In the article itself, I offer three worries:
- I think, independent variables in positive psychology are usually too narrowly chosen by over-emphasizing strengths and virtues as possible causal factors of flourishing and focusing too little on contextual, situational, or structural factors.
- Also, dependent variables are, in my view, often too narrowly chosen by focusing mostly on subjective well being and too a much lesser extent on flourishing in a broad sense. Flourishing goes beyond happiness or satisfaction with life by also focusing on the contribution and relatedness of individuals to the world around them. People who flourish are highly engaged with their families, work, and communities. They’re driven by a sense of purpose: they know why they get up in the morning.
- I imply that positive psychology focuses too much on the individual outcomes and too little on outcomes at a system level (organizations, societies).
In the comment section, I offer the following additional views, suggestions and questions:
Suggestions for broadening the focus of positive psychology:
- Focus on building knowledge about thriving (/flourishing) while acknowledging that thriving is more than subjective well-being
- Expand the focus on thriving of groups/ organizations/ communities
- Put more focus on other determinants of thriving than strengths and happiness, in particular situational determinants
- Focus more on an idiosyncratic, 'try + learn' and doing-what-works approach (as opposed to a high standardization, 'plan + implement' and strengths focus (this point is explained here: http://bit.ly/9ljdhF)
- More actively seek cross-links with psychological research done outside the PP community.
- have focused on organizational (or community) thriving broadly defined (using dependent variables other than only measures such as subjective well-being, work satisfaction, etc) and
- have included independent variables other than individual measures (well-being, strengths, personality etc), particularly including situational factors (work design, organizational structure, pay distribution, etc)?