Positive Psychology

Resources, practices, communities, stories

Positive Psychology is ”An umbrella term for the study of positive emotions, positive character traits and enabling institutions” Seligman

Positive Psychology operates at three levels

  • Subjective–about feeling good rather than doing good or being a good person
  • Individual–
  • Group

Seligman now believes the topic of positive psychology’s well-being and the ‘gold standard’ for measuring well-being is flourishing. Well-being according to Seligman has five measurable elements that count towards it they are:

  • positive emotion (of which happiness and life satisfaction are elements)
  • engagement
  • relationships
  • meaning
  • achievement

According to Seligman’s revised theory of positive psychology, happiness which was previously its centerpiece is now only part of a wider construct of well-being. The goal of well-being is to increase the amount of flourishing in one’s life and on the planet. To flourish an individual must have all of three ‘core features’:

  • positive emotions
  • engagement and interest
  • meaning and purpose


An individual must also have three of six additional features:

  • self-esteem
  • optimism
  • resilience
  • vitality
  • self-determination
  • positive relationships

Character Strengths Peterson & Seligman

Positive Psychology’s Character Strengths in Addiction Spirituality Research

© 2023 Personal Compass. All rights reserved.