Positive Psychology

About Us

The Interest Group in Positive Psychology promotes the theoretical and applied elements of a new area of psychology that seeks to understand positive emotions such as joy, optimism and contentment. Positive psychology is interested in the conditions that allow individuals, groups and organizations to flourish.

Positive psychology is the scientific study of what makes life worth living. It is a call for psychological science and practice to be as concerned with strength as with weakness; as interested in building the best things in life as in repairing the worst; and as concerned with making the lives of normal people fulfilling as with healing pathology.

Traditionally in psychology the focus has been on identifying and treating mental health problems. This is critically important for those facing mental illness however it provides an incomplete picture of mental health. While treatment of problems is important, positive psychology, by contrast examines how ordinary people can become happier and more fulfilled.

Positive psychology identifies five essential elements to well-being theory: positive emotions, engagement, meaning, positive relationships and accomplishment. The Interest Group aims to focus on these elements through member involvement and information sharing.

Terms of Reference

  1. To enhance the professional identity of positive psychology within the APS as the “science of happiness” and to establish and maintain a linking mechanism to link practitioners throughout Australia.
  2. To provide a forum for debate and discussion and peer contact between Interest Group and other APS members.
  3. To facilitate peer discussion around the benefits of positive psychology and the scientific study of what makes life most worth living.
  4. To promote the development of appropriate ethical standards and guidelines for applying positive psychology to improve everyday life, health, schools, work and society.
  5. To create an online forum and group activities to advance the knowledge base of practitioners within the APS and contribute to the growing field of positive psychology.
  6. To foster social networking and best practice models for improving wellbeing of members and inspire colleagues to identify and use strengths in new ways to flourish as positive psychologists.