I recently attended the immersion session for incoming students for the Master’s of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) at the University of Pennsylvania. This program is designed to bring various individuals from around the world once a month to learn the cutting edge research, ongoing initiative, and core principles in positive psychology.
The architect of the curriculum is Martin Seligman, former president of the American Psychological Association and now considered the father of positive psychology. It is a rigorous and ambitious year-long program of courses, readings, lectures, group activities and projects designed to bring participants up to speed in this new, but geometrically exploding field. The five-day course I attended was peppered with stellar professors at the very pinnacle of their careers. Martin Seligman, Angela Duckworth, Ray Baumeister, Barry Schwartz, and Barbara Fredrickson — all luminaries in the field — were among those making presentations.
But it was James O. Pawelski, Ph.D., director of education and Senior Scholar in the Positive Psychology Center who was able to lead us with a series of lectures on the foundations of positive psychology. He initiated one of his lectures with a slide of a glass filled halfway and smiled at us.
“So, what do you see?” he asked.
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