Positive Psychology

Positive Psychology emerged at the beginning of the new millennium as a movement within psychology aimed at enhancing human strengths such as creativity, joy, flow, responsibility, and optimal performance and achievement. Most study of human behavior has focused mainly on what goes wrong in human affairs: aggression, mental disease, failure, and so on. While it is essential to study and contain such pathologies, it is equally important to understand those aspects of human experience that make life worth living.

The Division of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences (DBOS) at Claremont Graduate University offers the first Ph.D. and M.A. concentrations in the Western United States focused on the Science of Positive Psychology. CGU first leapt into the forefront of research on Positive Psychology in 1999, when the Quality of Life Research Center (QLRC) was founded by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. The QLRC is a non-profit research institute which conducts research on a wide range of cutting edge issues in positive psychology, and provides a forum for scholars from all across the globe to extend their research and studies in positive psychology.

The DBOS programs in Positive Psychology aim to provide excellent graduate education and to facilitate the production of practical knowledge. Using experience sampling methods as well as more traditional experimental and quasi-experimental designs, surveys, and interviews, our faculty and students focus their research on life-long processes and outcomes of behavior as they affect the quality of life.

Click here to read about the latest scientific findings in positive psychology. 

Click here to read about expanding opportunities for diverse populations in positive psychology.

Click here to get the latest information about the World Congress on Positive Psychology in Los Angeles, June 2013.

A recent article in the Flame magazine discusses recent developments in the program.

 Online Video: "Applying the Science of Positive Psychology to Improve Society"

A rare opportunity to watch leaders in the field of Positive Psychology on our campus was met with rave reviews from a standing-room-only crowd and a live webcast audience around the globe.

Now you may access a free 45-minute preview (or the entire conference for $25) following this link to "Applying the Science of Positive Psychology to Improve Society".

An expanded version of the talks is available from Routledge Publishing.

Applied Positive Psychology: Improving Everyday Life, Health, Schools, Work, and Society
by Stewart I. Donaldson, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi & Jeanne Nakamura

Academic Programs

We are accepting applications now for the Positive Psychology emphasis in these areas:

M.A. Concentration Areas

Ph.D. Concentration Areas 

Co-Concentration in
Positive Developmental Psychology
& Evaluation

Concentration in
Positive Developmental Psychology

Co-Concentration in
Positive Organizational Psychology
& Evaluation

Concentration in
Positive Organizational Psychology

Dual Degree in
Positive Health Psychology
and Public Health


Positive Psychology in the News

The launching of the first doctoral programs in Positive Psychology has garnered attention in the press.  Follow the link to see some of the public reaction to the programs.


National Leaders in Psychology Congratulate DBOS for New Positive Psych Programs 

Dr. Csikszentmihalyi discusses Creativity, Fulfillment, and Flow at recent conference (courtesy of the Exchange Morning Post)

Professors Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Jeanne Nakamura pose
with graduate students in the Positive Psychology program.