Writing: Positive Psychology

Proposed Guidelines for Collaborative Research

Why do we need collaborative research? It is needed because of the complex and holistic nature of any human phenomenon. In order to advance the common good, we need to learn from each other and work together towards a better understanding of human experience and behavior (Gergen, 2016; Wong, in press). My Experience in Collaborative Research Personally, I have been involved in various forms of collaborative research efforts for over 30 years. I spent five years as a member of the Panel on Biological and Behavioral Sciences in the National Institute of Mental Health. I also worked as a...

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Acceptance, Transcendence, and Yin-Yang Dialectics: The Three Basic Tenets of Second Wave Positive Psychology

President’s Report for the Positive Living Newsletter (November 2016). Read the rest of the newsletter here. Since the INPM is home of second wave positive psychology (PP 2.0), this month I will continue to examine this topic so that our readers can have a better understanding of the three basic tenets of PP 2.0. The most fundamental tenet or the overarching conceptual framework for PP 2.0 is the Yin-Yang dialectics as illustrated in the above Carl Jung quote and a quote from Tao Te Ching (道德經), written by Lao-tzu (老子) and translated into English by Stephen Mitchell (1988): When people...

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Positive Psychology in North America

Historial Background to Positive Psychology in North America Humanistic Psychology The story of positive psychology (PP) in America begins long prior to the modern movement called PP, and the humanistic psychologists provide a reasonable place to begin. Humanist psychologists were the first psychologists who focused on the positive side of people—their innate goodness and natural tendency towards the self-actualization of their potentials. Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow were the leading figures in this movement. The humanistic approach began as a reaction against the determinism of psychoanalysis and behaviorism, both of which were dominant forces in psychology in the 1950s...

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Self-Transcendence: A Paradoxical Way to Become Your Best

Introduction I propose that the way to become your best self is, paradoxically, to become more selfless. I want to make the case that, in a world of cut-throat competition, the best strategy to survive and prosper for individuals and societies is to give our best in serving each other. In psychological terms, this way of life is called self- transcendence (ST). ST sounds paradoxical and counter-intuitive and may not make sense at first glance because in this individualistic consumer society, self-interest always seems front and centre in our consciousness. From parenting to education, we are ingrained with the...

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Meaning-Centered Approach to Research and Therapy, Second Wave Positive Psychology, and the Future of Humanistic Psychology

Abstract This paper describes six research principles for revitalizing humanistic psychology and impacting mainstream psychology based on Gergen (2016) and DeRobertis (2016). It demonstrates how Wong’s meaning-centered research and therapy is an extension of humanistic-existential psychology and has impacted mainstream psychology indirectly by following six principles. Furthermore, it also shows how Wong’s (2011) second wave positive psychology is able to provide a new humanistic vision to impact mainstream psychology directly. Finally, it argues that humanistic psychology needs to take these six principles seriously by going beyond phenomenological research and replacing a “tribal” mentality with a pluralistic big-tent perspective since...

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INPM President’s Report – July 2016

President’s Report for the Positive Living Newsletter (July 2016). Read the rest of the newsletter here. PP2.0 Summit Explores the New Vistas of Second Wave Positive Psychology: How to Embrace the Dark Side to Make Life Better The much anticipated first Second Wave Positive Psychology (PP2.0) Summit is fast approaching; leaders in PP2.0 from around the world will be gathered in Toronto at the 9th Biennial International Meaning Conference between July 28-31 to explore the exciting new vistas of research and interventions in second wave positive psychology. A few months ago, I answered the basic question: What is Second Wave Positive...

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Chinese Positive Psychology Revisited

Published as Wong, P. T. P. (2016). Chinese positive psychologist revisited. International Journal of Existential Psychology and Psychotherapy, 6(1). Retrieved from http://www.drpaulwong.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Chinese-Positive-Psychology-Revisited-2016-Mar-1.pdf Abstract This paper argues that since Chinese culture is complex and profound, an uncritical transplant of American positive psychology to Chinese soil may not be fruitful. It proposes that a more promising approach to Chinese Positive Psychology (CPP) calls for research programs that meet the needs of the Chinese people in their unique cultural and political context. More specifically, it first describes the defining characteristics of the Chinese culture and then outlines three related tracks of research: (1) Basic...

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10 Key Steps for a Meaningful Life According to Scientific Research

Here are 10 key steps on how to live a meaningful life according to scientific research. Know and accept yourself — Be true to who you are (i.e., authentic). Know what really matters — Be engaged in creative work and what endows your life with meaning and significance. Affirm the meaning of life — Believe that life has intrinsic meaning and value. Value connection — Be engaged with people who matter to you. Serve something greater than you — Practice altruism & self-transcendence. Develop a sense of meaning and purpose — Pursue a life goal as a calling. Develop...

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What is Second Wave Positive Psychology and Why is it Necessary?

Published here as Wong, P. T. P. (2015). What is second wave positive psychology and why is it necessary? Dr. Paul T. P. Wong. Retrieved from http://www.drpaulwong.com/what-is-second-wave-positive-psychology-and-why-is-it-necessary/ The positive psychology (PP) movement, launched by Martin Seligman (1998), is the most significant phenomenon in contemporary psychology. Perhaps it is inevitable that its exponential growth has led to some excesses by its over-enthusiastic supporters and criticisms from its detractors. However, nothing has stopped PP’s growth; it continues to flourish and evolve in light of new theoretical formulations and research findings. The ‘second wave’ of PP (PP2.0) (Ivtzan, Lomas, Hefferon, & Worth, 2015; Wong,...

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