Theory & Books

Here you will find theoretical positive psychology articles, book summaries, and reviews that explain scientific concepts and findings in the field for the sake of understanding and mastering these topics.

How to Use the Experience Sampling Method in Psychology

experience sampling method

If you have ever felt baffled as to the sequence of events or emotions that triggered an anger outburst, then you might want to know more about ESM - Experience Sampling Method. Experience sampling is a type of market research where users fill out some kind of journal. These journal […]

What are Mental Health Theories? (Incl. List)

What are Mental Health Theories

Have you ever met with a counselor or therapist and thought, "This is not a good fit?" It might have had something to do with the theories they use to inform their practice. Counselors and therapists worldwide receive training about the theoretical underpinnings of mental health. They learn how to […]

What is the Mental Health Continuum Model?

Mental Health Continuum

Think about it. When a person behaves oddly or deviates from the societal standards of normality, we address him/her in so many ways - depressed, anxious, moody, suicidal, and the list goes on. But how often do we hear ourselves categorizing the ‘mentally healthy’ people as happy, very happy, or […]

The 20 Best Books on Appreciative Inquiry

Appreciative Inquiry Books

Appreciative inquiry is a strength-based approach to address changing and is considered a constructive alternative to traditional problem-solving. The intention in this process is to seek and leverage the best in people and place the focus more on what we want and less on what is broken. By changing the […]

The Connections Between Positive Psychology And Mental Health

positive psychology and mental health

Mental health therapists in the past dealt mostly with psychological diseases and the health issues that came from it. Their focus was less on individual factors like motivation, positive thinking, happiness, and emotional resilience, and more on the manifested symptoms of mental illness. George Vaillant, a pioneer in the field […]

Csikszentmihalyi’s Book ‘Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience’

Flow

A founding father of Positive Psychology, in his seminal work “Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience” (1990), Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi argues that the key to happiness is to strive for ‘flow’ in our lives. Csikszentmihalyi argues that happiness can be achieved by taking control over our consciousness. When I think about […]

10 Must-Read Positive Psychology Books

positive psychology books

As extensive as this list of positive psychology books may be, it will never be ‘finished’ or ‘complete’. To make the list as valuable as possible, your contribution is not only greatly appreciated, but necessary. So in case you know of any positive psychology books that aren’t yet featured in […]

What is Environmental Psychology?

Environmental Psychology Theory

The term “environmental psychology” might be a bit ambiguous or confusing to you; if it is, you’re certainly not alone. It’s not a very large field yet, but it has the potential to be one of the most impactful ones yet regarding the future of being human. If your interest is […]

What is Kaplan’s Attention Restoration Theory (ART)?

ART

Spending time in nature, by watching a sunset, gazing at the ocean or mountains, sitting in a park, escaping to the countryside or a nature retreat, or even just spending a few minutes to stare out the window, provides us with the opportunity to rest, reflect, and restore our very […]

Martin Seligman’s Autobiography: The Hope Circuit

Martin Seligman’s Autobiography: The Hope Circuit

A brief history of psychology, the universe and everything. This is truly an auspicious occasion for the Positive Psychology community. Martin Seligman, the iconic founder of Positive Psychology, has finally published his autobiography, The Hope Circuit: A Psychologist's Journey from Helplessness to Optimism. This is more than just the memoir […]

What is Positive Psychology & Why is It Important?

positive psychology

If you’ve been hearing the term “positive psychology” thrown around a lot, but you’re not quite sure what it is, you’ve come to the right place! There are some common misconceptions about positive psychology, both about what it is and what it is not. To clear up some of these […]

The 4 Best TED Talks On The Benefits Of Writing

writing-therapy

For some people, writing can feel like a chore. Sitting down in front of a computer or a piece of paper can sometimes feel like a waste of time that could be better spent doing other things. There are all sorts of benefits to writing, though. For example, one recent […]

Abraham Maslow, His Theory & Contribution to Psychology

maslow

Abraham Maslow is one of the most influential psychologists of the twentieth century. His biggest contributions to psychology were his contributions to humanistic psychology as well as his development of the hierarchy of needs. Maslow’s career in psychology greatly predated the modern positive psychology movement, but it might not look […]

Big Five Personality Traits: The OCEAN Model Explained

The Big Five Personality Theory: The 5 Factor Model Explained (+PDF)

The Big Five personality traits are all about the following question: "Who are you?" It's a simple enough question, but it's one of the hardest ones to answer. There are many ways to interpret that question. An answer could include your name, your job title, your role in your family, […]

The Positive Psychology Of Creativity (+3 Exercises to Try)

Boost your creativity

It doesn’t take long to find a link between Positive Psychology and creativity, and the body of research connecting well-being and creativity is constantly growing. A quick look at the VIA framework reveals creativity to be one of its 24 signature strengths. More specifically, creativity is one of the character […]

The Journal of Positive Psychology And Where To Find It

journal of positive psychology

The Journal of Positive Psychology is the first-ever journal entirely dedicated to positive psychology. It publishes six issues a year and presents the latest scientific findings related to happiness, fulfillment, and flourishing. The Journal of Positive Psychology pools information from a multitude of disciplines that range from psychology to economics. […]

Emotional Agility: Susan David’s 4 Step’s to Thriving with Change

Susan David’s book Emotional Agility is the epitome of positive psychology—empowered navigation of our thoughts, feelings, and narratives as they relate to the various spheres of our lives.  David argues that the way we perceive our inner selves is the determinant of how we live and the successes we incur. […]

The Science of Spirituality: 5 Tips to Build Your Spiritual Practice

The science of spirituality explores the link between religion and well-being. Does maintaining a spiritual practice improve people's biological health? If you are curious about the health benefits and biochemical effect of religion, then this article is for you. "Spirituality lies not in the power to heal others, to perform miracles […]

Positive Psychology Theory in a Nutshell

Differences between Positive Psychology and The Mental Hygiene Movement

Positive psychology complements traditional psychology's focus on pathology. It studies strengths, virtues, and the factors that contribute to a full and meaningful life. "Probably the biggest insight is that happiness is not just a place, but also a process. Happiness is an ongoing process of fresh challenges and . . . […]

Positive Psychology: An Introduction (Summary + PDF)

One of the foundational articles in the field of positive psychology is "Positive Psychology. An Introduction," written by Martin Seligman and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. "Psychology is much larger than curing mental illness or curing diseases. I think it's about bringing out the best in people; it's about positive institutions; it's about strength […]

10 Must-Watch TED Talks on Positive Psychology

TED Talks on Positive Psychology

Many leading experts in the field of positive psychology have spoken at TED Talk events about aspects of positive psychology, including happiness, flow, mindset, and optimism. Here is a list of positive psychology TED Talks you should check out. Which one most inspired you or made you question something? We would love […]

Authentic Happiness by Martin Seligman (Review + Summary)

Authentic Happiness book review

From the time it was published over a decade ago, the book Authentic Happiness has become a classic book in positive psychology. The author is none other than the founder of positive psychology himself: Martin Seligman. Seligman has written about positive psychology long before this book came to fruition, and is one […]

The Aristotelian Principle and Its Influence on Positive Psychology

aristotelian principle

When positive psychology emerged in the late 1990s, it critiqued mainstream psychology for not focusing on the positive aspects of the human experience. Positive psychology researchers described the perspective of most mainstream psychology as an “inappropriately negative view of human nature and the human condition” (Keyes and Haidt, 2003). Practitioners […]