Positive Psychology is the scientific study of the factors which make life worth living, be it a normal life or the life of people receiving healthcare or people who are into any kind of therapy. Positive Psychologists study the characteristics, conditions and processes which lead to flourishing of people. Positive Psychology has its roots in humanistic psychology. Humanistic Psychology typically held that people are inherently good. It adopted a holistic approach to human existence and paid special attention to such phenomena as creativity, free will, and human potential. It encouraged viewing ourselves as a "whole person" greater than the sum of our parts and suggested self exploration rather than the study of behavior in other people.
However, Positive Psychology has drifted away from the humanistic approach and instead focused on discovering empirical evidence for thriving and flourishing. It is not merely focused on evidence but on applications which can help people thrive and be happy. In fact, Positive Psychology is being referred to as,”Science of Flourishing” or the "Science of Well-being"
Brief HistoryUnderstanding Happiness and how it can help people live a normal life is the main thrust area of Positive Psychology. Martin Seligman, one of the leading researchers in positive psychology and author of Authentic Happiness, describes happiness as having three parts: pleasure, engagement, and meaning. Pleasure is the “feel good” part of happiness. Engagement refers to living a “good life” of work, family, friends, and hobbies. Meaning refers to using our strengths to contribute to a larger purpose. Seligman says that all three are important, but that of the three, engagement and meaning make the most difference to living a happy life.