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.