Dr Kate Hefferon PhD

Senior Lecturer/Programme Leader, MAPP UK

Positive Psychology Quarterly (PPQ) is here! With our first issue out by the end of the year, and subsequently every 3 months, we are so excited and pleased with the progress of the first ever MAPP Magazine and look forward to the possibilities in 2012!!

Please send us updates, achievements, publications, issues, book reviews, so that we can highlight these to the MAPP and positive psychology community. In addition to this, we will have an ‘Agony aunt’ section, a MAPP student blog as well as a Top 10 tips on… relevant MAPP issues.

Overall, PPQ is about you and for you to showcase, keep connected and advance the area of positive psychology!

Main Feature



Project ‘Who is MAPP UK?’ started in summer 2011 and took over 7 months to complete. We collected data from members of cohort 1,2,3,4 and 5 (full and part-time).

After two formal information launches for Cohort 4 as well as several information and reminder emails to all cohorts, we ended up with 57 completing the survey. The results, as seen here, will show you personal and work related information on your fellow MAPPsters and hopefully help new students see the applicability of the subject into real life.

We expect to conduct further analysis on the data (cross comparison) and hope to continue with each new cohort that comes through. Furthermore, with the growth of Positive Psychology  programmes, we hope to conduct comparison analysis with other students in Europe, USA, Australia and Canada. And, as any academic would, we hope to eventually submit the findings to an international psychology and education journal.

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Book Review: Positive Psychology: Theory, Research and Applications by Bridget Grenville Cleave

Bridget Grenville Cleave (Cohort 1) reviews Positive Psychology: Theory, Research and Applications by Kate Hefferon & Iiona Boniwell. She takes us through the key strengths and weaknesses of the core course book for MAPP, giving details of its great qualities and lists out a number of interesting points that are essential if you’re studying MAPP. 

Read full review

Book Review: The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle

Practice makes perfect or does it?

 It is not lightly that I say this is one of the most informative books I have read in the last few years. Coyle writes with ease about a subject that is incredibly scientific and could be overly complex. The book has elements of neuroscience, positive psychology and pure comedy! You will be telling some of the stories to people you know and it won’t surprise me if there is a long list of people wanting to borrow your copy of the book!

 Of the many case studies one stands out for me is that of KIPP schools [Knowledge is Power Program]. Coyle explains ‘One way to look at KIPP is as a unique tale of goodhearted underdogs who caught lightning in a bottle. If that were all it was, our interest in the story would end now. The other way to look at it, however, is an example of pure ignition: the art and science of creating a talent hotbed….’

 To cut to the chase, it is not practice that makes perfect, but practice makes myelin and myelin makes perfect. The Talent Code is summed up as ‘deep practice X 10,000 hours = world-class skill’. I urge you to read the book to crack the code and understand why Coyle tells us ‘we are myelin beings’.

Reviewed by Saiyyidah Zaidi-Stone

Certified Coach, FInstLM, FAPM, RIBA, MSc [Dist]
MAPP student, Cohort 6

Saiyyidah trained as an architect and is now an executive coach. She lives in London with her 2 children and husband.

Film review: I Am. Reviewed by Denise Mortimer, Cohort 2

After an cycling accident that left Hollywood filmaker Tom Shadyac in so much pain that that death seemed a better option than life, he set off on a mission to explore some question about life. In particular he asked: what’s wrong with the world and what can we do about it? The documentary opens with topics we all know about… competition, materialistic pursuits, ownership, money, getting ahead, consumerism, and everything that is adding to the stress of life as we know it. He reminds us that humans are the only living creature that takes more than it needs.

Shadyac meets with some of the current great thinkers, including his now late dad, and uses the opportunity to remind us that compassion and competition coexist and that although we are led to believe that competition (along the lines of ‘he who has the most toys wins’) is not the path to happiness even though we collectively act as if it is; and Shadyac knows this. He had the house in Beverly hills, then the BIGGER house in Beverly hills. It didn’t increase his happiness.

Through interviews and imagery and clever use of music, Shadyac takes us on a journey to show us that compassion and love are at the core of who we are.

The documentary also shows us how our energy field impacts the world around us, and not just people but our whole environment… an experiment where yoghurt responds to human stress is quite amusing and it illustrates how profoundly our presence impacts on those around us.

Is the film worth seeing? Indeed! For those new to this way of thinking, be prepared for eye opening inspiration with scientific backup. For those on this path already, be re-inspired by Shadyac’s journey. The film is available on DVD from is the USA Amazon) from Jan 3.


This area will highlight recently published or presented papers from the MAPP community, including students, staff and alumni. Have you one to share?

Hefferon, K. Gokcen, N., Painter, J., Davies, M. & Boniwell, I. (2011). The influence of community occasions on satisfaction with life and wellbeing. British Journal of Wellbeing, 2, 7, pp 36 –39.

We recently published a quirky study on happiness and the royal wedding. For more information, please email corresponding author Kate Hefferon

Need participants? If you are looking for participants for your research please get in touch and we can advertise here

PPQ Issue 2

And here is the teaser for the Main Feature item in PPQ Issue 2

Where does the future of Positive Psychology lie?

This is an exciting and intriguing question in an emerging field. Students of Applied Positive Psychology are reminded that they are at the cutting edge of a new field and are setting the scene for the future. One of the key questions to ask is ‘How will Positive Psychology become available for the masses?’

As we go into another year, a particularly exciting one for us in London with the forthcoming Olympics, what are the new twists and turns that this specialist area of positive psychology will take? In order to look forward, we often look back first to learn from our history. With this in mind Saiyyidah Zaidi-Stone has undertaken a review of Masters and PhD dissertations with ‘positive psychology’ as a term in the abstracts. She hopes that this review will enable us to see where the gaps are and make recommendations about potential future studies. Saiyyidah will also share her personal thoughts on where Positive Psychology could lie in the next edition of PPQ. Will it be further scientific research to provide increasing evidence on current theories? Or repeat studies? Or will Positive Psychology link up with other related areas such as Occupational Psychology, Executive Coaching etc?

All will be discussed in the next edition of PPQ.

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