revise paper psych




Positive Psychology

Maritza De Paz

West Coast University

December 8th, 2019

Positive Psychology


This paper will be based on the article by (Smith, 2019), on the hopeful promises and critics of positive psychology. The author addresses the history of positive psychology based on the American Psychological Association’s (APA’s) leadership strategy. The article provides a deep analysis of the role of Martin Seligman in promoting positive psychology while serving as the president of APA. The author systematically provides the social, academic, and career journey of Seligman in promoting the science of happiness through positive psychology. These events span from the 1970s up to recent claims by Seligman in 2018. The author highlights examples of critics and weaknesses of positive psychology, especially when using the case of Seligman. This article is mainly concerned with the commercialization of positive psychology. This article also highlights concerns with the developing relationship between this discipline and religion. The author highlights some of the challenges of moving the focus away from negative emotions in one’s well-being. This article provides a good platform to evaluate the limitations of positive psychology.

Learned Optimism

The author bases his hypothesis on the commercialization of positive psychology on the sensation of “learned helplessness” developed in the 1970s and 1980s. According to the author, Seligman promoted positive psychology in the academic field through self-help books. The practice of positive psychology is promoted through the belief that all events are escapable. The author highlights Seligman’s quoting the ways people are conditioned to believe bad occurrences in life are inescapable. The author notes that Seligman suggests that positive psychology can help turn or evade negative events into positive events. Seligman’s publications on “Authentic Happiness” and “Flourish” emphasize the author’s highlight on positive psychology (Smith, 2019). The author uses recent publications criticizing the practice of positive psychology. The author also uses reports highlighting the link between positive psychology and religion through financing. Religious parties have been noted to sponsor activities geared towards promoting positive psychology which is scientific progress. The author acknowledges the continued popularity of positive psychology leading to continuous differences between science and religion.

Trust in Positive Psychology

The author’s hypothesis on the commercialization of positive psychology is based on the increasing trust concerns on positive psychology. In the article, the author slightly highlights the relationship between positive psychology and marketing. Over the past few years, reports have noted the use of positive psychology in marketing. Limited replications in studies on human strengths are affecting research developments on positive psychology. The author also acknowledges that the scientific limitations can offer an opportunity for social and cognitive psychology. Scientific studies on the factors the enable people to flourish in increasingly troubling for positive psychology. However, as a new field, the author notes that it has been heavily commercialized. The author’s hypothesis on the commercial link between positive psychology and religion is based on religion’s favor for single study results (Smith, 2019). The information used in this article is based on the long battle between religion and science in the field of psychology. Each field has taken a different approach to positive psychology with science taking a long-term view. Phrasing positive psychology as a “problem-solution” is an assumption that people are already miserable.

Positive Psychology and Religion

According to (Smith, 2019), the link between positive psychology and religion is playing a role popularizing the practice of positive psychology. The findings in this article are well backed by external research and reports. The author uses findings by Seligman’s colleagues to highlight the ethical issues raised against positive psychology. The article’s findings integrate reports for and against positive psychology to help improve the quality of conclusions raised. This strategy has seen the author incorporate more than 10 resources in his article as a way of advancing findings on positive psychology. The author manages to show the gaping loopholes in the current form of positive psychology being spread, especially through religion. The author has successfully shown Seligman’s positive psychology lack of authentic fulfillment. Using examples such as the military’s adoption of positive psychology, the author manages to highlight the original intentions and role of positive psychology in people’s lives.

The author faced challenges in highlighting reasons for the massive adopting and spread of positive psychology. The main focus is on Seligman when trying to highlight the limitations of positive psychology. The author could have improved the quality of his findings by highlighting the impacts of commercializing psychology (Smith, 2019). The commercial link between positive psychology and religion can offer more details on the current presentation of positive psychology to people. The author could have also improved his findings by highlighting the different ways positive psychology can map paths that end in true contentment.

Positive Psychology on Well-being

Through globalization, the availability of opportunities has grown and led to an increase in competition. Businesses are faced with increased competition as people face extra pressure to perform and deliver. Advancements and modernization have seen anxiety levels among people increase. The findings in this article can help highlight ways of mapping a path that ends in true contentment (Lambert, Passmore, & Holder, 2015). The findings in this research that religion is playing a key role in promoting positive psychology will help address the prosperity gospel. The author notes that positive psychology as spread by Seligman is based on the impression that positive thoughts can keep people well. This finding is an indication that religion transfers positive psychology from science to ethics.

The article concludes that positive psychology in ethics is highly dependent unreliable self-reports. This conclusion will help address the replication limitations of positive psychology when it is commercialized and commoditized. These critics on Seligman’s version of positive psychology will help address ways of developing positive psychology to being future-oriented’ (Cappellen, Toth-Gauthier, & Saroglou, 2016). As a science, positive psychology is highly focused on offering a sustainable solution to one’s well-being. The author notes that the commercialization of positive psychology has made well-being seem out of reach and exclusive. The author’s findings will help address the differences between science and religion on the issue of positive psychology. The author’s findings will also raise the focus on the systematic and social factors that affect people’s well-being. Seligman’s view of positive psychology encourages the perspective of blaming the victim. The author’s findings will help confirm the extent to which positive psychology negatively affects those facing systematic and social limitations.

Positive Psychology can be Negative Psychology

There is a need to critically think about positive psychology. In my opinion, a lack of a clear map for paths that end’ in true contentment can lead to negative psychological impacts. The author notes that Seligman’s perception of positive psychology is based on placing responsibility on the victim. The goal of positive psychology, in this case, is to improve the well-being of the victim. However, systematic and social limitations can make the victim feel responsible for their failures. Such a psychological state can lead the victims into a state of fear, anger, sadness, anxiety, and depression. The search for happiness is highly prioritized in Seligman’s positive psychology and improving one’s well-being. It is my opinion that positive psychology should also address the means by which people pursue or experience happiness.

The commercial link between positive psychology and religion limits the true intentions of positive psychology. In my opinion, Seligman’s removes the obligation placed on victims for them to be optimistic. Positive psychology as placed by Seligman seems to describe the consequences of positive thinking. It is my opinion that there are steps required for one to realize authentic happiness in life. Authentic happiness means one facing challenges and good times in a positive or optimistic attitude. Having positive thoughts should not mean that people will not face negative events, instead, it should signify the process of handling challenges. However, there is extensive conflicting research on happiness that could support and critic Seligman’s view of positive happiness. Future studies should help in developing positive psychology into a legitimate and mature scientific discipline. Positive psychology remains a young discipline in science and more research needs to be conducted. Positive psychology should be for everyone and no limitations should be placed through religion. The commercialization of positive psychology will limit its reach and impact in society. Positive psychology as science plays to the benefit of all in society.

Impact of Positive Psychology

This article improves the understanding of the interpretation of positive psychology as a science. In psychology, this article will provide more insights into the factors behind positive thinking in people. The different techniques used in positive psychology can be advanced through this article’s findings. The author will improve the focus on what defines positive experiences in psychology, for example, love, inspiration, and happiness. The article will also improve insights on the positive traits that states required in positive thinking, for example, resilience, gratitude, and compassion. The author’s findings and conclusions will also help highlight the positive institutions required in positive psychology as a science. Findings and conclusions in this field will help bridge the gap between science and religion. This topic will improve the ability of psychology, as a science, to help people live their best lives and flourish.


Cappellen, P. V., Toth-Gauthier, M., & Saroglou, M. (2016). Religion and well-being: The mediating role of positive emotions. Journal of Happiness Studies, 17(2), 485-505. Lambert, L., Passmore, H. A., & Holder, M. D. (2015). Foundational frameworks of positive psychology: Mapping well-being orientations. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie Canadienne, 56(3), 311. Smith, J. (2019, Novermber 20). Is positive psychology all it’s cracked up to be? Retrieved from