What is Positive Psychology?

Stated very simply, positive psychology is the study of human well-being and flourishing. Unlike self-help, positive psychology uses science-based research and methodology to understand what makes life worth living–what makes “the good life.” Rather than focusing on what’s wrong with people, positive psychology focuses on what’s right with people.

For nearly 100 years, the field of psychology largely focused on moving people and the human mind metaphorically from negative to zero. Positive psychology takes this a step further and investigates what moves people from neutral to positive.

In 1998, Dr. Martin Seligman, considered the father of positive psychology, challenged his fellow psychologists at the American Psychology Association’s annual conference to consider a radical shift in the profession for both practice and research to focus on the positive. Since then, positive psychology has grown and flourished, inspiring thousands of new studies and research on topics such as resilience, grit, mindfulness, character strengths, and positive emotions like gratitude, serenity, interest, hope, pride, amusement, inspiration, awe, and love, among others.

In the early years of positive psychology, Dr. Christopher Peterson also played a critical role in the field. Along with groundbreaking research on character strengths and virtues, Peterson had an overarching belief in altruistic motivation, and often summarized positive psychology as the idea that: “Other people matter.” Based on scientific evidence, positive psychology attempts to dissect and understand the best parts of humankind. Why do other people matter? What makes us happy? How do we experience flow? By asking these questions, positive psychology scientists and practitioners aim to develop practices and methods to expand people’s awareness of the strengths, capabilities and power within all of us to excel and flourish. 

Why Does it Matter to Your Business?

Every business knows that “other people matter.” From customers to employees, vendors, and the business owner herself, businesses couldn’t run or succeed without other people. Yet, many businesses are not skilled at making their most important stakeholders–their clients and customers–feel that they matter.

According to a study by the Harvard Business Review, emotionally connected customers are 52% more valuable to a business or brand (Magids, S., Zorfas, A., & Leemon, D., 2015).  By building emotional connections, businesses can grow revenue, build engagement and loyalty with customers, and even enhance the satisfaction and well-being of employees. Positive psychology, in its quest to understand how people thrive and flourish, provides many tools to understand and implement touch points to connect customers to any brand. 

Many businesses and business owners take emotional connections for granted or believe that building experiences for customers is too expensive or only for luxury brands. But we’ve found, through our research and study in positive psychology, that it is often the simple, inexpensive gestures that pack that biggest punch in building engagement, connection and belonging.

Learn how we can help your businesses create customer experiences that build brand loyalty and engagement using the power of positive psychology. Connect with us at beth@broadlawncreative.com

What is Positive Psychology & Why Does it Matter to Your Business?

positivity, Psychology

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