Recent developments in positive psychology and wellbeing research are moving away from the narrow positive focus of individual wellbeing towards the broader context of existential universals, multiculturalism, and ecological concerns. This paradigm shift towards existential positive psychology (EPP) is characterised by dialectical interactions between the dark and bright sides of life, and wisdom from East and West. This chapter aims to accomplish four objectives: (1) Provide a brief review of the relationship between humanistic and positive psychology; (2) Critique both humanistic and positive psychology; (3) Give a cultural critique of WEIRD biases; and (4) Propose a process oriented tripartite general theory of global flourishing, consisting of Meaningful living, Meaningful suffering, and Multicultural perspective. This chapter concludes that this 3 M model enables us to rise above the humanistic-positive psychology divide and contributes to a global flourishing beyond WEIRD biases.

Keywords: global flourishing; wellbeing; meaning, suffering, culture, multiculturalism, injustice,

 Note: This paper includes some text and material from an unpublished blogpost on the author’s personal website (Wong, 2013a).


Wong, P. T. P. (in press). An Existential Perspective on Positive Psychology: Towards a General Theory of Global Flourishing. In L. Hoffman (Ed.), APA Handbook of Humanistic and Existential Psychology. http://www.drpaulwong.com/relationship-with-positive-psychology/