By going through these Maharashtra State Board Class 12 Psychology Notes Chapter 8 Positive Psychology students can recall all the concepts quickly.

Maharashtra State Board Class 12 Psychology Notes Chapter 8 Positive Psychology

Meaning Of Positive Psychology:
Positive Psychology is a newly emerging branch of psychology Martin Seligman officially introduced Positive Psychology as a subfield of psychology. It is the science of happiness, human strength and growth. It focuses on building of character strengths like courage, joy, etc., rather than on anxiety and conflict.

According to Seligman, Positive Psychology is “the scientific study of positive human functioning and flourishing on multiple levels that include the biological, personal, relational, institutional, cultural and global dimensions of life.”

Need and importance of positive psychology:
Negative events tend to be intense and hence easily attract our attention, e.g., outbursts of anger by a person will be quickly noticed. Positive Psychology believes that a person can prevent and overcome many psychological problems by adopting a positive approach. Therefore, today, positive psychology is important.

Life Above Zero:
Traditional psychology focused on life at and below zero. Zero is the line that divides illness from health. Hence, life below zero indicates a life that is full of problems stress, diseases, etc. Positive psychology emphasizes the study of life above zero.
Maharashtra Board Class 12 Psychology Notes Chapter 8 Positive Psychology 1
-1 to +1 indicates neutral characteristics while below 0 indicates disorders/ illness. Life above zero covers a large area of positive aspects of behaviour such as mindfulness, resilience, happiness, hope, trust and empathy.

The ‘Broaden and Build theory of positive emotions’ by Barbara Fredrickson explains that when we experience positive emotions, we have more positive thoughts and also indulge in positive behaviours. Experiencing a positive emotion leads to broadening the number of actions that we can think of performing. This will increase and strengthen our psychological and social resources to lead a fulfilling life.

Maharashtra Board Class 12 Psychology Notes Chapter 8 Positive Psychology

Happiness is a positive emotional state. It is subjective to each person, for e.g., people feel happy when they are successful or surprised or loved etc.
The main theories of happiness are:

  • Need/ goal satisfaction theories – Happiness is experienced when a need or goal is satisfied, e.g., Rohit feels happiness when he clears IIT-JEE exams.
  • Process/ activity theories – Happiness is experienced when one engages in a particular activity, e.g., Sumit enjoys trekking.
  • Genetic/ personality theories – Genetic and personality characteristics are involved in the experience of happiness.

Determination of Happiness: Factors like health, prestige, income, success, etc., contribute to only a small portion of our total happiness.
The following factors are predictors of long-lasting happiness –

  • Strong, intimate social relationships, positive contacts and good support system.
  • Optimism leads to less of negative emotions like stress.
  • Self-esteem enhances our confidence level and ability to approach challenges in a constructive manner.
  • Achieving challenging goals- If the goals are too easy, it leads to boredom and if they are too difficult, it leads to frustration. Moderately challenging goals, increase the chance of success, leading to happiness.
  • Perceiving meaning and purpose in life, without which we will experience frustration, boredom, etc.
  • Looking at life’s challenges as an opportunity rather than a threat helps to develop our potential.

Optimism is a mental attitude that includes feelings of hopefulness, a belief that the future will be positive and favourable and that negative events are merely setbacks that are temporary and can be overcome.

The two components of optimism are –

  1. feeling of being hopeful, confident, etc.
  2. thinking i.e., view the adverse event as temporary and hence not to generalize failure to any future events. Seligman explained about optimism in the book ‘Learned Optimism.’. According to him, our perspective determines whether or not we will show optimism.

Empathy is the capacity to understand and feel what another person is experiencing from within their frame of reference, i.e., capacity to place oneself in another’s position. According to Simon Baron-Cohen, there are three components of empathy viz. cognitive empathy (perspective taking), emotional reactivity and social skills.

A world where people exhibit empathy will create a supportive, nurturing environment that encourages creativity and openness to experience.
Empathy builds a sense of security and trust. It is closely related to emotional intelligence and is a key to successful relationships.

Empathy can be nurtured by employing methods like –

  • increase social interactions
  • connecting through similarities
  • understanding one’s own feelings
  • challenging oneself
  • cultivate a sense of curiosity
  • widen the social contact circle.

Maharashtra Board Class 12 Psychology Notes Chapter 8 Positive Psychology

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully aware of where we are and what we are doing and not be overly reactive or overwhelmed by what is going on around us. It refers to mental awareness that helps to focus on the ‘Here and Now. Mindfulness helps to increase self-regulation.

Mindlessness means performing a task with less concentration and awareness mainly because we are absorbed in our own thoughts, memories, worries, etc. This can be dangerous sometimes.

Mindfulness Meditation: In Buddhist philosophy, mindfulness practice is a form of meditation. Mindfulness meditation helps in developing a non-reactive state of mind which is the foundation of a peaceful mind. This helps to reduce anxiety, frustration, etc., and enhances mental well-being.

According to the American Psychological Association, resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress such as family, health, etc. It is the act of ‘bouncing back’ in spite of barriers or setbacks.

There are three ways in which people face adverse situations viz.

  1. consider oneself as a ‘victim’ and hence indulge in self-pity or anger
  2. get overwhelmed by negative emotions like fear, anxiety, etc., which makes them vulnerable to physiological and psychological collapse
  3. become upset about the disruption and experience a sense of loss, pain, grief, etc.

However, they understand that setbacks are a part of life so they work through these feelings in ways that foster strength and growth. Sometimes, they may emerge stronger than they were prior to the setback. Such persons are called Resilient individuals.

The four types of resilience are –

  1. Physical resilience – It is the body’s ability to adapt to challenges, maintain stamina, and quickly recover when faced with illness, injury or other physical demands.
  2. Psychological resilience – It is developing coping strategies that enable one to adapt to uncertainty, challenges and adversity and to move on without prolonged negative consequences.
  3. Emotional resilience – It refers to the ability to manage one’s emotions by adequately using one’s resources to cope with adversity.
  4. Community resilience – It is the ability of groups of people to respond to and recover from adverse situations such as natural disasters and other challenges to their community.

The ‘building blocks for resilience (7 C’s of Resilience)
According to Ann Masten, resilience is is ‘ordinary magic’, which involves behaviour that can be
easily learnt.

The 7 C’s of resilience are :

  • Competence – Competence is the ability or know-how to handle situations effectively. Competence is acquired through actual experience.
  • Confidence – True confidence is a strong belief in one’s own abilities. Confidence is gained by demonstrating competence in real-life situations.
  • Connection – Family is the central force in an individual’s life. Connections with other people, schools and communities gives the individual a sense of security that allows him/her to be independent and develop creative solutions.
  • Character – It refers to a clear sense of right and wrong and a commitment to integrity. An individual with character has a strong sense of self-worth and confidence.
  • Contribution – An individual who understands the importance of personal contribution develops a sense of purpose that can motivate him/her, further leading to his/her psychological well-being.
  • Coping – A person who learns to cope effectively with stress is better prepared to overcome life’s challenges.
  • Control – When an individual realizes that he can control the outcomes of his decisions and actions, he is more likely to know that he has the ability to bounce back.

Maharashtra Board Class 12 Psychology Notes Chapter 8 Positive Psychology

The importance of resilience:
Resilience helps the person to recover from setbacks with the least negative consequences.
Individuals high on resilience –

  • regain their confidence after a period of emotional disturbance
  • they are able to maintain their psychological well-being.


→ Empathy – it is the ability to understand and share the similar feelings of another.

→ Happiness – An emotional state showing feelings of joy, gladness, satisfaction and well being.

→ Life above zero – It is an element of positive psychology that involves adopting mindful responses to various experiences in life to raise our mental well-being and make life-enriching and meaningful.

→ Mindfulness – It is a state of being conscious and fully aware of the present moment.

→ Optimism – lt is a positive mental attitude that is characterised by hopefulness and a belief that good things will happen in the future.

→ Pessimism – It is a negative mental attitude that is characterised by hopelessness and an anticipation that negative events are more likely to happen.

→ Positive psychology – This is a branch of psychology that focuses on strengths and virtues that enable individuals, communities and organisations to thrive.

→ Resilience – This is the process of successfully adapting to challenges and difficulties in life.

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