Positive psychology at a city scale

Authored by: Mike Zeidler , Liz Zeidler , Byron Lee

The Routledge International Handbook of Critical Positive Psychology

Print publication date:  September  2017
Online publication date:  September  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138961432
eBook ISBN: 9781315659794
Adobe ISBN:


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To date, the development of individual happiness and wellbeing has dominated much of positive psychology theory and practice, even though the founders of positive psychology, the scientific study of optimal human functioning, referred to producing “knowledge of what makes life worth living” for people, groups, and institutions (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000, p. 5). Some observers (e.g., Di Martino, Eiroa-Orosa, & Arcidiacono, Chapter 7 in this volume) have argued that attention needs to shift from researching whether specific psychological interventions have a positive or negative effect, towards an understanding of how differing contexts can determine beneficial outcomes for any intervention (McNulty & Fincham, 2012). It has also been proposed, from a public health perspective, that moving attention away from individual problems toward developing nurturing environments could potentially accelerate progress in promoting wellbeing and reducing mental ill health (Biglan, Flay, Embry, & Sandler, 2012). In short, attending to a multilevel positive social psychology may be crucial to the future of an applied positive psychology (Lomas, 2015).

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