Research has shown that Positive Psychology is not only able to increase human productivity, wellbeing and life satisfaction, but creates personal resilience which buffers against mental illness.
In recent history the science of psychology has focused predominantly on mental illness (or illbeing) and how these could be diagnosed and effectively treated. The knowledge gained as a result has made an extremely important contribution to reducing the suffering caused by mental illness, which has benefitted both individuals and society. This focus however, has distracted from research dedicated to exploring the factors and conditions which allow all humans to lead more fulfilling and productive lives.
Positive Psychology complements the knowledge gained from the study of mental illness, by using scientific methods, and advances in brain-imaging technologies to explore wellbeing and optimal human functioning; i.e. what is right with us rather than what is wrong with us.
Positive Organisational Psychology focuses on the scientific study of what makes organisations such as our College productive, healthy and satisfying places to work, and that contribute meaningfully to society. It challenges us to ask questions about what works, what gives life, what inspires and what is experienced as good in our work and College, in addition to what is problematic and difficult.
Research shows that building on organisational strengths promotes greater staff motivation and engagement, more effective and sustained improvement and hence the best outcomes for our students. Creating and sustaining an optimal workplace environment supports the development of individual wellbeing and engages their collective strengths to achieve our mission. This does not mean that conflicts or problems are ignored, but that we engage with them by applying our strengths rather than focusing solely on deficiencies.