Positive Psychology

Posted by: Dr. Justin D'Arienzo, Psy.D., ABPP

Positive Psychology

Positive Psychology was written by future Industrial Organizational Psychologist, Brandon Araujo, for D’Arienzo Psychological Group in April 2014.

            Positive psychology is a newly emerging branch of psychology that focuses on the idea that people naturally desire meaningful and fulfilling lives. This branch of psychology has three main pillars: positive experiences, positive individual traits, and positive institutions. After Martin Seligman launched this new field of psychology in 1988, psychologists around the world started experimenting to discover what makes people happy. One longitudinal study of 1500 individuals discovered certain aspects that were commonly found in a meaningful life, which includes helping others, having an enjoyable career, and receiving social support.

Positive psychology has been implemented in many fields including sports, parenting and even the workplace. The article below, which Dr. D’Arienzo commented about, explains the positive approach to coaching a professional sports team (/2013/11/sports-psychologist-jacksonville-florida/).

Authoritative parenting is a method of parenting that implements positive psychology. Authoritative parents express feelings of trust, encouragement, and nurturance, which creates an environment that makes the child feel comfortable to explore, express opinions, and to display their true self. This type of relationship also helps develop the child’s sense of self-efficacy and autonomy. Studies have found that children of authoritative parents tend to be happier, have better emotional control, be more self-confident, and have better social skills.

Since positive psychology is the study of human functioning, it has become very popular in the workplace in order to improve human potential and organizational efficiency. Psychologists have used many of the following methods in order to accomplish this: building team performance, providing mentoring, optimizing work/family balance, promoting organizational learning, and inspiring positive organization development. These methods have been proven to be successful according to multiple studies. Csikzentmihalyi (1975, 1977) found that clear, challenging goals with immediate feedback make a task more enjoyable. Deci and Ryan (1985) discovered that people become engaged in activities that provide a sense of self-determination. Bandura (1997) argued that people are motivated to complete a task when they feel a sense of efficacy. These findings all suggest that positive psychology can improve employee moral and productivity.


D’Arienzo Psychological Group is a Jacksonville, FL Psychology Firm specializing in Forensic and Clinical Psychology. Services include couples therapy, executive coaching, life coaching, psychotherapy, custody evaluations and social investigations, parenting coordination, reunification therapy, and independent forensic psychological evaluations. Please contact Dr. D’Arienzo, Clinical and Forensic Psychologist, at 904-379-8094.