WORLD LEADING psychologist and our latest ‘Thinker in Residence’ to visit Adelaide was a man whose work might just make our State that bit happier.
Founder of positive psychology and author ofFlourish,Dr Martin EP Seligman, presented at a number of schools, businesses and a major conference ‘The Science of Wellness’, which was held last Friday in conjunction with the Adelaide Thinkers in Residence program.
Dr Seligman’s work highly focuses on the measuring of wellbeing – one key aspect of the South Australian Strategic Planning.
The state government, local universities and initiatives like BeyondBlue are influenced by his research to increase capacity in the mental health sector.
His pioneering work was particularly important for monitoring the development of a country and becoming an alternative to economic indicators like GDP.
“The future calls us to measure and then make policy around well-being rather than just around money,” said Dr Seligman.
His latest findings include the ability to measure happiness on a global scale through social media.
“When the Chilean miners were rescued a few years ago, and you scanned Twitter and Facebook for ‘Chile’, the positive emotion words [increased], but not in Argentina,” he said.
Dr Seligman believes this quantitative method of monitoring happiness can consequently be used in actively creating positivity in societies and can aid in writing public policy for a better nation.
The field of positive psychology has reached out to sectors such as education and medicine, penetrating workplaces and communities around the world.
Currently Dr Seligman is working with the US government, using positive psychology to combat suicide rates and post-traumatic stress in the armed forces.
Since 2000, he has provided training to clinical positive psychologists to make the world a happier place.
His work has demonstrated that by being positive, individuals can not only feel good but also overcome challenges and build stronger relationships.
Take the scientifically-tested positive psychology questionnaire founded by Dr Martin Seligman herehttp://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/Default.aspx