New Specialization-Foundations of Positive Psychology 

Positive Psychology: Well-being for life. Master strategies and tools that enable individuals and organizations to thrive.

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Course 1 : Positive Psychology: Martin E. P. Seligman’s Visionary Science

Dr. Martin E.P. Seligman—renowned worldwide as the “father of Positive Psychology”—has led visionary leaps in scientific research, empirical data, and personal understandings of human flourishing. This course explores the past, present, and future of positive psychology as a journey through the key scientific leaps led by Dr. Seligman and his colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania’s Positive Psychology Center and Master of Applied Positive Psychology program.

There are no prerequisites.

C 2 : Positive Psychology: Applications and Interventions

Positive interventions are one of the building blocks for the application of positive psychology in our day-to-day lives. In this course taught by Dr. James Pawelski, we explore positive interventions through theory, research and practice. We provide learners the basic tools for using and measuring positive psychology in professional or personal contexts. Suggested prerequisite: Positive Psychology: Martin E. P. Seligman’s Visionary Science.

Course 3 : Positive Psychology: Character, Grit and Research Methods

Learners discover how to apply to research methods to their study of Positive Psychology. In this course, we study with Dr. Angela Duckworth and Dr. Claire Robertson-Kraft. Through an exploration of their work “True Grit” and interviews with researchers and practitioners, you develop a research hypothesis and learn how to understand the difference between internal and external validity. You also begin to understand and apply the strengths and weaknesses associated with different types of measurements and evaluation designs. You then interpret the results in an empirical study. Suggested prerequisites: Positive Psychology: Martin E. P. Seligman’s Visionary Science and Positive Psychology: Applications and Interventions..

Course 4 : Positive Psychology: Resilience Skills

Learn how to incorporate resilience interventions into your personal and professional life with Dr. Karen Reivich. In this course, you are exposed to the foundational research in resilience, including protective factors such as mental agility and optimism. Several types of resilience interventions are explored including cognitive strategies; strategies to manage anxiety and increase positive emotions such as gratitude; and a critical relationship enhancement skill. Throughout the course, you will hear examples of individuals using resilience skills in their personal and professional lives. Suggested prerequisites: Positive Psychology: Martin E. P. Seligman’s Visionary Science, Positive Psychology: Applications and Interventions and Positive Psychology: Character, Grit & Research Methods.

Martin Selegman, PHD
Martin E.P. Seligman, Ph.D.


Zellerbach Family Professor of Psychology & Director, Positive Psychology Center

Claire Robertson-Kraft, Ph.D

Director, ImpactED

University of Pennsylvania

Karen Reivich, Ph.D.

Director of Resilience Training Services

University of Pennsylvania

James Pawelski, Ph.D.

Director of Education and Senior Scholar

University of Pennsylvania

Angela Duckworth, Ph.D.

Christopher H. Browne Distinguished Professor of Psychology

University of Pennsylvania

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