Ed Diener, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA

Well-being on planet Earth

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Claremont Graduate University, USA

The role of flow in positive psychology

Stephen Joseph, Universiy of Nottingham

Growth following adversity: The positive psychology of posttraumatic stress

Randy Larsen, Washington University at St. Louis, USA

Overcoming the hedonic treadmill: Self-regulation of emotional well-being

Márta Fülöp, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary

Happy and unhappy competitors: What makes the difference?

Todd Kashdan, George Mason University, USA

Purpose in life as a system that creates and sustains health and well-being: An integrative, testable theory


Felicia  Huppert, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

How well is well-being being measured

Marisa Salanova, University Jaume I, Spain

In search of the /good /working life: Enhancing personal and organizational well-being

Valery Chirkov,University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada

SDT and positive psychology: The role of Self-Determination Theory in understanding people's optimal functioning.

Nakamura Jeanne, Claremont Graduate University, USA

Current research and future directions in fow theory, research, and application


Alex Linley, Centre for Applied Positive Psychology,
University of Warwick Science Park, Coventry, United Kingdom

The Future of Positive Psychology



Ed Diener

Well-Being on Planet Earth

 The Gallup World Poll included representative samples of 132 societies, which contain over 96% of the planet's population. It showed that there are vast disparities in the happiness of nations. The findings indicate that the average life satisfaction of nations is highly related to income in them, which is associated with the fulfillment of basic needs and greater longevity. In contrast, the experience of positive emotions is more closely associated with social variables such as trust, safety, and lack of corruption. The importance of societal characteristics for subjective well-being indicates that "happiness" is not merely an individual affair, but also heavily depends on institutions. It is explained why subjective well-being is beneficial for societies and leads to the success of nations. Discussion follows on how national accounts of well-being can simultaneously improve societies and further the agenda of positive psychology.

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Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

The Role of Flow in Positive Psychology

One of the goals of positive psychology is to help people live an engaged life, of which flow is a major component. What can positive psychology do to help increase the amount of flow experienced by people? Professor Csikszentmihalyi will discuss personal and institutional interventions, in education, the workplace, and the urban environment.

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Stephen Joseph

Growth following adversity: The positive psychology of posttraumatic stress

It is almost thirty years since the diagnostic category of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was introduced.  Since then the topic of PTSD has become a major topic for research and a focus for clinical and therapeutic activity.  At first glance the topic of trauma would seem to have little relevance for positive psychologists, but beginning with clinical and research observations showing that following trauma people often report positive changes a new field of study has emerged over the past decade which is focused on growth following adversity.  For many, the struggle with trauma and adversity can eventually provide a springboard to positive changes, benefit finding, and posttraumatic growth in which people go on to report striking benefits in how they view themselves, their philosophies of life, and in how they relate to other people.  Professor Joseph will provide an overview of the field of growth following adversity and discuss the relevance of this research activity for how we think about trauma.  Can the field of growth following adversity provide an alternative paradigm to understanding posttraumatic stress?  Why is that some people go on to report growth while others struggle to come to terms with their experiences?  How can therapists and clinicians harness the tendency towards growth? 

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Rendy Larsen

Overcoming the Hedonic Treadmill: Self-Regulation of Emotional Well-Being"

The emotional core of subjective well-being (SWB) consists of the ratio of positive to negative emotions in a person's life averaged over some representative time span.  Recent research is presented to illustrate that negative emotions produce stronger effects than equally extreme positive emotions.  The implication is that the ratio of positive to negative emotions must exceed one-to-one in order to maintain a satisfying level of SWB. Data suggest that the ratio must exceed three-to-one in favor of positive affect over negative affect to produce SWB.  Strategies for prolonging positive emotions, and repairing negative emotions, are discussed.

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Márta Fülöp

Happy And Unhappy Competitors: What Makes The Difference?

Interpersonal competition is present in all arenas of our life, i.e. within the family, in school, among peers, in the workplace, and in the sports ground. Competition can be an immensely joyful, exciting, and motivating experience that contributes to goal attainment, self-evaluation, development and improvement of the individual, the competing parties, the group and the society. However, it can also be an anxiety provoking, stressful, and exhausting negative experience that leads to interpersonal conflicts and has destructive consequences individually, to the group and ultimately to the society.  Competition can be a friendly process in which the competitive parties mutually motivate and improve each other, but can also be a desperate fight full of aggression among the competitors who consider each other enemy. 
The result of competition can be winning or losing. Winning typically evokes positive emotions like happiness, satisfaction, and pride, but sometimes negative emotions emerge like guilt or embarrassment. Losing, as a potential result of competition, may result in sadness, disappointment, frustration, anger, shame, but can have positive consequences like learning about the self, realizing strengths and weaknesses and increased motivation for the future.
There is not "one" competitive process. Competition can take qualitatively different forms and patterns that are determined by individual, situational and cultural factors.   The talk will examine the factors that can be decisive in this respect: i.e., the characteristics of the competitive situation and the characteristics of the competing person.  These situational and personality requirements will be further examined from a cultural perspective, taking examples from East-Asia (Japan), from North America (USA and Canada) and from Europe (UK and Hungary). 

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Kashdan Todd

Purpose in life as a system that creates and sustains health and well-being: An integrative, testable theory

When present, purpose in life is an overarching framework that is the basis for defining life goals and making decisions in everyday life. Devoting effort and making progress toward these life goals provides a significant, renewable source of engagement and meaning. The authors' conceptual model of purpose in life offers a testable, causal system for many disparate findings in the social science literature. Findings ranging from life expectancy and satisfaction to mental and physical health may be explained best by considering the motivation of the individual, a motivation that comes from having a purpose and living in accord with that purpose. A detailed conceptual model with specific hypotheses and a measurement model were derived from a synthesis of relevant findings from social, behavioral, biological, and cognitive literatures. To illustrate the uniqueness of the purpose model, comparisons were made with competing contemporary models that might make similar predictions. Addressing the structural features unique to purpose in life opens opportunities to build upon existing causal models of "how and why" health and well-being develop and change over time.

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