Positive Psychology

Where political views and fundamental beliefs intersect

Research from The Penn Primals Project debunks the idea that conservatives think the world is more dangerous than liberals, findings with implications for future research and productive political debate.

Michele W. Berger

What beliefs shape our minds?

Jer Clifton of the Positive Psychology Center developed a framework to study primal world beliefs, our most fundamental sentiments about the world as a whole. Now, he’s ready for everyone to discover what their primal world beliefs are.

Marilyn Perkins

Do art museums prioritize visitor well-being enough?

Research from the Humanities and Human Flourishing Project in Penn’s Positive Psychology Center reveals that the people working in these institutions want to see greater emphasis on human flourishing, but they feel ill-equipped to make it happen.

Michele W. Berger

How a brain tumor helped a cyclist change his life

In 2019, Chris Baccash was diagnosed with a a slow-growing malignant brain tumor. In 2021, after completing a grueling 100-mile cycling race up the Rockies, he started graduate school at Penn for a master’s degree in positive psychology.

From Penn Medicine News

In the News

Psychology Today

Why hasn’t the new me shown up yet?

In his book “What You Can Change and What You Can’t,” Martin Seligman of the School of Arts & Sciences says that some personal qualities and habits can’t be changed without extreme difficulty.



You can’t force holiday cheer—but three habits can help you feel happier this season

In his co-written book “Character Strengths and Virtues.” Martin Seligman of the School of Arts & Sciences defines gratitude as being aware of and thankful for the good things that happen and taking time to express thanks.


Fast Company

Four myths that hold workers back from having fulfilling careers—and how to make your work more meaningful

In an Op-Ed, Tamara Myles of the School of Arts & Sciences uses her research at the Positive Psychology Center to explain why meaningful work is fundamental to happiness.


CBS Philadelphia

New class from Barnes Foundation and UPenn shows a new twist in art therapy

Penn professors, including James Pawelski and Katherine Cotter of the School of Arts & Sciences, are teaching an online class about art therapy with support from the Barnes Foundation.


Indo-Asian News Service

ChatGPT shows promise for effective psychotherapy

A study by Martin Seligman of the School of Arts & Sciences and colleagues at the Positive Psychology Center found that ChatGPT could generate highly detailed and accurate personal narratives for use in a therapeutic context.


First for Women

What to do when you feel like giving up: Experts share secrets to restoring hope

Karen Reivich of the School of Arts & Sciences recommends identifying which core positive emotion is quintessentially “you” and finding small ways to feel that every day.