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Transcript of Positive Thinking
Explanatory Styles &
with Others: Capitalization
with Others: Praise
Introduction to Positive Psychology
Hunter Continuing Education
Aren Cohen, MAPP
Week 1: Introduction - What is Positive Psychology
Broaden & Build
Week 2: Character Strengths and Virtues
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
How do we THINK about
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."
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?
Began with Student Resilience
The Penn Resiliency Program
Outgrowth of Cognitive Based Therapy
Detecting Iceberg Beliefs
Less cognitive interventions:
Music, Movement, Imagery
Roots in Aaron T. Beck's Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Jumping to Conclusions -Ready, Aim, Fire
What is the evidence?
Tunnel Vision - Losing sight of the forest in
What did you miss?
Overgeneralizion - Character Assassination
What are the specifics?
Magnification & Minimization: Binoculars
Where is the positive?
Personalizing: Me, Me, Me
Externalizing: Them, Them, Them
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
Sharing positive events with others
is known as CAPITALIZATION
benefits of capitalization include: greater positive affect, greater life satisfaction, greater beloningness, higher quality relationships.
Communicating when Capitalizing
Active-Constructive Responding (ACR)
ONLY ACR has
ACR supports intimacy:
Feeling cared for
Leads to greater
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?
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
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