How do I make individual psychology positive

Psychological Institute - Personality psychology and diagnostics

The American psychologists Martin E. P. Seligman and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (2000) criticize the fact that psychology has mainly been concerned with researching pathological aspects and largely neglecting positive characteristics such as hope, wisdom, creativity or courage. As an example, Myers (2000) points out that over the past 30 years there have been 46,000 articles in psychological literature on depression and just 400 on joy. Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi call for research and practice to focus more on the positive characteristics of people. Positive psychology is used as a generic term for theories and studies on the characteristics and conditions that make life most worth living. It is assumed that understanding and promoting human strengths can contribute to advancing both individuals and society as a whole.

Positive psychology tries to complete psychology again by examining areas that have been neglected so far. Seligman (2000) describes three pillars of positive psychology. He speaks of positive experience (e.g. contentment, satisfaction), positive traits (e.g. virtues, character strengths or talent) and positive institutions. With regard to the positive experience, he differentiates between three levels: past-oriented (e.g. contentment, satisfaction, pride), future-oriented (e.g. optimism, hope, trust) and present-day positive emotions. In the latter, he differentiates between pleasures (conveyed through the senses) and gratifications (rather learned, activities that we love). Seligman, Parks and Steen (2004) describe positive psychology as the "ultimate goal" of making people happier by helping them to understand and build positive emotions, gratification and meaning in life . Positive institutions describe the framework conditions of institutions that allow growth. “Healthy” families, residential areas, schools, media or companies should be mentioned here. According to Seligman, a fulfilling life consists in experiencing positive emotions (related to both the past and the future). Parts of it are the indulgence of positive emotions in pleasure, ample rewards in the self-realization of the exercise of signature strengths, and finally the use of these strengths in the service of a higher cause in order to gain meaning.

Seligman (2000) understands character strengths as positive traits, as morally valued properties. There are stable and general individual differences in their strengths between people. These should be changeable and thus also trainable, as they also depend on a person's living conditions (Peterson, 2000).

Peterson and Seligman (2004) describe a catalog of 24 character strengths and six virtues, which should function as a kind of DSM (Diagnostic Statistic Manual) for positive properties ("Manual of the Sanities"). Research focuses on human strengths. The authors based their classification on various philosophical, religious or psychological sources from different cultures. Those strengths and virtues were included in the catalog that describe desirable and desirable properties across different cultures and nations. These efforts are supported by empirical studies on individual strengths. The authors name wisdom and knowledge as universal virtues (associated strengths are, for example, creativity, originality and ingenuity), courage (e.g. bravery, perseverance and perseverance), love / humanity (e.g. the ability to love, the ability to bond and friendliness, Generosity), justice (e.g. belonging, teamwork and loyalty), moderation (e.g. willingness to forgive, forgiveness and grace) as well as spirituality and transcendence (e.g. a sense of the beautiful, awe and gratitude).

Positive psychology is based on the conviction that people want to lead a meaningful and fulfilling life, get to know and develop their own strengths and that they want to develop on many different levels, such as love, work or play.