PSYC4730 Applied Positive Psychology

PSYC4730 Applied Positive Psychology

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PSYC4730 Applied Positive Psychology

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PSYC4730 Applied Positive Psychology

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Course Code: PSYC4730
University: The University Of Sydney is not sponsored or endorsed by this college or university

Country: Australia


The purpose of this essay is for the student to reflect on their psychological strengths and how these, and other possible strengths, could be further developed using positive psychology techniques.
a) critically evaluate the theories, techniques and evidence-base of positive psychologyb) demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the range of positive psychology interventions to strengthen optimism, resilience and self esteemc) actively apply positive psychology techniques to enhance the wellbeing of individuals, groups, workplaces, communities and institutionsd) demonstrate an understanding of the application of key theories and techniques in positive psychology in the human services context


Focusing on the positive attributes and characteristics of an individual as well as a group can be said as positive psychology. Hence, the functions of positive psychology are to concentrate on the wellbeing, personal strengths, happiness, and creativity of the individual and the groups being concentrated on. Positive psychology not only focuses on positive thinking and emotions, but also helps individuals and communities to experience a better life with win-win situation. The three points in, which positive psychology focuses are past contentment and satisfaction, present concepts of happiness and future perception of optimism and hope. Therefore, positive psychology helps is providing a fresh viewpoint about the flourishing human life (McGraw-Hill Education, 2012). Positive psychology focuses largely on the strengths, as the researchers possess the potential of underpinning the use of strengths within an individual to lead them towards happiness thereby invoking within them the attributes of confidence for effectively attaining their desired goals of life (CAPP, 2010).
Strengths and Its Relation with Psychology
Positive psychological strength is considered as one of the variable, which helps in understanding the optimism, efficacy and resilience of an individual. Hence, it facilitates the individuals in the development of coping with the mechanism related to the different types of situations, in which personality plays a very important role. The negative personality experiences higher amount of sufferings, whereas positive personality develops optimistic psychological health. Psychological strengths help in developing efficient coping strategies to minimize the impact of stress on an individual. Therefore, psychological strengths facilitates in overcoming the threatening and challenging environments of one’s life (Khan, Siraj, & Li, 2011).
Self determination theory is one of the positive psychological theories of motivation developed by Deci and Ryan, which suggests that humans face difficulties, associated with self-governance and self-initiated behavior. As per the theory, social environment plays a vital part in promoting and satisfying the three important general needs, which includes autonomy, relatedness and competence. Hence, self -motivated people do not require external forces to initiate their actions as a result of which, success and well-being gets enhanced with motivation. The theory focuses on the supporting of intrinsic trends, which enables an individual to behave in an effective and healthy manner (Hefferon & Boniwell, 2011).
Another theory of positive psychology is well-being, which can be clearly understood with the support of PERMA theory that had been developed by Martin E.P. Seligman. The elements of PERMA comprise Positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning and accomplishment. The PERMA elements are utilized by individuals as per their requirements. Hence, no elements states about well-being, but altogether makes a contribution to experience well-being. The positive emotion helps in developing the ability of an individual to think and act in an appropriate manner. Thus, it increases the creativity, promotes resilience and minimizes the impact of negative emotions. Engagement in task encourages flow of the work, which enables the individuals to focus more on their task. Hence, individual who uses engagement as strengths is considered to be happier in life (Seligman, 2013).
The next element of the theory is relationship, which has an immense level of impact on the health and prosperity of an individual. Hence, it is important to maintain the balance among positive and negative relationships to build good connections with the people. Positive relationships support longevity of a life, reduces stress, recovers illness and promotes better health. People try to search for meaning of everything in life. In order to make one’s life meaningful, it is initially important to understand the real meaning of life. Meaningful life helps in attaining greater satisfaction and confidence in whatever an individual does. Hence, an individual who lives life with some purpose enjoys the feeling of self-efficacy, greater health and overall well-being. The last element of theory is accomplishment, which comes with the ongoing smaller improvements in life. It helps in bringing emotions, engagement, relations and meaning in the life of an individual. The feeling of accomplishment suggests that an individual has successfully achieved the goal with self-motivation. Therefore, accomplishment helps in measuring the dedications and self-discipline of an individual in achieving the objectives of life (Seligman, 2013).
Identifying the Strength
According to Martin Seligman, strengths are the ways to achieve the virtue in life. Hence, strength is a moral trait which can be developed and learned with effort. The identification and development of strengths can be done with the utilization of everyday’s signature strengths. When an individual starts making improvements in their performance, the signs of progress would support in recognizing the strengths. Hence, gratification helps to identify the strengths within an individual to meet the challenges in life (Seligman, 2016). I liked the character of strengths identified by Martin Seligman as these characteristics helps in bringing happiness in life. I believe that presence of kindness and generosity in the life of an individual helps in building a sound relation with one-other. Hence, with no anger, the health and happiness of an individual would last for the longer period of time. As per my findings, it can be stated that, sense of purpose, spirituality and faith has failed at a higher rate. Therefore, I would like to have these characters playing major role in making my life better than what it is presently.
Identification of the Personal Psychological Strengths
Among all the twenty four personal strengths, I choose top five characters to identify my personal psychological strengths. These character includes; leaderships, gratitude, perspective and wisdom, citizenship, team work and loyalty along with the love of learning. Out of these five strengths, I would discuss deeply only three characters, which are as follows;
The quality of an individual in influencing the behavior of others is known as leadership. Hence, a leader is a one who understands and identifies the exact need of the follower and helps them achieve their goals. Leadership is about leading from the front and directing the followers in accomplishing the common as well as their individual objectives. Hence, effectve leaders make important contributions in guiding the followers towards a better future (Xayyapheth, 2013).
Leadership skills play a vital role in making the life successful. Thus, it can be considered a tool to guide and motivate others for the attainment of the objectives of one’s life. There are three important traits such as leading desire, commitment towards goals and integrity, which every individual should posses to practice the successful leadership role (MTD Training & Ventus Publishing Aps, 2010). Leadership strengths have made an important contribution in my life. I have successfully attracted others with my leadership skills that have aimed at the improvisation in the standard of my life (see Appendix A). The lesson of leadership has helped me in learning the opportunities and challenges of my daily life. Skills of leadership has inspired me accomplish my work in an appropriate manner. Thus, handling the challenges in my life has been facilitated by the leadership strength.
Gratitude is an expression of thankfulness and appreciation of kindness. Hence, it is an admiration of positive aspect of situations and has got both physical and psychological benefits. Gratitude brings positivity in life and helps in minimizing depression. It displays the sincere recognition of positive interpersonal relationships (Cáceres, 2013). Gratitude enhances the well- being and happiness in one’s life. Thus, it fosters positivity of situations, which interprets even the most negative events in a positive manner. Gratitude is an important characteristic of human being, which leads to the positive functioning of behaviors and supports well-being improved mental health. Hence, it acts as motivator to develop the quality of life and helps in making progress in the achievement of one’s ultimate goals of life (Nelson & Lyubomirsky 2016).
Gratitude has brought a development of social relationship in my life (see Appendix A). Hence, this positive strength supports me in understanding the positive emotions effectively. As per my experience, I can say that, gratitude makes improvement in my emotional well-being and even lowers my level of stress to a large extent. It is one of the key traits, which plays a vital role in bringing happiness in my life. I show appreciation towards people and the relationship with them even tends to get better every time. Therefore, it has facilitated in strengthening my emotions and reducingthe feelings of resentment within me.
Love of Learning
Love of learning involves the passionate attention in gaining ideas and information about something. It helps in determining the ability of an individual in interacting with people and obtaining knowledge from them. Interest in learning something supports individuals in responding to the challenges of life. Thus, willingness to learn things develops the level of intelligence of an individual to make correct strategies in tackling with the problems of life (Thrive Foundation for Youth, 2012). 
The passion of learning things has improved the capability of my knowledge and skills. Learning different types of culture has helped me in interacting with people in an effective manner. Hence, it gives me motivation of acquiring new skills and instigates positivity in life.
Impact of the Strengths on the Student’s Life
The strengths as mentioned in the character of strengths questionnaire have made a tremendous impact in my life. Leadership has largely contributed in bringing prosperity in my life and has developed the feeling of belongingness. Hence, it can be asserted that this skill of leadership had supported in reducing the signs of depression from my life. Gratitude also helped in improving the quality of life and hence, I am identified in the society as one of the reputed individuals, who practices the virtues of truthfulness and honesty at all points of time. Similarly, love of learning provides a good experience in handling the real life problems.
Development of Strengths
From the above mentioned character of strengths, I believe that spirituality, sense of purpose and faiths needs to be developed. The reason for selecting this particular strength is that, I had once encountered a situation, where a spiritual leader stated that, he obtains the indications of unpleasant situation before occurrence of the incident. Hence, his words do not motivate me to show faith on him. The strategies for developing the strength include raising the level of understanding importance of spirituality. Second, defining the environmental and other vital factors practiced in common religions. Developing communication with the spiritual leaders to explore more awareness about spirituality is also another significant strategies implemented for the development if strengths. Lastly, the identification of the spiritual needs of an individual also contributes largely in enhancing the strength-development strategies to be implemented effectively (Solent NHS, 2013).
Positive psychology plays an important role in making the life of an individual happy in the true sense. It reduces stress, depression and negative feeling with the continuous enhancement of positivity in life. The positive strengths help in bringing optimism, thereby contributing to the well-being of an individual. There are many theories of positive psychology, which helps in motivating individual for doing good things and encouraging prosperity in their life. Identification of strength is vital in maintaining balance in one’s life. Hence, the character, which does not rate high in life, should be developed with proper strategies to accomplish the desired goals in life of the individuals.
Cáceres, J. (2013). The importance and impact of gratitude – part i. Alive Well, 1.
CAPP. (2010). People who use their strengths more. Why Strengths? The Evidence, 1-3.
Hefferon, K., & Boniwell, L. (2011). Positive psychology: Theory, research and applications. United Kingdom: McGraw-Hill Education.
Khan, A., Siraj, S. & Li, L, P. (2011). Role of positive psychological strengths and big five personalitytraits in coping mechanism of university students. International Conference on Humanities, Society and Culture, 20, 210-215.
McGraw-Hill Education. (2012). What is positive psychology?. Introduction to Positive Psychology, 1-21.
MTD Training & Ventus Publishing Aps. (2010). Introduction. Leadership Skills, 1-59.
Nelson K. S., & Lyubomirsky S. (2016). Gratitude. Encyclopedia of Mental Health 2, 277-280.
Seligman, M. (2013). Understanding perma: The science of wellbeing. Building the State of Wellbeing, 1-63.
Seligman, M. (2016). The Pursuits of happiness. Retrieved October 21, 2016, from 
Solent NHS . (2013). The aims of the strategy. Spirituality Strategy, 1-12.
Thrive Foundation for Youth. (2012). Love of learning. Thriving Indicators, 1-4.
Xayyapheth, T. (2013). Leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal. Retrieved October 21, 2016, from

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