2011 CONFERENCE, SEPTEMBER 9TH & 10TH, AUCKLAND
"THE SCIENCE OF WELLBEING"
The New Zealand Association of Positive Psychology will hold its first conference on Friday September 9th, along with a day of workshops on Saturday 10th of September, in Auckland. The aim of this conference is to further foster the development of positive psychology in New Zealand, and to provide an engaging forum for positive psychology researchers, psychologists, counsellors, leaders, students, practitioners, and those interested to learn more. We hope that this conference will provide a stimulating avenue to learn, exchange ideas, network and embrace positive psychology in New Zealand. This is a unique opportunity to meet and be inspired by others who are keen to explore further what the science of positive psychology has to offer. We invite you to come along - be involved, stimulated, challenged and inspired!
Conference: Friday, September 9th, 2011, 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
Workshops: Saturday, September 10th, 2011, 9:00 AM - 5:00PM
Auckland University of Technology, Conference Centre, AF Building, North Shore campus, Auckland, New Zealand (see map in Word Doc below).
08:15 - 09:00 Registration.
08:30 - 08:35 – Welcome, by Dr Aaron Jarden, President of the New Zealand Association of Positive Psychology.
08:35 - 08:40 – Conference opening, by Dr. Mark Thorpe, Head of Psychology, AUT.
08:40 - 08:50 – Dr. Antonio (Tony) Fernando - A brief introduction and overview of positive psychology.
08:50 - 09:30 – International Keynote Speaker 1: Dr. Lindsay Oades - Conceptualising and measuring business wellbeing.
09:30 - 10:00 – Talk 1a: Dr. Aaron Jarden - The International Wellbeing Study: New and stronger paths to wellbeing.
09:30 - 10:00 – Talk 1b: Jamie Ford - Catching Australia by 2025 – the vital role of Positive Psychology.
10:00 - 10:30 – Talk 2a: Denise Quinlan - Character Strengths: Traits, behaviours and values in the school context.
10:00 - 10:30 – Talk 2b: Associate Professor Paul Jose - Explorations in Meaning in Life.
10:30 - 10:50 – Morning tea break (poster session).
10:50 - 11:40 – International Keynote Speaker 2: Dr. Suzy Green - What's the purpose of purpose? A scientific and applied consideration of meaning & purpose within positive psychology.
11:40 - 12:10 – Video link-up to USA positive psychology expert Associate Professor Todd Kashdan.
12:10 - 12:40 – Talk 3a: Gaynor Parkin - Psychological resilience and cognitive flexibility.
12:10 - 12:40 – Talk 3b: Dr. Tamlin Conner - Mobile happiness.
12:40 - 1:30 – Lunch break (poster session).
1:30 - 2:10 – International Keynote Speaker 3: Dr. Jo Mitchell - World wide wellbeing: Positive psychology online.
2:10 - 2:40 – Talk 4a: Dr Jacci Norrish - Adolescence: Storm and stress or opportunity and growth?
2:10 - 2:40 – Talk 4b: Associate Professor Jarrod Haar - Enhanced life satisfaction for Maori by working with Whanau: A three-way interaction effect.
2:40 - 3:10 – Talk 5a: Erica Chadwick - Flourishing through savoring strategies.
2:40 - 3:10 – Talk 5b: Derek Riley - A longitudinal study: Work and family wellbeing with health professionals.
3:10 - 3:30 – Afternoon tea (poster session).
3:30 - 4:00 – Talk 6a: Lucy Hone - Using positive psychology to promote wellbeing in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake.
3:30 - 4:00 – Talk 6b: Maree Roche - Mindfulness and moods: A three way study of New Zealand leaders.
4:00 - 5:20 – Free screening of documentary Happy. (79 minutes)
4:00 - 5:20 – Talk 7a: Sue Dykes and Dianne May: Mindfulness in practice.
5:20 - 5:25 – Presentation awards ($500 for best talk + $500 for best poster) by Dr. Caroline Seelig, Open Polytechnic of New Zealand.
5:25 - 5:30 – Conference close.
Workshop 1: Dr. Lindsay Oades - Life Journey Enhancement Tools (LifeJET): Coaching tools for people living with mental illness.
09:00 - 12:50
People living with mental illness, particularly enduring illness have expressed a need for greater autonomy, meaning and purpose- and services that are more focussed in this direction. This workshop will provide an overview of the relationship between the use of strengths and wellbeing; and autonomous goal achievement and wellbeing. A recent study entitled Flourish in which people living with enduring mental illness engaged in a positive psychological self development intervention will be described. This study and related work involves the use of the LifeJET coaching tools, Camera, Compass and MAP to assist people to establish a meaningful life. Workshop participants will be asked to use the LifeJET coaching tools to assess their personal use of strengths and values, set collaborative goals and visions, and set collaborative action plans. Benefits from enabling staff and consumers to use the same coaching tools and processes will be discussed.
Workshop 2: Dr. Suzy Green & Paula Robinson - Positive Psychology Coaching: The Science and Practice.
09:00 - 12:50
Positive psychology and coaching psychology are complementary fields and share common aims and objectives, being the enhancement of optimal functioning and well-being. Additionally, both may be viewed as sub-fields with applied interventions that fit under the realm of mental health prevention and promotion. In this workshop we will provide an overview of how these two fields may best be integrated in practice. We will also share associated research to date including an overview of the authors' current research project at two Sydney Selective High Schools (funded by the Institute of Coaching, a Harvard Medical School affiliate) comparing a Positive Psychology Intervention with an Evidence-Based Coaching Psychology Intervention. As an applied positive psychology, evidence-based coaching has been shown to increase well-being, goal striving, resilience and hope in both adults and young people. Studies have shown the approach to be efficacious with senior high school pupils, teachers, public sector managers and adults generally in both formal (with designated coach) and informal (peer coaching) contexts. As such we would argue that taking an “evidence-based coaching approach” to learning and application of positive psychological concepts will not only enhance the retention of knowledge by making it personally meaningful, but also provide a process (occurring within the coaching relationship) whereby coachees can reflect on their learning. This workshop will also provide guidance and suggestions for positive psychology practitioners on how to integrate these two fields out in the field.
Workshop 3: Dr. Jo Mitchell & Dr. Jacci Norrish - MindSetGo: Wellbeing workout.
13:10 - 17:00
Are you interested in seeing how to apply positive psychology theory and concepts with clients? The Wellbeing Workout is a group program for adults wanting to learn how to look after their own happiness or build a flourishing life. This program is aimed at non-clinical adult populations. It is interactive, fun and based on evidence-based positive psychology interventions and principles. The program integrates concepts such as thriving rather than just surviving, developing a growth mindset, understanding and building positive emotions, mindfulness, acting in accordance with your values and strengths, knowing your ikigai (purpose), building positive relationships and more. Come away with practical resources that you can use with groups or individual clients or to build your personal Wellbeing Workout program.
Workshop 4: Dr. Aaron Jarden - Positive psychological assessment: A practical introduction to empirically validated research tools for measuring wellbeing.
13:10 - 17:00
How do you measure happiness? What should you assess in measuring wellbeing? What are the main global measures of wellbeing? Which component measures of wellbeing are useful, and in which contexts? If aspects such as curiosity are related to wellbeing, how do you measure how curious someone is? Do different types of meaning in life really matter? What’s the difference between the three main approaches to measuring psychological strengths? These are a few examples of the questions this workshop will address in providing an overview of mainstream and contemporary empirically validated research tools for measuring wellbeing. It will also highlight pitfalls in measurement (e.g., measuring wellbeing cross-culturally), and in various popular happiness measures. In the workshop participants will be asked to complete a variety of assessment measures, and will leave with a handbook of assessment tools for measuring wellbeing.
Keynote 1 - Dr. Lindsay Oades - Conceptualising and measuring business wellbeing.
The concept of individual wellbeing, be it subjective wellbeing or psychological wellbeing is well established. Likewise, the idea of a positive organisation and metrics of organisational performance such as productivity are established. The two way relationship between individual employee wellbeing and organisational wellbeing is however less understood. The concept of business wellbeing is proposed to incorporate both individual and organisational wellbeing to better establish evidence of relationships between individuals and the organisations of these individuals and resources. Existing evidence of the two way relationship is described, and the importance of establishing business wellbeing will be described. Recommendations regarding increasing business wellbeing will be provided with reference to positive psychological interventions and positive organisational scholarship. The claim that prosperity involves wealth AND wellbeing will be discussed in reference particularly to developed nations such as New Zealand.
Keynote 2 - Dr. Suzy Green- What's the purpose of purpose? A scientific and applied consideration of meaning & purpose within Positive Psychology.
Meaning and purpose are emerging as hot constructs to be considered and researched, particularly in terms of their application in real world settings. Currently there is conceptual confusion surrounding the two terms and they are often used inconsistently in the literature. Early work by Jung and Frankl set the foundation for the more recent work of positive psychology researchers such as Wong, Steger and Kashdan. Whilst historically the consideration of meaning and purpose was seen as developmentally appropriate at mid age and beyond, there is also increasing consideration of the importance of adolescent purpose. This presentation will provide an historical account of meaning and purpose concluding with current thinking and research in this emerging field. Given that the development of meaning and purpose shows significant correlation with well-being, practical suggestions for the positive psychology practitioner will also be provided.
Keynote 3 - Dr. Jo Mitchell - World wide wellbeing: Positive psychology online.
Technology provides a unique medium for the delivery of positive psychology interventions (PPIs). This presentation reviews evidence based online PPIs that enhance wellbeing, and in some cases reduce depression and anxiety symptoms. The advantages (e.g., accessibility) and challenges (e.g., establishment costs) of using technology at both a population and individual level will be addressed. Examples of more recent innovations in technology, such as iPhone Apps, will be provided as well as suggestions for when and how these PPIs can be used in clinical and coaching client sessions.
Talk 1a - Dr. Aaron Jarden - The International Wellbeing Study: New and stronger paths to wellbeing.
Longitudinal in-depth studies of wellbeing are few and far between. This presentation outlines the International Wellbeing Study - one of the largest and most comprehensive studies in the field to date. Beginning in March 2009 and available in 16 languages, this study asks participants 208 questions every three months for a year. Measures include 18 validated scales; global wellbeing scales, component wellbeing scales, measures of negative symptomatology, and of positive and negative events. To date the survey has been completed more than 10,000 times in English alone. In this presentation I introduce and outline the study, and focus on the most interesting findings in the study data to date to demonstrate the study’s value. The presentation concludes with a global overview of the importance of this study in the positive psychology landscape and the range of questions it addresses.
Talk 1b - Jamie Ford - Catching Australia by 2025 – The vital role of Positive Psychology.
Talk 2a - Denise Quinlan - Character Strengths: Traits, behaviours and values in the school context.
The Values in Action (VIA) Inventory of strengths is one of the most widely used strengths classifications globally, and is now used in many schools in Australia, the US and the UK and some in NZ. One of its key assets is its universality; many of the strengths are familiar to students and teachers and often align closely with school values. In addition to being ‘stable but malleable traits’, the VIA strengths are behaviours and values which schools, teachers and families may hold with differing priorities. The impact of these multiple roles on the effect of strengths on well-being has not yet been explored. This presentation will discuss the theory and evidence for using strengths programmes to enhance well-being, the principal strategies used to teach strengths, the benefits and potential challenges of teaching strengths in schools, and recent information from children on how they actually think about and use strengths.
Talk 2b - Associate Professor Paul Jose - Explorations in Meaning in Life.
Dr. Jose will summarise recent research using Steger’s Meaning in Life Questionnaire with the large scale International Wellbeing Study dataset, showing that it correlates with and/or predicts other variables such as optimism, pessimism, savouring, happiness, life satisfaction, and other variables in sensible and meaningful ways.
Talk 3a - Gaynor Parkin - Psychological resilience and cognitive flexibility.
Cognitive flexibility is a hallmark of resilience. In particular cognitive flexibility helps to generate positive emotions, which is a key ingredient for building resilience. In this talk a model of cognitive flexibility is presented, then Gaynor will describe how this concept has been incorporated into a health and resilience programme. The programme aims to teach cognitive flexibility and other resilience skills to members of workplace teams. Gaynor will present some evaluative data on how effective the programme is at teaching cognitive flexibility. She will present qualitative feedback from participants of workshops, including their descriptions of resilience, what it means to them, how they understand this in the context of their personal and professional lives. Gaynor will also discuss how such programmes can correct some of the myths around “positive thinking”.
Talk 3b: Dr. Tamlin Conner - Mobile happiness.
In the last decade, there have been two trends in psychological science. The first is the emergence of positive psychology as a discipline; the second is the proliferation of mobile computing and internet-based applications to track experience (experience sampling methods, ecological momentary assessment, Facebook, Twitter, iPhones applications, etc.). The natural convergence of these two trends has resulted in mobile happiness tracking applications (e.g., Mappiness, Track Your Happiness, etc.). Thousands of people are now using applications like these to track their happiness intensively over time. In this talk, I will discuss the science behind real-time happiness measurement and present original research investigating the potential consequences of intensive focus on happiness in daily life. Using data from a two-week text-messaging experiment, I will present examples of real-time happiness profiles and provide evidence that people with emotional vulnerabilities may be adversely affected by intensive happiness tracking. In summary, mobile happiness tracking is a powerful technique, but its unbridled use – without proper restraint, support, or guidance– might not be a good strategy of self-improvement for individuals with emotional vulnerabilities.
Talk 4a - Dr. Jacci Norrish - Adolescence: Storm and stress or opportunity and growth?
In the past adolescence has been conceptualised by some scholars as a time of storm and stress. In contrast, others look at adolescence as a unique period of strength and opportunity. This presentation explores recent research in adolescent well-being with a focus on the real-life application of positive psychology concepts. It is aimed at educators and other professionals who are implementing (or planning to implement) innovative and scientifically-grounded positive psychology programs with youth. Discussion will focus on factors that help adolescents integrate positive psychology concepts (e.g., strengths, engaged living) in meaningful and sustainable ways. In addition, recent research on the measurement of adolescent well-being will be overviewed for those wishing to evaluate the impact of their school or community-based positive psychology programs.
Talk 4b - Associate Professor Jarrod Haar - Enhanced life satisfaction for Maori by working with Whanau: A three-way interaction effect.
Maori are the indigenous people of New Zealand and represent a small but vital component of the New Zealand workforce. For Maori, whanau (extended family) is of fundamental importance and the present study tests whether working with whanau has positive effects for Maori employees. Using a sample of 197 Maori, workplace relationships amongst Maori employees and their whanau were tested. Factor analysis found two dimensions: whanau work connections and whanau home connections, which represented interactions in the workplace about work and home respectively. Direct effects from whanau work connections were found towards life satisfaction, and these connections accounted for a large (30%) amount of variance. In addition, interaction effects were tested with collectivism and a significant three-way interaction was found. This showed the highest levels of life satisfaction were achieved by Maori with high whanau work connections and a high collectivistic orientation. The findings indicate that Maori employees may respond with the strongest positive outcomes when interacting and working with their extended family, which has previously been unexplored. The implications for positive psychology are that family connectedness creates additional benefits for working Maori and provides an avenue for Maori to enjoy greater life satisfaction due to workplace connections with whanau.
Talk 5a - Erica Chadwick - Flourishing through savoring strategies.
Savoring strategies are thoughts and behaviours that individuals implement in either reaction to, or to create, positive experience. Savoring directly predicts feeling good and functioning well; in other words, flourishing. It also moderates and mediates the relationships between everyday positive events, feeling good, and functioning well. The structure of savoring appears similar between adolescents and adults; however, there are also differences. These developmental differences and their implications for positive mental health interventions are discussed in relationship to better understanding the association between savoring and flourishing.
Talk 5b - Derek Riley - A longitudinal study: Work and family wellbeing with health professionals.
Abstract to come
Talk 6a - Lucy Hone - Using positive psychology to promote wellbeing in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake.
Humans’ response to extreme adversity is normally distributed. A small but significant number (5-10%) will experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, and even suicide. The vast majority of people will, at first, react with symptoms of depression and anxiety, but within a few months return to pre-trauma physical and psychological health. That is resilience. What is less well publicised is the people who experience Post Traumatic Growth, whom, within a year will have grown from the experience and describe themselves as better off than they were before the event. Having completed the Master in Applied Positive Psychology programme at the University of Pennsylvania, which is also charged with creating and delivering the US$145 million Comprehensive Soldier Fitness programme to the US army, I was aware of post-traumatic growth and the scientific findings shown to promote it. I wasn’t aware I’d soo be using the same techniques to help foster psychological resilience back home in my own community. In this presentation I will share my personal experience of the psychosocial response to Christchurch’s quake, and the positive psychology tools I found most effective in seminars for charities, government departments and Christchurch businesses in helping Cantabrians deal with the on-going stress from the earthquakes.
Talk 6b - Maree Roche - Mindfulness and moods: A three way study of New Zealand leaders.
Self-Determination Theory is a motivation theory based on the premise that people actively seek opportunities to develop their fullest potential, and crucially, this motivation is regulated by the self. Fundamentally, mindfulness is concerned with “being attentive to and aware of what is taking place in the present moment”. Mindfulness has been posited to help people become “alive” to the present moment and attuned to their internal states, through non-judgmental evaluations of realities, and thus promoting healthier outcomes. As such mindfulness has had substantial attention regarding its relationship with wellbeing, stress reduction, higher levels of positive emotions, mood regulation expectancies and self-acceptance, with some finding that mindfulness supports autonomous functioning, which in turn results in better choices and ultimately, in less stress and conflict. However, mindfulness is under explored in employees, and even less so amongst leaders. The present study tested mindfulness with three leader samples (CEOs, Senior and Junior) towards positive and negative affect. Findings show that mindfulness is uniformly positive towards moods, increasing positive affect and decreasing negative affect for all samples. The findings highlight the importance of mindfulness on the moods of leaders.
Talk 7a - Sue Dykes and Dianne May Mindfulness in practice.
“Mindfulness offers practices that cultivate states of mental well-being and attentional control which have been systematically developed for 2,500 years. In this way, an integrative and collaborative exploration of mindfulness may provide Positive Psychology with a new set of applied practices” (Shapiro and Carlson, 2009). In this session Dianne and Sue will introduce the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction programme, known as MBSR, which they have been running in Auckland for a number of years. MBSR was first developed by Drs Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli in Massachusetts , USA,30 years ago, and today there are over 250 MBSR programmes in major medical centres throughout the US alone. They review some of the extensive research over this time, which has shown significant benefits for participants in the programme, compared with control groups. These include evidence of improvements in psychological and physical symptoms, including benefits for health care professionals and trainee populations, and decreases in measures of burnout in health workers who completed the programme. Recent studies have shown measurable changes in brain structure in two important areas, the hippocampus and the amygdala ( these changes being correlated with lowered reported stress levels) in people who participated in the 8 week MBSR programme. Dianne and Sue will also introduce some mindfulness exercises, including a Loving-Kindness Meditation, which has been shown by Barbara Fredrickson to “significantly increase positive emotions (such as love, joy, gratitude, hope, amusement and awe) as well as a wide range of personal resources (in C. K. Germer, 2009).
Note: The NZAPP provides immediate open access to conference content on the principle that making research freely available supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. Please note that the authors retain the copyright to their work. All presentation content of any kind is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives License. This license allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication on the NZAPP website. The license also prevents others from using the work for profit without the express consent of the author(s). The license also prevents the creation of derivative works without the express consent of the author(s). Note that derivative works are very similar in nature to the original. Merely quoting (and appropriately referencing) a passage of a work is not making a derivative of it.
Dr Aaron Jarden - NZAPP Conference opening.pdf
Keynote 1 - Dr Lindsay Oades - Conceptualising and measuring business wellbeing.pdf
Keynote 2 - Dr Suzy Green - What's the purpose of purpose: A scientific and applied consideration of meaning and purpose.pdf
Keynote 3 - Dr Jo Mitchell - World wide wellbeing: Positive psychology online.pdf
Talk 1a - Dr Aaron Jarden - The International Wellbeing Study: New and stronger paths to wellbeing.pdf
Talk 1b - Jamie Ford - Catching Australia by 2025: The vital role of Positive Psychology.pdf
Talk 2a - Denise Quinlan - Character Strengths: Traits, behaviours and values in the school context.pdf
Talk 2b - Associate Professor Paul Jose - Explorations in Meaning in Life.pdf
Talk 3a - Gaynor Parkin - Psychological resilience and cognitive flexibility.pdf
Talk 3b - Dr Tamlin Conner - Mobile happiness.pdf
Talk 4a - Dr Jacci Norrish - Adolescence: Storm and stress or opportunity and growth.pdf
Talk 4b - Associate Professor Jarrod Haar - Enhanced life satisfaction for Maori by working with Whanau.pdf
Talk 5a - Erica Chadwick - Flourishing through savoring strategies.pdf
Talk 5b - Derek Riley - A longitudinal study: Work and family wellbeing with health professionals.pdf
Talk 6a - Lucy Hone - Using Positive Psychology to promote wellbeing in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake.pdf
Talk 6b - Maree Roche - Mindfulness and moods: A three way study of New Zealand leaders.pdf
Talk 7a - Sue Dykes and Dianne May - Mindfulness in practice.pdf
Workshop 1 - Dr Lindsay Oades - Life Journey Enhancement Tools (LifeJET): Coaching tools for people living with mental illness.pdf
Workshop 2 - Dr Suzy Green and Paul Robinson - Positive psychology coaching: The science and practice.pdf
Workshop 3 - Dr Jo Mitchell and Dr Jacci Norrish - MindSetGo Wellbeing workout.pdf
Workshop 4 - Dr Aaron Jarden - Positive psychological assessment: Presentation.pdf
Workshop 4 - Dr Aaron Jarden - Positive psychological assessment: Workbook.pdf
No1 - Dr. Aaron Jarden - The value in values: Relationships between personal values, and depressed mood and subjective wellbeing.
The value in values: Relationships between personal values, and depressed mood and subjective wellbeing.pdf
No2 - Dr. Donna-Louise McGrath - Toward a model of applied positive psychology in vocational education and training.
Toward a model of applied positive psychology in vocational education and training - Poster.pdf
Toward a model of applied positive psychology in vocational education and training - Slides.pdf
No3 - Gina Haines - Work-life satisfaction and strengths use.
Work Life Satisfaction and Strengths Use.pdf
No4 - Maria Polak - Positive Psychology in the Daily Experiences Lab.
Positive Psychology in the Daily Experiences Lab.pdf
No5 - Joanne Willis - Weaving science into coaching: How to operationalize the Broaden and Build Theory of positive emotion in Person-Centred Coaching.
Weaving Science into Coaching - The Findings of a Study into How to Utilise the ‘Broaden & Build Theory’ in Person-Centred Coaching - Poster.pdf
Weaving Science into Coaching - The Findings of a Study into How to Utilise the ‘Broaden & Build Theory’ in Person-Centred Coaching - Slides.pdf
No6 - Janine Shepherd - The relationships between happiness and cardiovascular disease risk and protective behaviours.
Associations between Happiness and Health.pdf
NO7 - MARIO WENZEL, THOMAS KUBIAK, AND TAMLIN CONNER - THE COMPLEX NATURE OF SELF-IMPROVEMENT IN DAILY LIFE.
The Complex Nature of Self-improvement in Daily Life.pdf
No8 - Frank Derby - Finding positives in workplace stress.
Finding Positives in Workplace Stress.pdf
No9 - Kathryn Jackson - Strengths in Action.
Strengths in Action.pdf
No10 - Brigitte Sistig - Mindfulness in Motion. Please email Brigitte for a copy:
FREE SCREENING OF DOCUMENTARY HAPPY
"HAPPY takes us on a compelling journey across the world in search of what really makes us happy. From the swamps of Louisiana to the slums of Kolkata, deeply personal stories weave together with insights from renowned experts to provide the keys to our most valued emotion".
Certificates of attendance are also available on request at the conference, and will be posted afterward.
CONFERENCE ORGANISING COMMITTEE:
Aaron Jarden (joint chair)
Charmaine Bright (joint chair)
Elizabeth du Preez
The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand
Auckland University of Technology
The University of Auckland
The Mental Health Foundation