What is Positive Psychology
The positive psychology movement has emerged as a response to psychology that is busy with the pathological and negative aspects of human functioning and behavior. A group of research-oriented positive psychologists led by renowned psychologist Martin Seligman, the aim of positive psychology is to emphasize what is wrong in people, not what is right, focus on strengths, resilience (unlike weakness/vulnerability), healthy, well-being, good They stated that they are concerned with the improvement and development of life.
In the traditional understanding of psychology and modern understanding, psychology is known as a discipline that tends to solve by focusing on one’s negative and weak sides. The approaches based in this way are problem-oriented approaches; It aims to remove the individual from the so-called “abnormal” and bring it to “normal.” The point that should not be ignored here is that psychology is perceived as a science that intervenes only in “abnormal” situations and tries to solve them.
Positive psychology does not reject and accept clinical psychology based on the medical model and problem-solving-oriented approach. But he criticizes the unilateral inclination of psychology to this field. He says that the focus on the negative is the focus on the positive as well. Although clinical psychology, which carries people from minus to plus levels, has made great contributions to humanity, it has not made sufficient suggestions for a more valuable and livable life. For this reason, positive psychology is necessary.
Positive psychology, stating that the traditional understanding of psychology neglects normal people, telling that psychology should show importance to ‘normal’ people and their strengths in the least pathological situations, emphasizing that psychological findings should be applied to teach people how to be more normal, happier and better. And for the first time in 1999, Martin EP It is the psychology approach proposed by Seligman. Positive psychology is to create the best and repair the damaged one; It aims to make the lives of healthy people more satisfactory and the healing of diseases. Seligman stated that positive psychology should have 3 goals.
Goals of Positive Psychology
- Psychology should deal with the strengths of people as well as their strengths,
- Psychology should be concerned with its strengths as well as trying to heal the damaged parts of people,
- Psychology is that it has to deal with good things in life and that ‘normal’ people must try to make their lives satisfactory and aim to develop genius and high talents.
Positive psychology focuses on the character strength of people and aims to improve them. Character strengths and positive experiences are among the main concerns of positive psychology for life satisfaction.
According to Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi the positive psychology approach conducts research in three important areas:
Positive Psychology Work Area
- Working on what the positive experiences of individuals are,
- Working on what the positive characteristics of individuals are,
- Working on positive institutions.
The content of individuals’ positive experiences; individuals’ satisfaction with their past lives, positive well-being levels of the past; individuals are optimistic and hopeful for the future; their feeling of happiness as of the moment they are in. The content of the positive properties; forms such as love, courage, forgiveness, manifesting its own subjective side and acting selflessly. The content of positive institutions; Factors such as creating institutions that benefit individuals and society and developing these institutions. In this dimension; Issues such as being a good citizen, responsibility, altruism, civilization, modernization, tolerance and work ethics are important