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Positive Thinking

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Aren Cohen

on 24 October 2013

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Transcript of Positive Thinking

Positive Thinking
Explanatory Styles &
Positive Thinking
with Others: Capitalization
Positive Thinking
with Others: Praise
What is

Introduction to Positive Psychology
Hunter Continuing Education
Fall 2013
Aren Cohen, MAPP

Week 1: Introduction - What is Positive Psychology
Positive Emotions
Broaden & Build

Week 2: Character Strengths and Virtues
"Good Character"
Personality Psychology & The Moral Philosophy of Virtue
The VIA 24 Strengths

Week 3: Positive Interventions
The Hedonic Treadmill & Meliorism
8 Ways to Take Action!
Today: How our thinking impacts
our Happiness
How do we THINK about
our Circumstances?
What are the factors that influence how
Optimistically or Pessimistically
we see the world?

Can we find ways of measuring and
interpreting our thinking?
Martin Seligman - 1970's & 2000's
4 Factors of Explanatory Style
Explanatory style: a psychological attribute that indicates how
people explain to themselves why they experience a particular event,
either positive or negative.
Permanence: Temporary vs. Permanent

Pervasiveness: Specific vs. Universal

Personalization: Internal vs. External

Stuff of Hope: Hopeful vs. Hopeless
Pessimistic: "Diets never work." vs. "Diets don't work when you eat out."
Optimistic: "It's my lucky day!" vs. "I'm always lucky!"
Pessimistic: "Books are useless." vs. "This book is useless."
Optimistic: "I am charming to him." vs. "I am charming!"
Pessimism & Optimism are reflected by the way the statement reflects on self-esteem.
Hopeless: "Men are tyrants."
Hopeful: "My boyfriend was just in a bad mood."
Realisitic Optimism
Assumes reality is is PARTIALLY negotiable and subjective, but not entirely.
Focuses on the favorable aspects of our experiences.
Means hoping, aspiring and searching for positive experiences while acknowledging what we do not know and accepting it.
Strategies for Enhancing Realisitic Optimism:
1. Benefit of the Doubt & Leniency: reframing
2. Appreciation of the moment: savoring
3. Window of opportunity: learning vs. performance
4. Reality checks: what's the feedback?

What is Resilience
& how do we cultivate it?
Resilience Research
Karen Reivich
Began with Student Resilience
The Penn Resiliency Program

Outgrowth of Cognitive Based Therapy
Cognitive Interventions
Thinking Traps
Detecting Iceberg Beliefs
Less cognitive interventions:
Music, Movement, Imagery
Though Disputation
Roots in Aaron T. Beck's Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Thinking Traps
Jumping to Conclusions -Ready, Aim, Fire
What is the evidence?
Tunnel Vision - Losing sight of the forest in
the trees
What did you miss?
Overgeneralizion - Character Assassination
What are the specifics?
Magnification & Minimization: Binoculars
Where is the positive?
Personalizing: Me, Me, Me
Look Outward
Externalizing: Them, Them, Them
Look Inward
Mind Reading
Speak Up!
Iceberg Beliefs
What are our underlying beliefs, and how do they affect our behavior?
When to look for Iceberg Beliefs:

1. When Consequences are out of
proportion with Beliefs.

2. When Consequences don't match
the "right flavor" of the Beliefs.

3. A seemingly straightforward
decision seems impossible to make.

Good, the more communicated, more abundant grows.
- John Milton, Paradise Lost
Shelly Gable
Sharing positive events with others
benefits of capitalization include: greater positive affect, greater life satisfaction, greater beloningness, higher quality relationships.
Communicating when Capitalizing
Active-Constructive Responding (ACR)
relationship benefits
ACR supports intimacy:
Feeling understood
Feeling validated
Feeling cared for
Leads to greater
relationship quality
Response Types
Praise effects our beliefs
and shapes our motivation, behavior, learning style and performance.
Started as an investigation of implicit theories of intelligence
FIXED vs. MALLEABLE intelligence
How did these theoies shape motivation, behavior, learning style and performance?
Evolved to:
Fixed vs. Growth Mindsets

A - Adversity - Identify the trigger event.
B - Beliefs - What are the negative beliefs?
C - Consequence - How do you feel or act as
a result?
D - Dispute - Challenge & question the
reasons for the problem.
E - Energize - With new explanation of problem,
lift spirits & revise actions.
A - Adversity B - Belief C- Consequence
D - Dispute E - Energize
Full transcript