Monitor on Psychology - October 2011 - (Page 56)

Flourish 2051 Martin E.P. Seligman’s new initiative calls for a global boost in well-being by 2051. BY JAMIE C HAMB ERLI N • Monitor staff elping people find more meaning in their lives, cope better with stress and improve their relationships should be a worldwide goal for mental health professionals and government leaders alike, according to University of Pennsylvania psychologist Martin E.P. Seligman, PhD. In fact, Seligman believes that by 2051, 51 percent of the world could be “flourishing.” “The world is turning from a victimology, apology-oriented view of human nature … to aspirations about well-being and about flourishing,” he said in a talk at APA’s 2011 Annual Convention. “It’s in our hands not only to witness this, but to take part in making this happen.” Achieving “Flourish 51,” Seligman’s new initiative, will require more than psychotherapy’s one-on-one sessions in building resiliency, optimism and problem-solving, he said. Schools, government organizations and corporations need to boost well-being by tapping emerging technology and social media. Seligman’s own research indicates that such far-reaching 56 H education is possible. Through his Penn Resiliency Program, Seligman has taught elementary and middle-school teachers in Australia, China, England and many other countries ways they can help their students navigate tough social situations and overcome other everyday challenges. “In 21 replications, when the teachers learn [these skills] and how to teach them to kids, it significantly lowers depression, anxiety and bad conduct” among those children, said Seligman. In a similar school-based intervention, Seligman found that group lessons in positive psychology may stick with children over time. In one as-yet-unpublished study, eight classes of middle-school students read “Lord of the Flies” and other novels for a literature course. They were then randomly assigned to two groups: one group took 80-minute classes on kindness and other topics that related to the books and was asked to do three kind deeds in their communities while the other was given no positive psychology training. Two years later, Seligman, along with colleagues Jane Gillham, PhD, Karen Reivich, PhD, and others, looked at how the MONITOR ON PSYCHOLOGY • OCTOBER 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Monitor on Psychology - October 2011

Monitor on Psychology - October 2011
President’s Column
Subtle and stunning slights
From the CEO
Live science on the showroom floor
Zimbardo re-examines his landmark study
Ready, set, mentor
Attention students and ECPs: Self-care is an ‘ethical imperative’
Suicide risk is high among war veterans in college, study finds
Psychotherapy is effective and here’s why
From toilet to tap: getting people to drink recycled water
What’s ahead for psychology practice?
A push for more accountability is changing the accreditation process
Peer, parental support prove key to fighting childhood obesity
Popular media’s message to girls
Bullying may contribute to lower test scores
A consequence of cuckoldry: More (and better) sex?
Manatees’ exquisite sense of touch may lead them into dangerous waters
Building a better tomato
How will China’s only children care for their aging parents?
‘Spice’ and ‘K2’: New drugs of abuse now on the market
Many suspects don’t understand their right to remain silent
In Brief
Boosting minority achievement
Where’s the progress?
And social justice for all
Helping new Americans find their way
Segregation’s ongoing legacy
A new way to combat prejudice
Retraining the biased brain
Suppressing the ‘white bears’
How to eat better — mindlessly
Protect your aging brain
Must babies always breed marital discontent?
Outing addiction
Flourish 2051
The danger of stimulants
Keys to making integrated care work
Is technology ruining our kids?
Facebook: Friend or foe?
The promise of Web 3.0
NIMH invests in IT enhanced interventions
Science Directions
Science Directions
PsycAdvocates work to safeguard key programs
The psychology of spending cuts
APA’s strategic plan goes live
Visionary leaders
Vote on bylaws amendments

Monitor on Psychology - October 2011