This talk explores a possible future of positive psychology to focus on the central question, “how can positive psychology be better?”. Lomas and colleagues have described the purpose of applied positive psychology as to “make life better” (Lomas, Hefferon, & Ivtzan, 2014, p. vii); Dr Jarden will turn his attention beyond the individual in consideration of the field as a holistic entity. In particular, to focus on how positive psychology can be better. With a clearer vision of what “better” might look like for a wider selection of stakeholders in the field of positive psychology, what actions could various stakeholders (academics, practitioners, leadership) take to enable such a positive change? Drawing on relevant literature related to this crucial question and direct experience in various activities in the field since its inception, including holding senior leadership positions, founding journals and associations, and providing thought leadership in scholarship and elsewhere.
Associate Professor Aaron Jarden is Director of the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne. He is a wellbeing consultant, social entrepreneur, has multiple qualifications in philosophy, computing, education, and psychology, and is a prolific author and presenter. He has previously been a Senior Research Fellow at Flinders University, and Head of Research at the Wellbeing and Resilience Centre at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI). He is the founder and a past president of the New Zealand Association of Positive Psychology.
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