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PSYCH 476 November 30, 2011 Notes

PSYCH 476 November 30, 2011 Notes - 1 PSYCH 476 Positive...

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PSYCH 476 Positive Psychology Positive Institutions and the Future of Positive Psychology November 30, 2011 Please note. —We have our second exam in class next week (December 7, 2011). The format will again be multiple-choice. Questions will draw on lectures, films shown in class, assigned textbook chapters, and required readings. Bring a pencil or two! Review sheet and sample exam will be posted on cTools. Where to take the exam: Sections of Mei and Phil: here (1324 East Hall) Sections of Eric and Kate: 1800 Chemistry Building Special accommodations: meet at 2050 East Hall Outline Positive institutions Positive organizational scholarship Features of positive institutions And what about difficult people? Happy places ... are social Film (~20 minutes): “Bhutan: Gross National Happiness” The future of positive psychology What is a positive institution? Early on, positive institutions were the acknowledged weak link of the topics deemed important by positive psychologists A definition was not even at hand, excerpt to say vaguely that a positive institution was one that encouraged positive emotions, positive traits, and positive relationships among its members The “weak link” of positive psychology We have since made some progress and can start to say some things about the features of institutions—families, workplaces, churches, communities, and even nations—that contribute to the good life 1
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Positive organizational scholarship The good new is that positive psychology does not have to shoulder the burden of understanding positive/enabling institutions Parallel to the development of PP has been the emergence within organizational science of a positive perspective, right here at Michigan (and also at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland) *Business schools o Looks at good moral, creativity, virtues of the org., Like psychology, the field of organizational studies has long had a negative tilt, topics like absenteeism, alienation, attrition, employee theft, workplace violence, and discrimination are investigated frequently by organizational researchers But echoing positive psychology, an exclusive focus on the negative yields an incomplete view of the institutionalized human condition, and it leads to a focus on mere prevention of problems rather than on the building and nurturing of organizations that allow people individually and collectively to thrive. On the other hand, the study of positive institutions (whatever and wherever they may be) has had less to struggle against than positive psychology: no one has ever written a book about the workplace called “from fair to middling” Positive organizational scholarship (POS) is a newly-christened approach that recognizes and studies exceptional individual and organizational performance o POS brings together under the same rubric such topics as worker satisfaction and morale, transformational leadership, organizational innovation and creativity, and individual and municipal virtue o How common are these instances of excellence?
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