What an exciting edition we have for you this quarter filled with articles, book reviews and upcoming events, all centred upon positive psychology. Indeed, we had a lot of positive feedback from the first PPQ edition and we have aimed to maintain the momentum by developing new additions to the site (see Julian’s editorial).

Dr Kate Hefferon


What’s included this quarter

Within this March edition, you will read up on our featured article focused on the most up to date review of US positive psychology dissertations and Theses. In addition to this, we have added a UK MAPP Theses supplement article that reviews the trends and accomplishments of the 83 who have successfully completed their Msc. at UEL.

We have several book reviews including the newsworthy ‘Willpower’, as well as more independent books including Positive Failure and Positive Psychology for overcoming depression, written by two of our former MAPP graduates.

Also within this edition, we have a thought provoking critical review of positive psychology from our resident philosopher Dr. Nash Popovic; a reflection piece on how one student capitalised on World Happiness Day to bring attention to real world issues in their borough; and much, much more.

We are always looking for new and exciting topics/articles, so please get in touch if you have any suggestions!





With the success of Action for Happiness, national indexes of well-being as well as a growing number of MAPP programmes within Europe, it seems as if positive psychology is here to stay. This year, we had the largest application numbers on record and hope to continue this trend whilst continuing to provide quality instruction and learning environments.  Even in these uncertain economic times, people are investing in their future, knowledge and personal development through education.


Read feature

Book Preview: Positive Failure – Failing is Learning

In his preview, Alastair Arnott introduces the new book ‘Positive Failure’

Read more

Book Review: World Book of Happiness

A short but sweet review of what reviewer Edward Pinkney describes as “a kind of encyclopaedia of happiness”.

Read more

Book Review: The Science of a Meaningful Life

The approach this book takes really is fascinating and makes this a worthwhile read – placing it amongst the classics such as Jonathan Haidt’s ‘Happiness Hypothesis’ and Martin Seligman’s ‘Learned Optimism’

Read more

Book Review: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength

Baumeister’s theory is that self-regulation – the ability to consciously control one’s emotional reactions – is a limited resource, which can only be deployed for a certain period of time before becoming depleted

Read more

Publications from MAPP


  • Ann Mapham (Cohort 4) 

Mapham, A. & Hefferon, K. (In press). “I used to be an Offender- now I’m a Defender”: Positive psychology approaches in the facilitation of Posttraumatic Growth in offenders. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation.

  • Oscar N. E. Kjell (Cohort 4)

Kjell, O. (2011). Sustainable Well-Being: A Potential Synergy Between Sustainability and Well-Being. Review of General Psychology, Vol 15(3), 255-266.


  • Gokcen, N., Hefferon, K. & Aitree, L. (In Press). University Students’ Constructions of ‘Flourishing’ in British Higher Education: An Inductive Content Analysis. International Journal of Wellbeing. 
  • Ivtzan, I., Gardner, H. E., & Smailova, Z., (2011). Mindfulness meditation and curiosity: The contributing factors to wellbeing and the process of closing the self-discrepancy gap. International Journal of Wellbeing, 1(3), 316-326.

Ivtzan, I., Chan, C. P. L., Gardner, H. E., & Prashar, K. (2011). Linking religion and spirituality with psychological wellbeing: Examining self-actualisation, meaning in life, and personal growth initiative. Journal of Religion and Health,  51, 13-30.

Research Participants needed!

Dear friends,

Please take part in my MSc research by completing the survey at the link below (just copy and paste the link).

It will only take about 10 minutes and by taking part you will be contributing to groundbreaking research.  Please forward to all your contacts as I need to collect data from as many people as possible.  I’m particularly interested in collecting data from British Asians, British Caucasian and Asians from the Indian subcontinent, so please forward this to any contacts you may have in the UK and in the Indian subcontinent (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka).

Many thanks in advance.



The Young Foundation has a long history delivering projects and researching wellbeing and resilience. I have been given the opportunity to create a distinct business unit that is tasked with delivering resilience based interventions to various groups of people within the UK to help them overcome challenges and flourish within their given situation.

Our current target groups are young people in schools, young people involved in crime, older people (65 years and above) and the long term unemployed. Our view is that the need within our society for resilience development is huge. The challenge facing us now is not so much finding the need, far from it, in fact the greatest challenge we face is working out how we can practically and effectively deliver our work. Sometimes this is a financial issue, other times it’s a timing issue.

The materials we use come from various sources. Some firmly within the field of positive psychology, such as the Penn Resilience Program and our own programme called ‘Face Up’ created by UEL’s Ilona Boniwell and Aneta Tunariu with the Young Foundation, which was designed specifically to help youth offenders change their lives. Other materials come from outside of positive psychology, but are complimentary and use evidence based approaches such as CBT.

This work is very exciting and hugely rewarding. Of course it is sometimes difficult and always challenging but when you are confident that you can make a positive impact and help people to live better lives, then this keeps us focused and working hard.

For more information about The Young Foundation, please log onto:


Chris Jones (Cohort 4)


Pub Psychology

Pub Psychology is weekly drop-in workshops on various aspects of personal development run in a pub! We explore, discuss and discover things about ourselves, relationships, achieving and more, in a friendly and informal atmosphere. Pub Psychology was launched in a BPS event ‘Psychology for all’ almost three years ago as an attempt to reach out to ordinary people, so anybody can come along! With its many exercises, reflective questions and some insightful theory, there is something for everybody. Pub Psychology is not only about Positive Psychology though, but PP always features prominently (especially after a glass of wine or two :) ). Many present and former MAPP students have paid us a visit and some of them are our most fateful regulars. We meet every Tuesday in the Antelope pub, 22-24 Eaton Terrace, London, SW1W 8EZ, Sloane Square from 7pm onwards. The first session is free and the subsequent ones are £5 (free for students and anybody else who can’t afford to pay!) For further details visit or contact:; 0845 4589256;

Stendhal Festival

Have you got an idea you’ve just been dying to try out? Something that brings Positive Psychology to the masses in a festival setting? Here is your chance to make it happen.

Would you like an opportunity to be involved in Northern Ireland’s most innovative and exciting arts festival? Well here’s your chance! Stendhal Festival is a new breed of festival in Northern Ireland, (in the North Coast Roe Valley). It will be held over the weekend of 17 and 18 August 2012. Festival director, Ross Parkhill, is looking for interactive activities that will engage and delight festival goers.

Ross would love to hear about your ideas and talk to you about the possibilities being part of this magical festival. Be a part of Stendhal art! Check out the website for further details.

Ross is one of those people who absolutely embraces life and this is truly a unique opportunity to get involved in this exciting project.

Email him at:
Check out the festival details:


Calling all students and positive psychology enthusiasts! The European Network for Positive Psychology will host the 6th European Conference on Positive Psychology (ECPP2012) in Moscow, Russia, on June 26-29, 2012.

Key note speakers to include the wonderful: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Claremont Graduate University, USA), Michael Eid (Freie Universität Berlin, Germany), Dan McAdams (Northwestern University, USA), Ragnhild Nes (Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Norway), Richard Ryan (University of Rochester), Carol Ryff (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Shalom Schwartz (Hebrew University in Jerusalem) and other distinguished scholars.

For more information on speakers, programme and logistics, please go to


Our resident Agony Aunt, Miss Freudian Slip, tackles your problems with her witty, tongue in cheek solutions. This quarter, she deals with issues pertaining to when positivity and optimism go awry in the real world.


Dear Miss Freudian Slip,

Help – I need help! Since starting the MAPP course, I’m becoming more and more less tolerant of negative friends.  I’m finding myself notice their negativity when I tell them what my ideas or plans are.  They all just want to bring me down and stop me from being happy – please help!

Anon Cohort 5


Dear Anon

I’m hardly surprised to hear this- it is not so unusual to lose oneself in positivity or as we like to call it, ‘Flow’.  It sounds as though you have a ghastly bunch of friends who don’t like you very much. My advice is to join a local bridge club where you will meet lovely new friends and exercise that brain of yours.

Unconditional Positive Regards,

Dear Miss Freudian Slip,

Can you ever become too optimistic? I’m always looking at the bright side of things even when the situation is very dire! Is there something wrong with me? My family  seems to think so. They think I’m avoiding the real issues and not dealing with things properly….

With much warmth and love 4

Kirsty Brimming-Love


Dear Kirsty,

Might I refer you to the great work of Tali Sharot (2011) – there, there dear, you are living in a beautiful world and at the very worst you will die happy, unaware but happy.

Good things come to those who wait, stay as you are!

Yours truly,

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