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Discuss and Evaluate Some Fundamental Assumptions of Positive Psychology.

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  • Essay length: 992 words
  • Submitted: 01/01/2004
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GCSE Psychology

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DISCUSS AND EVALUATE SOME FUNDAMENTAL ASSUMPTIONS OF POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY

In previous years psychology has tended to focus much of its attention on the understanding and repairing of negative aspects of human nature, for instance depression and prejudice. In doing this it has neglected the finer qualities of life. Positive psychology is concerned with emphasising factors that contribute to happiness and well being, rather than trying to treat deficit and pathology. This assignment aims to highlight some of the fundamental assumptions of positive psychology, whilst at the same time addressing any major criticisms.

A key figure in the positive psychology movement is Martin Seligman. Seligman

Believes that modern psychology has been so preoccupied with relieving any factors that may make life miserable, that it has forgotten about those that produce a more enjoyable existence. According to him, social sciences in particular, view human strengths and virtues as mere fantasy, whilst negative motivation and human flaws are viewed as authentic. As a result of this, human beings have often been disregarded as passive victims of society. Seligman aims to correct this unbalance by promoting the investigation into positive areas of psychology.

Seligman proposes three 'desirable lives,'

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