Positive Psychology



In the News


Forbes

Scientists look to West Point to better understand what it takes to succeed

A team of researchers led by Angela Duckworth of the School of Arts and Sciences examined data from thousands of West Point cadets to assess the attributes that were most predictive of success. Their results “suggest that both cognitive and non-cognitive attributes matter in different ways and at different times,” they wrote.

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Philadelphia Inquirer

How reading a good book can make you a better person

Angela Duckworth of the School of Arts and Sciences wrote about the human capacity for empathy. “True, human beings tend to be egocentric, experiencing and reacting to the here-and-now of our lives,” she wrote. “But also true, and out of all species perhaps uniquely so, we’re capable of mentally untethering ourselves from our own narrative and imagining what it is like to walk a path entirely different than our own.”

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WBUR Radio (Boston)

Employers want to do more with less. Where does that leave expertise?

Angela Duckworth of the School of Arts and Sciences spoke about grit and other non-IQ competencies achieved through hard work over sustained periods of time.

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Science Alert

Scientists found an opposite ‘light’ force to the driver of all your worst impulses

Scott Barry Kaufman and a team of researchers from the School of Arts and Sciences have developed a Light Triad Scale to assess positive character traits in individuals, a counter to the Dark Triad that drives bad behavior. “Yes, everyday psychopaths exist. But so do everyday saints, and they are just as worthy of research attention and cultivation in a society that sometimes forgets that not only is there goodness in the world, but there is also goodness in each of us as well,” wrote Kaufman.

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Philadelphia Inquirer

Can you teach students to be happy? Colleges are trying.

James Pawelski’s course The Pursuit of Happiness goes beyond introducing students to positive psychology by encouraging them to practice it. Pawelski, of the School of Arts and Sciences, emphasizes the field’s two key concepts: emphasizing individual strengths and creating closer human bonds. “It’s important that wellness not be thought of as something merely important for mentally ill students,” he said.

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The Washington Post

India, which has long focused on student success now offers ‘happiness’ classes

Alejandro Adler of the School of Arts and Sciences discussed India’s new “happiness” classes, which were inspired by a Bhutanese program to improve the “gross national happiness,” an alternative to measuring a country’s success via the gross domestic product indicator.

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