2006 Gallup Positive Psychology Summit
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This page is for notes from the 2006 Positive Psychology Summit held at the Gallup Building in Washington DC. These notes are the reconstructed and filtered opinions of attendees and as such, do not represent any official record or official viewpoint of any of the presenters. No attendee could reasonably attend every session or write down every wonderful detail as well, so please excuse the incompleteness. Still, in the spirit of positive psychology, it is hoped that these notes prove useful to positive psychology researchers.
If you attended the summit and have notes to contribute, please consider editing this document by using the edit tab at the top of this page or the edit link in each section. Good formatting is encouraged, but don't worry if it isn't formatted perfectly as others who are watching this page will help.
Workshop: Teaching Positive Psychology - Tal Ben-Shahar
- Bring Psychology research to the masses
- It is important to cater to the "click generation" by using art, music, quotes, humor, & stories
- He plays "cheezy" music before classes to prime certain thoughts and students actually come early to hear what he plays.
- He told a story about Roger Bannister and the 4 minute mile which used to be considered an impossible barrier to breach. Nobody believed that it was possible until Roger Bannister ran under 4 minutes. As soon as it was proven to be possible, numerous other runners broke the 4 minute mile barrier. Why did all these people break the barrier at the same time? The power of belief! As long as they believed they couldn't break 4 minutes, it was a self-fulfillling prophecy.
- All stories are backed by research. On belief, he tells of an experiment ((Rosenthal & Jacobsen, 1968)) where teachers were told that some students were 'spurters' who would learn faster than others. This expectation became self-fulfilling as the randomly chosed spurters gained faster than the other kids. He also told of an experiment by Langer (cit?) where older people who experienced a week pretending to be 20 years in the past ended up having better memory, improved health, and general characteristics of youth.
- Make things personal
"This is a class I wanted to take as an undergrad". "people can tell when you are talking from the inside...share your own experiences."
- Permission to be human - He told a story of being approached by students who warned him that he couldn't appear unhappy in the cafeteria if he was teaching a positive psychology course. On the contrary, all happy people still experience negative emotions and it is important to allow ourselves these feelings or we will pay a cost.
- He showed a video of a baby going from laughing to crying to laughing to crying etc...
- This relates to Carl Rogers' Humanism, Ironic Processing, Wegner.
- An experiment..."Instruction->do not think of pink elephant" How well does that work? Well then, let's try another..."do not be anxious". It's as harmful as saying "I will not accept gravity".
- There exists a "Great deception" as people don't admit how they are doing. When asked, how are you? most people feel social pressure to answer "fine" no matter how they feel and so we have a misconception that everyone is fine.
- We did a self acceptance of emotions meditation drawing on davidson and kabatzin mindfulness research. shelly taylor vizualization
- Action AND reflection Class needs to be experiential...ie gratitude exercise. Reflactive learning.. (Markus Howard King 1993)
- Habit charts.
- (Baumeister 1998) Students who exerted discipline in eating radishes instead of chocolate exhibited less discipline on a later task. The limited resource of dicipline should not be wasted.
- How many people put effort into brushing your teeth every morning? Making something a habit means that it doesn't deplete limited discipline. "We make our habits and our habits make us".
- Teaching style
- Authentic = authority. Research shows that people who are perceived as authentic are perceived as being more authoritative.
- Operate on strengths. It is easier to go from 10 to 40 than from 0 to 10 easier. You should use teaching strengths... A study: what's more important to work on? 75% said weaknesses over strengths. Tal disagrees.
- Prepare, prepare, prepare then improvise
- Be a Role model...people do what you do, not what you say....We then did an exercise where he deliberately did one thing while demonstrating another and most of the room did what he demonstrated, not what he said (cheek not chin.
- Marva Collins as an example of teaching while believing in the possibilities of one's students.
- All materials online... www.fas.harvard.edu/~psy1504
PANEL: WELL-BEING IN AFRICA
- Ranking millenium development goals in various countries for individuals...ie health vs education vs technology...
- Important to ask because we may not know what people want. Example: Ugandan boreholes are unused by women who want the social time provided by the 20 mile walk to the well...otherwise, they'd have to do other work
- World poll - Ask the same set of questions in various countries each year for 100 years.
- Optimism in africa is inversely correlated with income and education...opposite the west. - data from www.afrobarometer.org
- Well being index..measures happiness in various domains
- Some world poll data will be available on Gallup website...some will require payment.
RICHARD FLORIDA - The Flight of the Creative Class: The New Global Competition for Talent
- Experienced the flight of jobs from Pittsburgh, despite the infrastructure. When Lycos moved to Boston, he realized that talented creative people matter more than business infrastructure to a cities economy.
- Causes or correlates of the city creativity include measures of bohemian lifestyle (ie. Gay culture)
- Currently working on the "Soul of the City" survey
- He is actively seeking stories about people and their stories of their interaction with place. ie. why they chose to live where they do?
BARBARA FREDRICKSON Positive Emotions Broaden Your Mind and Build the Life You Want
- change in mindfulness scale
- broaden hypothesis - positive moods help you see the big picture
- people focus on details more in a face recognition task when in a negative mood...replicates previous findings in Social Psych on mood and depth of processing
- people have more action urges with positive moods
MICHAEL STEGER - The Pursuit of Meaning in Life
- Assistant Professor of Counseling Psychology
University of Louisville (KY) USA
- The search for meaning is associated with lower well being.
- Developed the meaning in life questionaire which assesses the presence and searching for meaning in life.
- carol rif and beaker meaning in geriatric patients?
PENN MASTER OF APPLIED POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY
- Introduction: Thought experiment. Do you want to be able to be a superhero who can stop bad things or promote good things in life?
- Part of the program is to give positive psychology away (one example is working on living independently for elders)
- Gable & Dweck - It is a challenge to think about good things as deeply as bad....We talk about both, but we talk in greater depth about bad things.
- Leverage strengths (peterson)
- 5 speakers who talked about their experience in the program and what they are currently doing with it.
- http://www.Thegreenberggroup.org worked on increasing strengths and engaged moments of employees in an IT organization with help from an enthusiastic sponsor within the organization.
- A lawyer talked about positive and negative explanatory styles in lawyers...negativity actually predicts success in lawyers, perhaps related to ideas of depth of processing that negative moods elicit
- instrinsic to extrinsic motivation shift as lawyers complete school and begin their careers
- high depression rates.
- http://www.Flourishingschools.org workshops to bring out the best in teachers
- 5 parts over 3 days
- Via strengths.
- Exercising to build positive emotions
- Hope and appreciative inquiry to create plans
- Presented positive psych data
- Personality strength profiles of Leadership
DANIEL KAHNEMAN - The Structure of Well-Being in Two Cities
- Professor - Princeton University (NJ) USA
- Senior Scientist – The Gallup Organization
- remembered self vs experiencing self - Satisfaction rates remembered self. Both matter.
- Life factors impact life sat...not experienced
- leads to interest in time use...we can manipulate happiness by creating policy that leads people to spend time in activities that we know they enjoy
- Day reconstruction method study in Columbus, Ohio and France
- ...used "difmax" happiness minus max(tense, angry, depress?)
- U index how often negative....18% amer women...21% on wwekday 14% weekend...top 10% account for 40% of negative happiness
- Similar results in both cities.
- low energy predicts neg. happiness
- sleep quality & affective disposition predict happiness
- Engaged leisure, eating, talking, & passive leisure are happy tasks ** Home compulsory work & commuting are not happy tasks
- American women are less happy during childcare and spend much more with children
- it is better to be social & a pet almost is as good as friend...
- Americans are happier working than French
- French are happier eating than Americans...
- French have happiness advantage by having many more vacations....
- Cost benefit of mates.....
- married less alone...
- more w fam less w friends
- more compulsory home tasks
- less discretionary activities....
- people who are rich work a lot and don't like it much more
- 2 dimensions of happiness.....pleasure and arousal....satisfied equals aroused but tense
- It is important to improve time use in addition to attention
CHRISTOPHER PETERSON & NANSOOK PARK Character Strengths and Virtues: Recent Findings
- Park - Professor of Psychology
- University of Rhode Island (RI) USA
- Peterson - Professor of Psychology
- University of Michigan (MI) USA
- Older equals more religious strengths. Less humor strength prevalence
- Married people have more forgiveness strength
- Content analysis of parents talking about children
- Youth strengths more prevalent: love, kind. Creative, humor, curious
- Youth strengths less prevalent:authentic, grateful, modest, forgiving, open minded
- Gratitude develops at age 7 related happ
- Maintaining curiosity strength leads to happiness in adults...all children are this way
- Positive outcomes in domains
- Military outcomes best with love strength
- Teacher outcomes best with zest humor
- Kids academic Achievement controlling for IQ correlated with perseverance, love, & gratitude
- Happy kids correlated with love, hope, zest, gratitude
- Parenting....child happiness associated with self control
- Faith, hope, and love strengths up after 9/11
- Using signature strengths in novel ways leads to less depression and more happiness
- Showed amazing graph of the tradeoffs in strengths along 2 dimensions (heart/mind & self/other)...lower correlations of strength incidence when things fall at different areas of the graph
MIHALY CSIKSZENTMIHALYI Flow: History, Theory and Applications
- Professor of Psychology
- Claremont Graduate University (CA) USA
- Characteristics of Flow
- Focused attention
- Less self conscious
- Action and awareness merge
- Freedom from work about failure
- Forget about time
- Experience is its own reward...auto telic
- Conditions which lead to flow
- Clear goals at every step
- Immediate feedback to actions
- Balance between challenge and skill else anxiety or boredom
- Talked about buildings in denmark and getty center which he helped design to encourage flow
- used examples or people in flow like poet, chess player
- Fast company article on flow
JON HAIDT How to Flourish Using Ancient Wisdom and Modern Science
- Associate Professor of Psychology
- University of Virginia (VA) USA
- Ancient wisdom
- We are more like an elephant rider than a car driver..ie. our minds are hard to control exactly
- Flourishing class he teaches where you need to train the elephant, rather than just deciding to be different
- Change elephant/minds surrounding
- Understand rider/elephant relationship is key
- We are moralistic hypocrites...accurate of others...blind to our own moral issues
- Naive realism
- Motivated reasoning search for evidence on side we want to suppport
- Manacheism - the framing of things in pure good/evil terms
- ie bush/bin laden vs samsara (In India, good/evil are seen as less separate)
- Foundations of morals
- 5 groups - Harm, fairness, ingroup, authority, purity
- sacred victim vs Sacred system
- Liberals use Harm/Fairness...conserv use all 5 foundations
- Perhaps diversity and mobility in places where liberals live lead to thin morality
- Happiness hypothesis...
- From outside getting what you want or from within...
- auth hap goos work,love and strengths in service of others...
- Ultrasociality - bees, wasps, ants, termites, moles and humans
- Slider switch of altruism
- Good leader makes good hive
- Happiness comes from between relationships (ie. harmonious relationship between elephant and rider)
- Add humility to psychwiki.
- Optimism vs optimism induction in network analysis scheier
- Research competition for next year on the relationship between positive energy and place.
- There will be a positive psychology related conference in Mysore, India?