Timothy So, Msc, is a PhD candidate in Psychology in the University of Cambridge Department of Psychiatry. He is a Research Associate of Cambridge University's Well-being Institute and a Chartered Occupational Psychologist. Timothy is also responsible for both the Traditional and the Simplified Chinese PPND sites. Full bio.
A couple of weeks ago, at the 4th European Conference of Positive Psychology conference in Croatia, I presented a study on the impact of Job Design and Team Structure on employee well-being which I conducted with Michael West last year. In the last article, I wrote about the main questions at this conference that matter to the positive psychology community, and here I share something more personal about the three distinct lessons that I learned at the event.
The Scientific and Systematic Approach to Positive Psychology
Lesson from Felicia Huppert
James Pawelski presented in paper “What does positive psychology mean by positive?,” and we – every researcher and psychologist – should bear in mind that positive psychology can achieve its contribution and potential only if we know with precision what we are studying. If you had attended the symposium “How well is well-being being measured?” by Felicia Huppert, you would have likely been impressed by how deeply scientists from the community of positive psychology devote their every effort to establish systematic and scientific measures for us to understand the abstract multi-dimensional concept of well-being. By the definition of the Positive Psychology Centre in 2007, positive psychology is the “scientific study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals to thrive.”
A Paragon of the Passion and Energy for Positive Psychology
Lesson from Rose-Inza Kim
Apart from the formula 2H=7L/R* which is a new concept proposed by Rose-Inza Kim from the Korea Counselling Center, what impressed me most is her energy and commitment to positive psychology. After presenting a long workshop, Rose still squeezed in time before the conference dinner to explain to me her models of building positive emotions to reach happiness, such as the R.T. Counseling Circle and the 7L/R Formula. In Rose, we can see a role model who commits and dedicates herself to the science of happiness. It was my great pleasure to meet her at the conference.
(*2H stands for Happier and Healthier, 7L refers to Learning, Love, Labor, Leisure, Laughter, Liberty and Longevity and lastly R refers to Relationships.)
Apart from dedicating to research on positive psychology, it is equally important to promote evidences from these researches such that they can be applied broadly and cross-culturally, to form a platform between scholars and practitioners, and to educate both lay people and professionals. This is the reason why organizations like MAPP, IPPA, ENPP, CAPP, and ACAPP develop rapidly. One of my happiest duties, apart from my presentation, was working at the IPPA desk and giving interested attendees information about IPPA. This made me happy because: I had seen IPPA launch successfully within just one year, and am proud to be one of its members; I grew to understand that so many people are interested in the work and activities of IPPA, and enjoyed sharing my thoughts with them; I met people face-to-face from IPPA and MAPP with whom I had spoken only through emails.
To me, nothing can bring more happiness than sharing and interacting with a group of interesting, intelligent, and fun folks with similar life missions and beliefs in such a positive environment!
I am looking forward to the 5th ECPP in 2010 in Copenhagen.
Image 1., Felicia is explaining the European Social Survey
Image 2., Rose-Inza Kim, Felicia Huppert, and myself before the conference dinner
Image 3., People from IPPA
The Part 3 of 4th ECPP review will be released at 20th July by Elaine O’Brien.