Positive psychology is the study of human strengths and well-being. This site includes information about positive psychology research, teaching, and practice as well as events, strengths based books, and resources.

  • The latest edition of the Section on Positive Psychology newsletter, Positive Psychology: Theory and Application is now available. This edition contains Section updates and great articles by section members. Check it out here.
  • Be sure to take a look at Past Chair Jeana Magyar-Moe’s post about using the “Positive GAF scale” on the Section on Positive Psychology’s Facebook page!
  • We invite you to check out the Resources page to our website, and take a look at the great information we have. If you have some materials that you would like to add to the Resources page, contact Brian Cole (bpcole[at]gmail.com).
  • Meet the section leadership
  • Join our listserv




The Section on Positive Psychology requests nominations for the following two Section-sponsored awards (one for students, one for psychologists):

Student Award for Distinguished Contributions to Positive Psychology 

Shane J Lopez Award for Professional Contributions in Positive Psychology

We highly encourage you to either self-nominate (don’t be shy!) or to nominate another student affiliate or member of Division 17 bysending an email to Rhea Owens (rowens@uwsp.edu) giving the nominee’s contact information.


If you choose to nominate someone other than yourself, please do so by JUNE 23rd. The Awards Committee will contact the nominee to let her/him know and to encourage her/him to submit application materials. The deadline for submitting application materials is JULY 14th




  • The nominee must be either a current Member or Student Affiliate of the American Psychological Association.
  • The nominee must have made a significant contribution to the science, practice, clinical training, and/or teaching of positive psychology. Nominees may also be persons who divide their professional activities among each area.

Examples of contributions may include:

  • Contributions to science that are made through publication of either research findings or theory that generates research.
  • Contributions to practice that are made through direct service to clients or through research that has clear and immediate implications for direct service.
  • Contributions to teaching and/or training students in positive psychology.


Nominees will be asked to submit the following: a) an application letter indicating the significance of the nominee’s contributions and achievements in positive psychology (no more than three pages single-spaced); b) no more than two supporting letters from professional colleagues, collaborators, and/or psychologists; and c) a copy of the nominee’s vita.

SEND MATERIALS ELECTRONICALLY TO: Rhea Owens, Ph.D. (rowens@uwsp.edu)

Please collate application materials into one PDF document titled with nominee’s name and award name. For example: Kevin_Bacon_SPP_ student_distinguished_contribution.pdf

These awards for contributions to Positive Psychology were established to honor the contributions of students and psychologists in the science, practice, and teaching of counseling psychology. The award includes a cash prize of $200. Announcement of the award winners will be made at the annual APA Convention and announced on the Section listserv.



Positive Psychology- Tal Ben-Shahar

April 16, 2013
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Dr. Tal Ben Shahar, Harvard professor, Bringing Happiness to Life

April 14, 2013

Note: Lecture begins at 22 minutes 30 seconds. More about professor Tal Ben Shahar here: http://www.talbenshahar.com/talbenshahar/Bio/About/ Online positive psychology courses are offered here: http://www.talbenshahar.com/talbenshahar/OnlineCourses/

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Martin Seligman, Positive Psychology Conference Keynote

April 13, 2013


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What is Positive Psychology?

April 12, 2013

“What is Positive Psychology?” A “white board animation” sponsored by Test Prep Gurus. Written and Produced by: Nick Standlea Animation Technique Development… Video Rating: 4 / 5 Ronald D. Siegel, Psy.D., assistant clinical professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and editor of Harvard Health Publication’s special health repo…

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Martin Seligman: The new era of positive psychology (Ted Talk)

April 10, 2013

Martin Seligman talks about psychology — as a field of study and as it works one-on-one with each patient and each practitioner.

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