Positive psychology and positive education

The 2009 annual British Academy/British Psychological Society Lecture was delivered by Dr Martin Seligman, Fox Leadership Professor of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania.

The lecture was held on Tuesday 29 September at Friends House and attracted an audience of 400-450 people.

Positive Psychology is the study of four modes of 'happiness': positive emotion; engagement; meaning; and positive relationships. Each of these is separately measurable and each can be learned.

The efficacy of positive interventions that teach each of these modes is reasonably well documented, particularly in schools. Dr Seligman discussed some of the major interventions and how to deliver them.

He suggested that psychology in the coming decade will supplement its venerable task of treating mental illness with a new focus on positive education.

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