Although the positive psychology movement officially started a decade ago, theories and ideas based on positive psychology are not entirely new and go back decades and even to the beginning of the science of psychology.
Perhaps the first comment on positive psychology belongs to William James, who introduced the concept of healthy mindset many years ago. (Joseph and Linley, 2006). Other positive effects of psychology can be found in Maslow and Rogers schools of humanism.
Maslow approached positive psychology with the concept of self-actualization, and Rogers with an emphasis on perfectionism and happiness. However, the rejection of positive psychology – as it is known today – can be traced back to 1998. Martin Seligman, the father of psychology The positivist and then president of the American Psychological Association introduced this concept.
Introducing this concept, Seligman stated that for half a century, psychology had investigated only one topic, namely mental illness (Fowler, Seligman, & Kucher, 1999). Seligman emphasizes that psychologists should pay attention to the main mission of psychology, which is to help others to be born again. Identify and nurture people’s talents and expand the definition of psychology to include positive mental health instead of diseases.
After Seligman’s work, many articles and books were published in the field of positive psychology. Journal of positive psychology was published and many conferences and seminars were held about it. Sheldon and King (2001) consider positive psychology to be the study of the abilities and strengths of ordinary people.
People This description of positive psychology refers to the study of positive human functions by focusing on the conditions and processes affecting those functions (Harzer, 2016). Csikszent Mihaly and Seligman (2000), who consider it a branch of psychology, emphasize valuable subjective experiences and provide a more precise definition of positive psychology.