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.

The Science of Spirituality: 16 Tips to Build Your Spiritual Practice

When plagues hit, people turned to religion. When war hits, people pray for and depend on one another. When terror tries to steal life from us, we stand in solidarity and hope for the goodness of humanity. Science is a very valuable part of humanity. However, it hasn’t yet explained […]

Operant Conditioning Theory: Examples for Successful Habit Formation

Operant conditioning is a well-known theory, but how do you put it into practice in your everyday life? How do you use your knowledge of its principles to build, change, or break a habit? How do you use it to get your children to do what you ask them to […]

15 Must-Watch TED Talks on Positive Psychology

TED talks have been around for over 30 years now, and in the 14 years since they’ve been online, thousands of them have been uploaded for viewers like you and me. We’ve put together a list of our 15 favorite positive psychology TED talks to inspire you about key themes, […]

What are Mental Health Theories? (Incl. List)

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?

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 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

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 […]

10 Must-Read 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?

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)?

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 […]

What is Positive Psychology & Why is It Important?

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 […]

Abraham Maslow, His Theory & Contribution to Psychology

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 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 Journal of Positive Psychology And Where To Find It

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. […]

Positive Psychology Theory in a Nutshell

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. (2000) "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 […]