Positive psychology: past, present, and (possible) future

Alex P. Linley, Stephen Joseph, Susan Harrington, Alex M. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

345 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

What is positive psychology? Where has it come from? Where is it going? These are the questions we address in this article. In defining positive psychology, we distinguish between the meta-psychological level, where the aim of positive psychology is to redress the imbalance in psychology research and practice, and the pragmatic level, which is concerned with what positive psychologists do, in terms of their research, practice, and areas of interest. These distinctions in how we understand positive psychology are then used to shape conceptions of possible futures for positive psychology. In conclusion, we identify several pertinent issues for the consideration of positive psychology as it moves forward. These include the need to synthesize the positive and negative, build on its historical antecedents, integrate across levels of analysis, build constituency with powerful stakeholders, and be aware of the implications of description versus prescription.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-16
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Positive Psychology
Volume1
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Applications
  • Future
  • Positive psychology definition
  • Practice
  • Research

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Positive psychology: past, present, and (possible) future'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this