The applications of Positive Psychology to improving the performance and the quality of work life are immediate and clear. The new knowledge created through Positive Psychology research is aimed to improving organizational effectiveness and the work life of all individuals. We seek students committed to creating or improving socially responsible organizations ready to meet the challenges of an increasingly diverse workforce, global economy, and global community.
Positive Organizational Psychology at Claremont is led by one of the founding fathers of the field, Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Graduate students are taught by and have access to a network of approximately 50 graduate faculty in psychology. A subgroup of faculty working across the organizational sciences provide mentoring and research support for students in the positive organizational psychology program. Research specialties in this vibrant faculty body span a wide range of topics—click on the links below for in-depth descriptions of their research.
Coursework in the Positive Organizational Psychology program includes a combination of required and elective courses. A selective sample of courses regularly taught includes:
Foundations of Positive Psychology
Doctoral Seminar in Industrial Psychology
Doctoral Seminar in Organizational Theory
Doctoral Seminar in Organizational Development & Change
Advanced Topics in Positive Psychology
Positive Psychology Research Practicum
Flow – The Psychology of Positive Experience
Creativity and Innovation
Appreciative Inquiry for Organizational Change
Positive Organizational Scholarship
Organizational Learning - Theory & Practice
Theory & Practice of Consulting
Adult Development – Classic and Positive Perspectives
The Study of Experience
Advanced Qualitative Research Methods
Together, these courses provide students with the theoretical, methodological, and practical experience to pursue careers in academe, or in a wide range of high-level research and consulting positions.
The goal of the program is to train doctoral students in research involving important issues affecting the quality of life. Students are encouraged to develop their own research agenda, based on their individual interests in the future of Positive Organizational Psychology. Opportunities for apprenticing on Center research are likely to include:
Mentoring and professional socialization
Research on everyday experience, using the Experience Sampling Method (ESM)
Secondary analysis of databases on the development of interests and habits in childhood and adolescence
Positive aging and alternatives to retirement after age 60
Planning international data collection on the flow experience
Applied Aspects of the Program
Students are encouraged to apply their skills and knowledge in collaborative projects with institutions such as schools, workplaces, or social service agencies interested in improving the experience and lives of their constituents. These might involve evaluation studies of work satisfaction, flow, and engagement; or interventions aimed at enhancing the quality of experience of students and workers. The Division of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences, through its research arms (the Claremont Evaluation Center and the Institute for Research on Social Issues), has a broad network of external funders and both private and public connections in the world of applied research.