Donaldson, S. I., Csikszentmihalyi, M., & Nakamura, J. (2011). Applied positive psychology: improving everyday life, health, schools, work, and society. Routledge.
This book is a compilation of empirical studies involved with positive psychology in various contexts. It’s focus is on utilizing the core areas of well-being, human flourishing, and character strengths. Related studies include how to implement and the impact of using positive psychology in educational settings. Findings show many benefits to applying positive psychology across many realms.
Clear, J. (2018). Atomic habits. Avery.
This book compares goals to habits. It mainly focuses on creating habits that change the person and who they will become, not simply the result of what they can do. The book highlights ways to create an identity by priming the environment and mental thinking in order to become a better person. The author has created guidelines to help people feel more motivated in order to create their habits long-term.
Leung, C. Y., Mikami, H., & Yoshikawa, L. (2019). Positive psychology broadens readers’ attentional scope during L2 reading: Evidence from eye movements. Frontiers in psychology, 10, 2245.
This research article investigated the effects of positive psychology on mental processes during L2 reading. They conducted a study among Japanese learners of English and they found a correlation between L2 self-efficacy and higher performance levels in L2 reading. This study provides evidence that positive emotion can positively affect L2 learning strategies.
Li, E., Xiao, F., Zou, T., & Guo, J. (2021). Positive emotion of self-referential contexts could facilitate adults’ novel word learning: An fNIRS study. Brain and Language, 221, 104994.
This study looked at the effects of positive emotion on adults’ novel word learning. This study found that words learned in a self-referential positive emotion context were faster retrieved. This study’s results provide evidence that positive emotion improves second language acquisition outcomes.
McRae, K., Ciesielski, B.G., & Gross, J.J. (2012). Unpacking cognitive reappraisal: goals, tactics, and outcomes. Emotion, 12(2), 250-255. https://edtechbooks.org/-RqFw.
The aims of this study are to look at the various tactics, either by increasing positivity or decreasing negativity, that have a greater impact on cognitive reappraisal, or in other words, utilizing regulation of emotions through changing one’s thinking. The study had a group of women look at negative images. The control group was asked to “look” or act and think naturally about the image. Another group was asked to explicitly think of ways to decrease their negative thinking while looking at the images. The last group was asked to explicitly think positively while looking at the images. The results varied within each group, indicating that reappraisal can impact the emotional goals based on the certain tactics used. The positive affect was higher in the explicit change groups over the “look” group.
Mecking, O. (2021). Niksen: embracing the dutch art of doing nothing. Mariner Books.
This book is based on research about why the Dutch are considered some of the happiest people in the world. It delves deep into the study of a specific practice in Dutch culture titled “Niksen,” which means doing nothing. Although Niksen is considered different from meditation, the author makes many parallels to mindfulness and how this practice can boost positivity and well-being. The author explains that research on happiness shows people doing and thinking too much. The art of Niksen is designed to increase overall happiness by being mindful of our stress or fatigue and giving ourselves a break to allow our minds to wander.
Niemiec, R. M. (2017). Character strengths interventions: A field guide for practitioners. Hogrefe Publishing.
This book explains the 24 character strengths and the values they are under in great detail. It also provides example activities and lessons that will help enhance one’s own desire to deepen their understanding and practice of the character strengths.
Seligman, M. E. (2002). Authentic happiness: Using the new positive psychology to realize your potential for lasting fulfillment. Simon and Schuster.
This book provides an overview of the main principles of Positive Psychology. Sellingman develops the concept of character strengths and how they can be nurtured throughout our lives, bringing benefits to our health, relationships and careers. The main point of this book is to help readers identify their own strengths in order to improve their lives by reaching new levels of wellbeing, happiness and meaning.
Rogers, C., Dewey, D. (2022). Positive psychology in an SLA context: A semester-long study of the impact of positive psychology on the well-being and language development of English language learners. Unpublished manuscript.
Carolee Rogers and our research team conducted this research at our institution (Brigham Young University's English language Center). The results indicate that even though students had lost one fourth of their test preperation and class time to positive psychology interventions, there was no difference in their test scores from their counterparts that had not lost any preperation time. Students also had postive experiences with the lessons they received based on positive psychology interventions.
Shapiro, S. (2020). Good morning, I love you: Mindfulness and self-compassion practices to rewire your brain for calm, clarity, and joy. Sounds True.
The author, Shauna Shapiro, explains her work and experiences with self-compassion to overcome a hardship in her life and how she used the same practice to help others overcome challenges. She shares her knowledge about how to practice self-compassion and the effects of consistently doing so. She also includes meditations to help engender a desire and feeling of self-compassion.
Shawn, A. (2018). The happiness advantage. Crown Publishing Group.
This book is stemmed by research Shawn Achor did as an employee at Harvard. His findings produced results that explained how some students were more successful than others. Expanding his research to business and worldwide, Achor now has guiding principles to help people become successful in work, school, and life in general. His focus is on several ways that happiness and positivity lead to greater accomplishment. Some of his main arguments include changing our mindsets, looking for and seizing opportunities, and spreading positivity to those around us.
Wei, H., Gao, K., & Wang, W. (2019). Understanding the relationship between grit and foreign language performance among middle school students: The roles of foreign language enjoyment and classroom environment. Frontiers in psychology, 10, 1508.
This study aimed to look at the effects of grit on Foreign Language Performance among middle school students. Grit is defined as a self-regulation and non-cognitive personality trait composed of two main factors: perseverance and long-term consistency of interests. The results of this study indicated that grit positively affected foreign language enjoyment and performance levels.
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