Positive Psychology Lab at AUS

Well-Being and the Five ‘Happy’ Lives

By Christopher L. Heffner, PsyD, PhD Well-Being and The PERMA Model Seligman (2011) argues that well-being is enhanced through thriving in one or more pillars of well-being. His model, often referred to as the PERMA Model, consists of Positive Emotions, ...
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The Fading Affect Bias: A Defense Mechanism in Pursuit of the Pleasant Life

By Christopher L. Heffner, PsyD, PhD Fading Affect Bias (FAB) The Fading Affect Bias, or FAB for short, refers to the cognitive phenomenon supported by research showing that memories associated with negative emotions tend to fade faster than memories associated ...
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The Convergence of Positive Psychology and Neurodiversity

By Gwendolyn Barnhart, PhD Within my studies of psychology, there are often converging viewpoints between modalities. Indeed, the commonalities in thought, viewpoint, and practice are strikingly similar.  I will briefly discuss the basic underpinnings of positive psychology and neurodiversity and ...
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Building Psychological Capital: Hope, Self-Efficacy, Resilience, and Optimism

By Christopher L. Heffner, PsyD, PhD You Can Bank On it Psychological capital in many ways is like a savings account for our well-being. Just as it is good to save money for a rainy day, it is good to ...
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/ Hope, Optimism, Resilience, Self-Efficacy

The Real World Benefits of Expressing Gratitude

By Christopher L. Heffner, PsyD, PhD Gratitude: As Old as Animal Kind Gratitude may be an evolutionary component of human development, passed down for thousands of years according to sociologist Georg Simmel (Greater Good Magazine, n.d.). While we may think ...
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The Paradox of Flow and Happiness

By Christopher L. Heffner, PsyD, PhD What is Happiness? "...Aristotle concluded that, more than anything else, men and women seek happiness.  While happiness itself is sought for its own sake, every other goal . . . is valued only because ...
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/ Engagement, Positive Emotions

A Negative Beginning to Positive Psychology: Part 2

By Christopher L. Heffner, PsyD, PhD Continued From Part 1... But Wait, there is Good News Remember, Csikszentmihalyi found that teenagers can be unhappy and can see life through their suffering, but he also found an interesting exception. When teenagers ...
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/ Optimism, Well-Being

Grit Can be Developed

By Crystal Hall What do you think of when you hear the word “grit”? Without context, maybe we think of something that is dirty or perhaps course. The Oxford online dictionary has two definitions of grit. The second is more ...
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/ Accomplishment, Engagement, Grit

Savoring to Overcome and Grow

By Elle Harris Savoring is often associated with the infrequent double scoop of large chunk chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream with thick, hot chocolate sauce in this diet-abundant, sugar-free era, or a beach vacation in a Seattle February. The ...
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/ Positive Emotions

Flow: A State of Full Engagement

By Elle Harris The tangy scent of an orange blossom tree. The flowing three-beat gallop aligns in pattern with my rhythmic, even-paced heart-beat. Measured, heavy breathing of the horse. Hooves slice through air and tickle the velvet sand, flying up ...
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/ Accomplishment, Engagement

Learning to be Optimistic

By Christopher L. Heffner, PsyD, PhD As a human species, do you think we are more naturally pessimistic or more naturally optimistic? Interestingly, Seligman and others in the field of positive psychology argue that we are naturally more pessimistic... Read ...
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/ Optimism, Positive Emotions

A Negative Beginning to Positive Psychology: Part 1

By Christopher L. Heffner, PsyD, PhD It didn't Start Off Very Positive I could not think of a better or more ironic way to start a paper on the history of positive psychology than with a quote on the inevitability ...
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