Positive psychology is centered on understanding good functioning, ‘normal’ behaviour and helping people become happier. Here are some of the Positive Psychology research findings of positive psychology to date.

Positive Psychology Research Findings

  • Most people are happy.
  • People who are satisfied with life eventually have even more reason to be satisfied, because happiness leads to desirable outcomes at school and work, to fulfilling social relationships, and even to good health and long life.
  • Most people are resilient.
  • Happiness, strength of character, and good social relationships are buffers against the damaging effects of disappointments and setbacks.
  • Adversity reveals character.
  • Other people matter if we want to understand what makes life most worth living.
  • Work is important as long as it engages the worker and provides meaning and purpose.
  • Money makes little contribution to well-being, but money can buy happiness if it is spent on other people.
  • Our best days include those where we feel autonomous, competent, and connected to others.
  • The good life can be taught.
  • You can increase your happiness far more by changing your intentional activities (like paying for someone to take the bus when they’ve run out of money), than by changing your life circumstances (like getting a new car), according to Sonja Lyubomirsky’s research.
  • The practice of positive psychology techniques (like mindfulness) results in improved physical health and attention.
  • People with greater levels of happiness are more successful in their careers.
  • When people use their strengths they are more productive, meaning better outcomes for organisations.
  • Regular use of positive psychology strategies increase your ability to adapt to challenging situations and times of challenge. That is to say, practicing positive psychology is one way to boost resilience in our ever changing world.

A 2013 meta-analysis of 40 positive psychology studies examining the effectiveness of positive psychology interventions covering the period from 1998 (the start of the positive psychology movement) to November 2012 found that positive psychology interventions “significantly enhanced subjective and psychological well-being and reduce depressive symptoms.”