What exactly is positive psychology?

When we talk about positive psychology and The Positive Psychology People, we are often asked questions such as, “what is positive psychology?”, “isn’t that just positive thinking?” or “that’s just about happiness, isn’t it?”  Then we spend time explaining what this wonderful subject is really all about.

Sometimes people haven’t even heard of positive psychology!

The solution

We thought it would be useful to have a video explaining what positive psychology is and who better to ask than the leading names in the field of positive psychology. So, we made some calls on Skype and asked the question, “what exactly is positive psychology?”

The following video is a recording of the responses of twenty people who allowed us to record their unrehearsed and unscripted responses. The video quality is limited by the internet connections as we spoke to people across the world.

We hope you enjoy watching and find interesting and we’d really love to hear your thoughts and opinion on the subject too.

Please share this with others so that more people hear about the fantastic field of positive psychology!


This video couldn’t have been made without the following people giving up their valuable time to share their expert knowledge. We would like to give our heartfelt thanks to (in order of appearance):

  • Dr Acacia Parks, Assistant Psychology Professor, Hiram University
  • Dr Robert Biswas-Diener, Happiness Researcher & Coach
  • Dr David Cooperider, The Fairmount-Santrol Professor of Appreciative Inquiry, Cape Western Reserve University & Honorary Chair of the David L. Cooperrider Center for Appreciative Inquiry Stiller School of Business, Champlain College
  • Dr Jane Dutton, Robert L. Kahn Distinguished University Professor of Business Administration, Professor of Psychology, Founder of the Center for Positive Organizations, University of Michigan
  • Tal Ben-Shahar, Positive Psychology Lecturer, Harvard University
  • Dr Angela Duckworth, Associate Professor, Penn University
  • Dr Ryan Niemiec, Education Director of the VIA Institute on Character
  • Caroline Adams Miller MAPP, Positive Psychology Coach
  • Dr Itai Ivtzan, Positive Psychology Lecturer, University of East London
  • Professor Alex Linley, CEO CAPP & Jobmi
  • Michelle McQuaid MAPP, Strengths Coach & Wellbeing Teacher
  • Dr Paul Wong, Founder and President of Meaning-Centred Couselling Institute
  • Lisa Sansom MAPP, LVS Consulting
  • Dr Tim Lomas, Lecturer of Positive Psychology at University of East London
  • Dr Bob Quinn, Margaret Elliott Tracy Collegiate Professor in Business Administration, Professor of Management and Organizations, Founder of the Center for Positive Organizations, University of Michigan
  • Kathryn Britton MAPP, Theano Coaching LLC
  • Braco Pobric, Leader & Happiness Expert
  • Dr Matthew Smith, Co-course leader on MAPP, Bucks New University
  • Dr Lynn Soots, Adjunct Professor, Chaminade University
  • Dr Piers Worth, Co-course leader on MAPP, Bucks New University

And a special thank you to Iain Menzies for editing and producing the video for The Positive Psychology People


‘We Are The Positive Psychology People’