Thursday, 15 March 2012

Positive Psychology

Martin Seligman is seen as the founder of positive psychology; a branch of psychology that looks at positive thinking and happiness.

Authentic Happiness has lots of background to his work as well as some of the latest work in this area. It links to this BBC page, which has some interesting short videos on happiness.

The most fascinating page is Positive Health: An Overview, where Seligman defines positive health;
 The definition of positive health is empirical, and we are investigating the extent to which these three classes of assets actually improve the following health and illness targets:
  • Does positive health extend lifespan?
  • Does positive health lower morbidity?
  • Is health care expenditure lower for people with positive health?
  • Is there better mental health and less mental illness?
  • Do people in positive health not only live longer but have more years in good health?
  • Do people in positive health have a better prognosis when illness finally strikes?
So the definition of positive health is the group of subjective, biological, and functional assets that actually increase health and illness targets.”

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