Writing: Positive Psychology

Living with Cancer: A Case for PP 2.0 (Keynote, Meaning Conference 2018)

unsplash-logoJulentto Photography Cancer is a fitting metaphor for the evil and suffering of life, because it even brings pain and death to innocent children and adults who practice a healthy lifestyle. Cancer symbolizes the inherent fragility and brevity of human life—the undeniable universal fact that no matter what we do to protect ourselves, we all can be injured physically and psychologically by toxic and violent people, broken relationships, traumatic events, pathogens, accidents, loss, aging, illness, and death. Thus, the challenge confronting us is how we can survive, thrive, and be happy under these terrible conditions. I proposed existential positive psychology...

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Mature Happiness and Global Wellbeing in Difficult Times

unsplash-logoKristopher Roller Authors Co-authored with Victoria Bowers, Ph.D. candidate, Saybrook University. Abstract The starting point in the wellbeing research of this chapter is that life is full of sufferings, just as the living environment is full of bacteria, viruses, and toxins. Therefore, a realistic strategy to research sustainable happiness needs to include at least two components: (1) the capacity to overcome or live with suffering and stress, as measured by a comprehensive misery index, and (2) the process to achieve mature happiness and flourishing despite the dark side of human existence. This two-pronged approach is based on the second...

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How to Write a Good Manuscript Review

unsplash-logorawpixel.com Have the Necessary Expertise Do not review manuscripts beyond your scope of competency. Journals are more likely to publish papers with serious errors or deficiencies if their manuscripts have not gone through rigorous review by reviewers with the necessary expertise. Such problems may even occur in American Psychologist, the flagship of the American Psychological Association. Here are two cases: one involving the critical positivity ratio (Brown, Sokal, & Friedman, 2013, 2014) and another related to the existential issue of meaning in life (Brown & Wong, 2015). How these critical reviews ever got published are a story worth telling,...

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Chinese Indigenous Psychology and PP 2.0 (Overview) (Taiwan Society of Adlerian Psychology, Taiwan)

Kevin Bluer A comprehensive and workable model of global well-being needs to have the following elements:  It integrates the best ideas from East and West, ancient and modern days.  It integrates the biological, social, psychological, and spiritual dimensions of personhood.  It is supported by psychological research, historical research, clinical observations, and everyday human experiences.  It is based on terms that are understandable by people from different cultures and precise enough to be tested empirically.  It takes into account the economic, political, environmental, societal, and stress factors that are known to impact the well-being of human beings individually and collectively.   It is...

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Meaning-Centered Positive Education (Overview) (Fo Guang University & National Kaohsiung Normal University, Taiwan)

Kimberly Farmer As educators, we are faced with the challenging question of how to prepare young people for an uncertain future of accelerated change, intensified global competition, and turbulent political waves. In this context, we realize that we need a whole person education that cultivates the mind, the heart, the hand, and social involvement.  Aristotle has said, “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” There is ample evidence that psychopaths can be intelligent and well-educated but without empathy and conscience. Science has also confirmed that success and money do not bring happiness if our lives are without meaning and virtue.  Thus, a meaning-centered positive education...

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Meaning and Flourishing in Suffering (Overview) (Fo Guang University, Taiwan)

Cherry Laithang This presentation provides a new perspective on flourishing based on the second wave of positive psychology (PP 2.0) (Wong, 2011). It first emphasizes the importance of the contextual principle of well-being. More specifically, this principle posits that, in order to have a full understanding or account of well-being, it is essential to provide (a) the broadest possible context of the human condition, with its dark side and existential issues, and (b) specific circumstances, such as peace and prosperity or war-torn areas and poverty. Statements about well-being are not very meaningful or helpful without any reference to contextual...

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Meaning in Life and Well-Being (Overview) (Tzu Chi University & Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages, Taiwan)

Ambreen Hasan There are numerous theories and hypotheses about how to live a happy and meaningful life. My own meaning hypothesis posits that a good life consists of meaning, virtue, and happiness, with meaning playing the key role (Wong, 2012, 2015).  After reviewing Viktor Frankl’s contributions and my own research on meaning, I explain (a) the meaning of different types of meaning; (b) the constituents of meaning; (c) the sources of meaning; and (d) the protectives roles of meaning.  Meaning contributes to our well-being in at least three ways: (a) enhancing our positive feelings, mature happiness, and health; (b) protecting us from stress through meaning-focused coping and moderating the effects of stress; and (c) contributing to our capacity for resilience and grit (Wong, 2014).  Regarding the practical ways to live a...

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Lessons of Life Intelligence through Life Education (Overview) (Tzu Chi University, Taiwan)

Capturing the human heart. Life is hard in every stage of development. Just as we need IQ to do well in school, we need life intelligence (LQ) to do well in life. Winning the world but losing one’s soul is not real success because a self-centered, unethical life could be very lonely and miserable. A truly rewarding life enjoys a high level of well-being and, at the same time, makes a significant contribution to humanity. A well-lived life is also one of relating well to others and adapting well to all the demands of life. It is a matter of life intelligence rather than good luck to live such a blessed life.   This...

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The Courage to Live Well and Die Well (2017 Life Education International Academic Conference, Taiwan)

Breno Machado Abstract This paper proposes that the best way to lead a good life is to pursue a life of meaning, virtue, and happiness through self-transcendence. This meaning hypothesis was developed from the perspective of second wave positive psychology (PP 2.0), which sees mature happiness or well-being as situated in the context of suffering and the dark side of human existence. According to this perspective, the only kind of happiness that can be sustained during adversities is mature happiness, which is based on the psychological and spiritual maturity of learning to be at home with oneself, others, and...

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