What makes someone successful? Is it intellect? Education? Physical health? Talent? Maybe luck? According to Dr. Angela Duckworth from the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, it is none of those things. In her 2016 bestselling book – Grit – she interviewed successful people in a wide variety of professions – business, sports,…

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Gratitude: As Old as Animal Kind Gratitude may be an evolutionary component of human development, passed down for thousands of years according to sociologist Georg Simmel (Greater Good Magazine, n.d.). While we may think of it as something personal and internal, it is also considered an important social skill that helps humans interact with each…

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This article is part of the course THRIVE 101: Positive Psychology History and Introduction Jump to Course Continued From Part 1… But Wait, There is Good News Remember, Csikszentmihalyi found that teenagers can be unhappy and can see life through their suffering, but he also found an interesting exception. When teenagers focus their energies on…

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This article is part of the course THRIVE 103: Activating Strengths in Pursuit of Well-Being Jump to Course Well-Being and The PERMA Model Seligman (2011) argues that well-being is enhanced through thriving in one or more pillars of well-being. His model, often referred to as the PERMA Model, consists of Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning,…

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If you’re single, you’re certainly not alone. The US is in the middle of an ongoing shift toward one-person households. As I’ve written about before, single people commonly cite a variety of both positive and negative reasons for their singleness. Some of them enjoy the freedom, some have priorities other than relationships, and some just…

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Having a realistic view of the world might be overrated. One of the first psychology papers to explicitly make that case was published in 1988 by Shelley Taylor and Jonathon Brown, under the title Illusion and Well-being. It challenged the traditional idea that “accurate perceptions of the self, the world, and the future are essential…

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A question that often comes up in music psychology is why so many people enjoy music that recalls negative emotions like sadness. It seems paradoxical that people would seek out and apparently experience positive feelings from music that portrays negative emotions. A new paper in the journal Frontiers in Psychology puts forward one possible explanation…

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Repetitively turning over negative thoughts, or ruminating, is a behavior that has been explored as a target for therapy in conditions like depression. After all, it’s not hard to imagine that getting stuck in a cycle of replaying negative thoughts might harm mental health. So what’s the best way to stop ruminating on negative thoughts?…

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Finding sources of meaning in life sounds like neither an easy task nor one that looks the same from one person to the next. But it is one that seems to be key to mental health. From increased resilience to sharper memory, a sense of purpose in life goes hand-in-hand with a range of cognitive…

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