In August 1999, Martin Seligman in his presidential address for APA initiated a new direction for the field of psychology. He spoke of two areas that psychology needed to play a larger role. The first is ethno-political conflict.
“The second area cries out for what I call “positive psychology,” that is, a reoriented science that emphasizes the understanding and building of the most positive qualities of an individual: optimism, courage, work ethic, future-mindedness, interpersonal skill, the capacity for pleasure and insight, and social responsibility. It’s my belief that since the end of World War II, psychology has moved too far away from its original roots, which were to make the lives of all people more fulfilling and productive, and too much toward the important, but not all-important, area of curing mental illness.”