Expanding Opportunities For Diversity in Positive Psychology: An Examination of Gender, Race, and Ethnicity

Document Type



Community and Global Health (CGU)

Publication Date



Multicultural Psychology | Psychology


In their seminal article introducing the field of positive psychology, Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi (2000) observed that the social sciences had been operating from a deficit-based perspective in which researchers and practitioners had been primarily concerned with what goes wrong in human affairs and how to remedy problems and ameliorate dysfunction. They recommended a shift from the “preoccupation only with repairing the worst things in life” to a more balanced perspective that includes improving understanding of how to build “positive qualities” (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000, p. 5). It was hoped that a scientific focus on thriving or optimal functioning would suggest “new ways to address some of the most pressing issues facing today’s societies” (Donaldson, 2011, p. 5).

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