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This subject will explore the impetus behind the development of positive psychology and the theories and frameworks underpinning it. Problem-focused and strengths-based approaches to mental health will be distinguished and the merits and limits of each will be presented for critical evaluation. The various forms of well-being relating to hedonic and eudaimonic happiness will be considered. Distinctions between cognitive and affective and subjective and objective forms of happiness will also be made. An overview will be provided of some key factors associated with positive psychology and well-being, including positive emotions, engagement, meaning, accomplishment and relationships, and introduce students to the relevance of these in different applied contexts and life domains.
This subject will also examine a range of positive interventions that can be delivered to individuals, groups and communities. Information about multi-level assessments measuring affective, cognitive, behavioural and physiological aspects of well-being will be presented for discussion. Standards for conducting positive interventions will be identified and critiqued and criteria for evaluating the efficacy and effectiveness of positive interventions will be presented for critical review. Ethical issues associated with researching and applying positive interventions will be discussed using standards and guidelines from various disciplines.
Due to specialist teaching requirements, this subject is taught in a series of three intensive Friday/Saturday blocks.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of this subject, students should be able to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of the rationale behind positive psychology and articulate the fundamental objectives of positive psychology
- Identify and analyse the key conceptual and theoretical frameworks underpinning positive psychology
- Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the range of positive interventions and programs available for a variety of common contexts
- Select and develop comprehensive and relevant measurement approaches that will provide information about program efficacy and effectiveness
- Practice using a variety of positive psychology interventions through assessment tasks
Last updated: 8 November 2019