Where can a layman go to expose themselves more to the revolutionary field of positive psychology?
In my previous posts, it’s no secret that I rave about the field of positive psychology for its focus on what it means to live a meaningful and fulfilling life. This contrasts with several other fields of psychology that focus more on the abnormalities and dysfunctions of the brain. The field itself serves as ample inspiration for my continued involvement with writing this blog while potentially benefitting the lives of others.
With that being said, I feel that it is fair to you readers to not just simply take my word on everything I write about the field, but instead give you the opportunity to dive in yourself if you so wish to learn more about this fascinating field of study. I aim to expose as many readers as I can to this field simply through the blog itself, but it may also be useful to give you guys resources that continue to help me out. So, without further ado, here are some places where you can get started.
First off, I find the website for the University of Pennsylvania Positive Psychology Center to be very useful for many things, including the original overview of PERMA theory, suggested readings/videos, and their overall mission as a field of study. This is one of the best resources to consult for a few reasons. One, Marty Seligman, the father of positive psychology himself, is the one who started both the Positive Psychology Center and the website. Therefore, you are finding your information straight from the source. The University of Pennsylvania is also the first institution of higher education in the world to offer a graduate program of study in the field of positive psychology, which makes sense considering Seligman’s contributions during his time there. In summary, you have a respected and trusted resource in this website. Here is the link:
There is also an opportunity to register for positive psychology courses through Coursera, which offers open online courses for specializations, certifications, and even degrees. Seligman and other faculty members at the University of Pennsylvania teach courses in the specialization itself. You can either take the courses for free (which is what I am currently doing), or you can pay a fee to show that you satisfactorily completed the courses for a specialization. Like I said, I am taking it for free, so I wouldn’t feel any pressure to pay for the courses unless you would like to show future employers that you did it for some reason. Here is a link for the specialization in coursera:
Finally, Seligman also has written several books based off of his findings in his research. These include “The Hope Circuit,” “Flourish,” “Learned Optimism,” “Happy Together,” and several other books. I hope to read these at some point myself, and I will be certain to write a review on each of these works for you guys and recommend them if necessary. Still, reading these works is probably going to be the preferred method of learning about Seligman’s work compared to reading all of the scientific literature that goes into it. It is also going to be much cheaper than buying access to all the articles in something like the Journal of Positive Psychology, though if you can, have at it if you do want to do that. Primary scientific literature like this journal is going to be the most trustworthy and based on evidence. However, It is also going to be relatively difficult to interpret and have time for.
I hope these suggestions serve as a good place to start with learning about positive psychology. I most certainly have not said everything that you can do to learn more about the field, so feel free to comment below if you have any more resources that could be helpful for people. I hope you guys get a chance to look at some of these and gain a little bit more of a foundation for the field. They are educational and could help people get one step closer to living the meaningful and fulfilling life that we all desire. Thanks for reading, and happy studying!