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Kendra Cherry

A Closer Look at Positive Psychology

By March 13, 2014

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positive psychology

Positive psychology is a relatively new branch of psychology that has drawn increased attention in recent years. What exactly is positive psychology? This area started to emerge during the 1950s out of the work of humanist thinkers such as Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow and centers on the study of what makes people feel fulfilled and happy. Unlike many subfields of psychology that focus on abnormality and dysfunction, positive psychology is centered on helping people become happier, explore their potential as human beings, and lead more fulfilling lives.

"We believe that a psychology of positive human functioning will arise that achieves a scientific understanding and effective interventions to build thriving in individuals, families, and communities," explains Martin Seligman and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, two of the major thinkers in the field.

In the last decade, general interest in positive psychology has grown tremendously. In order to understand the field of positive psychology, it is essential to start by learning more about its history, major theories and applications. Brush up on the basics in this overview of positive psychology.

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Photo by Sanja Gjenero

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