affection and warm feelings for others. 12.___ Forbearance: the ability to refrain from acting when it is unwise or unwanted. 13.___ Gratitude: thankfulness for the good things one has received in life. 14.___ Generosity: willingness to give or share. 15.___ Perseverance: to persist with a task, purpose, or idea despite obstacles. 16.___ Open-mindedness: being open-minded and willing to learn from others. 17.___ Gentleness: mildness; not harsh, severe, or violent. 18.___ Fidelity: loyal, faithful, and worthy of trust. Study 1: College Students : Study 1: College Students Method : Method Participants 273 undergraduate students Gender: 72 percent female, 28 percent male Ages: ranged from 18 to 44 years (M=19.5, SD = 3.18). Ethnic identities: European Americans, 60.5 percent; African Americans, 25.3 percent; Asian Americans, 6.1 percent; Other/Mixed, 8.1 percent. Instruments : Instruments Demographics TNTF (Berry et al., 2001) TFS (Berry et al., 2005) IRI (Davis, 1982; trait empathy) DRS (Caprara, 1986; dissipation-rumination) Virtues Preferences and Practices (Berry, Worthington, & O’Connor, 2003; unpublished) Unfolding Analysis : Unfolding Analysis Participants first select top five virtues describing their values Participants rank the five Rank-order data subjected to unfolding analysis (Andrich, 1995) See Table 1 Andrich, D. (1995). Hyperbolic cosine latent trait models for unfolding direct responses and pairwise preferences. Applied Psychological Measurement, 19, 269-290. Unfolding analysis compared to classifications (a priori) by 9 raters—3 Ph.D; 6 M.S. (see Table 1) Table 1Results of Unfolding Scale Analysis of Virtue Preferences : Table 1Results of Unfolding Scale Analysis of Virtue Preferences Gentleness W 4.81 Humility W 4.06 Generosity W 3.93 Gratitude W 3.54 Forgiveness W 3.15 Compassion W 3.01 Love W 2.11 Honesty W 0.25 Fidelity C -0.08 Open-mindednessC -0.17 Patience C -0.19 Justice C -0.87 Courage C -2.76 Self-Control C -3.18 Perseverance C -4.14 Forbearance C -4.33 Prudence C -4.58 Temperance C -4.70 Note. The a priori classifications were based on the majority ratings of nine theoretically informed raters. (Note: Actually, all raters agreed on classification of all virtues.) W=warmth-based; C=conscientiousness-based. Unfolding analysis is within item response theory (Andrich & Styles, 1978).Andrich, D., & Styles, I.M. (1998). The structural relationship between attitude andbehaviour statements from the unfolding perspective. Psychological Methods, 34, 454-469. : Unfolding analysis is within item response theory (Andrich & Styles, 1978).Andrich, D., & Styles, I.M. (1998). The structural relationship between attitude andbehaviour statements from the unfolding perspective. Psychological Methods, 34, 454-469. The estimate of the person separation index for the scale (roughly interpreted like Cronbach’s alpha coefficient of internal consistency) was .71. Using a Chi-squared misfit test with probability of .05, all items fit the model adequately. Ratings of Degree of Value (Preference) and Frequency of Practice : Ratings of Degree of Value (Preference) and Frequency of Practice After each virtue, participants rated the degree to which they value the virtue (1=not at all, 5=very much) and the degree to which they actually practice the virtue in their daily lives (1=never, 5=very frequently). Cronbach’s alpha coefficients for the four scales ranged from .74 to .84. : Cronbach’s alpha coefficients for the four scales ranged from .74 to .84. Four scales were: Value of Warmth-based virtues Value of Conscientiousness-based virtues Practice of Warmth-based virtues Practice of Conscientiousness-based virtues Slide 31: The items of each scale also showed adequate fit to a Rasch measurement model for rating scales (Andrich, 1978), suggesting that each scale is forming an acceptable unidimensional measurement scale. Slide 32: Did rating scales of warmth- and conscientiousness-based virtues correlate with: (a) trait affect (b) forgivingness (dispositional) Noteworthy : Noteworthy Ratings of valuing and practicing were correlated at .62 to .66 (Moderately high but not so much as to introduce concerns of multicollinearity) Ratings of degree of value on the virtues was usually correlated LESS strongly than ratings of degree of practice of the virtue (even though both were self-report) The unfolding scale, putting all virtues on the same metric, with higher values being associated with the warmth-based virtues and lower virtues with the conscientiousness-based virtues, was correlated in similar patterns to other findings (though not as strongly as each separate scale). Slide 35: a In the second correlation, forgiveness was removed from the scale of practicing the warmth-based virtues. Because the TNTF and TFS are explicitly about the practice of forgiveness, we felt it advisable to examine the results without explicit overlap in item content. * p < .05 ** p < .01 *** p < .001 Noteworthy : Noteworthy When we partial out conscientiousness-based virtues, the warmth-based virtue residuals still predict theoretically relevant variables. When we partial out warmth-based virtues, though, few conscientiousness-based virtues predict theoretically relevant variables. We might conclude that respondents in this sample treated dispositional forgivingness more as a warmth-based virtue than as a conscientiousness-based virtue. STUDY 2: Crime Victims : STUDY 2: Crime Victims Method : Method Participants 29 students (10 males, 19 females) Participant was a crime victim (n=11, 38 percent) Participant had been affected by a crime against a friend (n = 12, 41 percent) or relative (n=6, 21 percent) in the past two years Ages: 18 to 34, with a mean age of 19.4 years. European Americans (86%). Crimes: 14 theft or burglary (48.3%), 13 physical assaults (44.8%), 1 threat/attempted assault (3.4%), and 1 other (3.4%). Method : Method Instruments Demographics TRIM Batson Empathy Adjectives Value on the Virtues ((1=not at all, 5=very much) [18 virtues] Objective 3 : Objective 3 Provide an illustration from my own research of forgiveness and justice and their relationship to each other and to other virtues Conclusions : Conclusions Slide 43: Positive Psychology, which I defined as the side of the science of human mind and behavior that studies and promotes the best of humanity, is intimately concerned with the parts of human psychology aimed at understanding what makes people flourish. Slide 44: Positive Psychology, which I defined as the side of the science of human mind and behavior that studies and promotes the best of humanity, is intimately concerned with the parts of human psychology aimed at understanding what makes people flourish. Virtue—a general orientation toward the good—is an important part of the subject matter. Slide 45: Positive Psychology, which I defined as the side of the science of human mind and behavior that studies and promotes the best of humanity, is intimately concerned with the parts of human psychology aimed at understanding what makes people flourish. Virtue—a general orientation toward the good—is an important part of the subject matter. Virtues—individual and separate “goods”—are differentially valued or not valued by individuals. Slide 46: Positive Psychology, which I defined as the side of the science of human mind and behavior that studies and promotes the best of humanity, is intimately concerned with the parts of human psychology aimed at understanding what makes people flourish. Virtue—a general orientation toward the good—is an important part of the subject matter. Virtues—individual and separate “goods”—are differentially valued or not valued by individuals. Virtue orientations—warmth-based, conscientiousness-based, or (the as yet unexplored epistemic-based) virtues (i.e., wisdom and knowledge) are orientations toward clusters of related virtues. Slide 47: As Positive Psychology is developed and refined, we can anticipate predicting different types and levels of behavior by using a general orientation toward virtue or not, specific virtues, or clusters within one of the virtue orientations. Future Challenges to Positive Psychology : Future Challenges to Positive Psychology Subjects: Some people will be more oriented toward the positive, and other people will be more oriented toward the negative and problems—either the experience or solving of problems. Which are which? How can we assess this? Future Challenges to Positive Psychology : Future Challenges to Positive Psychology Subjects: Some people will be more oriented toward the positive, and other people will be more oriented toward the negative and problems—either the experience or solving of problems. Which are which? How can we assess this? Treatments: What actually is positive psychology? The definition of the subject matter is not precise and not agreed upon by all. Forging agreed-upon definitions is a big task of Positive Psychology. Future Challenges to Positive Psychology : Future Challenges to Positive Psychology Subjects: Some people will be more oriented toward the positive, and other people will be more oriented toward the negative and problems—either the experience or solving of problems. Which are which? How can we assess this? Treatments: What actually is positive psychology? The definition of the subject matter is not precise and not agreed upon by all. Forging agreed-upon definitions is a big task of Positive Psychology. Performance measures: At present, finding clearly differentiating measures of the positive and negative is almost impossible. Namely, if we give measures of positive and negative experience, we find that the first one entered captures virtually all of the variance, leaving little to be explained by the other. So, can measures be developed that actually discern between reducing negativity and increasing positivity? Future Challenges to Positive Psychology : Future Challenges to Positive Psychology Subjects: Some people will be more oriented toward the positive, and other people will be more oriented toward the negative and problems—either the experience or solving of problems. Which are which? How can we assess this? Treatments: What actually is positive psychology? The definition of the subject matter is not precise and not agreed upon by all. Forging agreed-upon definitions is a big task of Positive Psychology. Performance measures: At present, finding clearly differentiating measures of the positive and negative is almost impossible. Namely, if we give measures of positive and negative experience, we find that the first one entered captures virtually all of the variance, leaving little to be explained by the other. So, can measures be developed that actually discern between reducing negativity and increasing positivity? Applications: People in pain and distress will pay to alleviate distress. A professional enterprise of “negative” or “problem-solving” psychology can support its practice. But will people pay for enrichment, enhancement, or flourishing? Thank you. : Thank you. Appendixes : Appendixes Appendix 1: Historical context that brings about Positive Psychology (see I. B.) : Appendix 1: Historical context that brings about Positive Psychology (see I. B.) B. Historical context that brings about Positive Psychology : B. Historical context that brings about Positive Psychology 1900 life expectancy in USA was 45 years; most died suddenly in infancy, in childbirth for women, in their jobs for men, from diseases (like diabetes, tuberculosis, flu) Medical science transformed life a. John D. Rockefeller (Frederick T. Gates) b. Advances in healthcare—public health, resuscitate health crises c. By 1947, National Institute for Mental Health in USA is established to deal with mental health problems—focuses attention on solving problems and on the negative. Result: killers are lifestyle choices, violence, stress-related disorders; longer life with the last ten years as “frail” Historical context (continued) : Historical context (continued) Mass migration from rural to urban settings Advances in communication and transportation Results: People live longer, more people, more elderly people, people in instantaneous contact demanding instantaneous response  urban crowding, stress, stress-related disorders, issues about quality of life become more important than whether we survive infancy, childbirth, or a killer disease. People’s focus : People’s focus Become more creative and open to experience Maintain positive physical and mental health Experience positive emotions and grow from the negative emotions we inevitably will experience Promote positive development in ourselves, our children, and our parents throughout the life span Build and maintain positive close relationships in work and family Have positive relationships with people in our communities and peace in our nation and world Positive Psychology is the collection of portions of Psychological Science that helps people meet these emerging needs. : Positive Psychology is the collection of portions of Psychological Science that helps people meet these emerging needs. It is part of psychological science, and as such uses state of the science methods and analytic procedures Its focus is decidedly on understanding positive behavior in individuals, relationships, and communities, nations, and society. Appendix 2: Snyder and Lopez (2002) Handbook of Positive Psychology organization (see II. D. 2.) : Appendix 2: Snyder and Lopez (2002) Handbook of Positive Psychology organization (see II. D. 2.) D. Organizing the field : D. Organizing the field 1. No current agreed upon organization 2. Snyder and Lopez (2002) Handbook of Positive Psychology History Overview1 Seligman Identifying Strengths Deconstructing Mental Illness2 Maddux Human Strengths in Diagnosis3 Wright & Lopez) Positive Diagnosis and Intervention4 Keyes & Lopez Emotion-focused Approaches Subjective Well-Being5 Lucas & Oishi Resilience in Development6 Masten & Reed Flow7 Nakamura & Csikszentmihalyi Positive Affectivity8 Watson Positive Emotions9 Fredrickson Self-esteem10 Hewitt Coping11 Stanton, Parsa, & Austenfeld Emotional Intelligence12 Salovey, Mayer, & Caruso Emotional Creativity13 Averill 2. Snyder and Lopez organization (cont.) : 2. Snyder and Lopez organization (cont.) Cognitive-focused Approaches Creativity14 Simonton Personal Control15 Thompson Well-Being: Mindfulness versus Positive Evaluation16 Langer Optimism17 Carver & Scheier Optimistic Explanatory Style18 Peterson & Stein Hope19 Snyder, Rand, & Sigmon Self-Efficacy20 Maddux Problem Solving Appraisal and Psychological Adjustment21 Heppner & Lee Goal Setting22 Locke The Passion to Know23 Schulman Wisdom24 Baltes, Gluck, & Kunzmann Self-Based Approaches Reality Negotiation25 Higgins Authenticity in Social Relationships26 Swann & Pelham Authenticity27 Harter Uniqueness Seeking28 Lynn & Snyder Humility29 Tangney 2. Snyder and Lopez organization (cont.) : 2. Snyder and Lopez organization (cont.) Interpersonal Approaches Relationship Connection30 Harvey, Pauwels & Zickmund Compassion31 Cassell Forgiveness32 McCullough & Witvliet Gratitude33 Emmons and Shelton Love34 S. Hendrick & C. Hendrick Empathy and Altruism35 Batson, Ahmad, Lishner, & Tsang Morality36 Schulman Biological Approaches Toughness37 Dienstbier & Zilig Positive Affect38 Isen From Social Structure to Biology and Health39 Ryff & Singer Social Support40 Taylor, Dickerson, & Klein Specific Coping Approaches Writing and Talking about Emotion41 Niederhoffer & Pennebaker Benefit-Finding and Benefit-Reminding42 Tennen & Affleck Positive Responses to Loss43 Nolen-Hoeksema & Davis Meaningfulness in Life44 Baumeister & Vohs Humor45 LefcourtMeditation46 Shapiro, Schwartz, & Santree Spirituality47 Pargament & Mahoney 2. Snyder and Lopez organization (cont.) : 2. Snyder and Lopez organization (cont.) Special Populations and Settings Children48 Roberts, Brown, Johnson, & Reinke Aging49 Williamson Physical Disability and Positive Growth50 Elliott, Kurylo, & Ricera Multicultural Context51 Lopez, Prosser, Edwards, Magyar-Moe, Neufeld, & Rasmussen Work52 Turner, Barling, & Zacharatos Future of the Field Positive Ethics53 Handelsman, Knapp, & Gottlieb Constructivism54 Mahoney Future55 Snyder & Lopez

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