What is Positive Psychology?
“Positive Psychology is the scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive. The field is founded on the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within themselves, and to enhance their experiences of love, work, and play” (Positive Psychology Center, 2017).
“…[it] is a growing and vibrant sub-area within the broader discipline of psychology, committed to using the same rigorous scientific methods as other sub-areas, in pursuit of understanding well-being, excellence, and optimal human functioning” (Donaldson, Dollwet & Rao, 2015).
In other words, positive psychology is the study of what goes right in life. It focuses on an individual’s goals, desires, well-being, physical and mental health, values and virtues, morals, spirituality, meaning, altruistic ideals, mindfulness, and resilience, among other aspects.
Positive Psychology Center. (n.d.). Retrieved August 01, 2017, from Positive Psychology Center
Happiness, excellence, and optimal human functioning revisited: Examining the peer-reviewed literature linked to positive psychology. The Journal of Positive Psychology Vol. 10 , Iss. 3,2015
The Positive Psychology Club at Ohio State
Traditionally, from the times of Sigmund Freud and B.F. Skinner, psychologists have focused on raising the mentally ill to baseline mentality. By way of explanation, the goal was to help the mentally ill become the average, everyday, functioning person with enough therapy. But what if you meet that baseline, or you’ve been there your whole life? The baseline doesn’t mean you’re happy—it means you have roughly the same number of ups and downs in any given day.
Martin Seligman, the founder of positive psychology, started to investigate what makes the happiest people in the world happy, and how average people—or people at the baseline—can get to that level—aka, flourish.
“Psychology is much bigger than just medicine, or fixing unhealthy things. It's about education, work, marriage - it's even about sports. What I want to do is see psychologists working to help people build strengths in all these domains.” - Martin Seligman
This is what the Positive Psychology Club at Ohio State is all about. Oftentimes in college, it is understandably easy to lose track or forget about the people, activities, ideologies, etc. we love most. The Positive Psychology Club’s goal is to get to the root of your happiness. We start by having you ask yourself, “What do I enjoy? How can I flourish?”
Our promise is: to provide youth with the information to increase pleasure and gratification, build upon individual signature strengths and virtues, and find meaning and purpose in everyday life.
What to Expect
There will roughly be seven Positive Psychology meetings held throughout each semester. All of the meetings will include food, mindfulness activities, and speakers including Dr. Jennifer Cheavens, head of the Mood and Personalities (MAPS) lab at Ohio State, professors and graduate students who will discuss their projects in detail and research opportunities at Ohio State, and an Amazon #1 release best-selling author who wrote, Lead with Balance. We will also have other fun activities planned such as going out to dinner as a group, service activities, and more. This club is laidback and a great way to get involved at Ohio State if you are interested in any kind of psychology and/or if you are interested in pursuing your personal goals and increasing positivity in your life. The great thing about positive psychology is it applies to everyone—who doesn't want to be happier?! We hope you can join in!
All currently enrolled undergraduate students at the Ohio State University are eligible for membership in the Club. Faculty, alumni, and professionals of the Ohio State University are encouraged to join as non-voting or honorary members. Each member is required to pay ten dollars for entry and complete five hours of service. For more information, contact the club by email or phone: 937-266-6317
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