Peggy Kern on Is Positive Psychology Too Focused on the Individual?

Is Positive Psychology Too Focused on the Individual?

Podcast with Peggy Kern

DELIVERED BY The Wellbeing Lab

Today’s Guest:

Peggy Kern is a senior lecturer at the University of Melbourne’s Graduate School of Education in the Center for Positive Psychology. She has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles, and her research addresses the question, “Who flourishes, and why?”

Are we oversimplifying positive psychology?  While the field has made much progress over the last 15 years in helping people find ways to improve their wellbeing, however, at best interventions are only beneficial for some people, some of the time, and are far from a magic bullet for everyone in all situations.  Peggy suggests combining positive psychology’s focus on the individual with systems science to take into account the complex reality of our everyday contexts, could assist target interventions for individuals and the collective good.

Connect with Peggy Kern:


You’ll Learn:

  • [01:36] – Peggy has been working with a team of collaborators at Melbourne University that merges positive psychology with systems science to create positive systems science. She explains this merging of two interdisciplinary fields.
  • [04:49] – Peggy shares how systems science helps us figure out which positive psychology interventions will be helpful for specific outcomes at different times.
  • [11:10] – Peggy talks about how a systems map helps discover the relationships between things.
  • [13:12] – Systems are complex, dynamic and changing.
  • [15:13] – Peggy talks about how system science needs to be developed to help people flourish.
  • [17:23] – Peggy addresses how we can get organizations to see themselves as wellbeing systems.
  • [18:24] – To determine if a system is flourishing, measurement is necessary. Peggy talks about how the measurements work.
  • [21:08] – This is the early days of this type of thinking.  Peggy shares some resources for you to learn more, such as her blog.
  • [22:08] – The lightning round with Peggy Kern.

Your Resources:

Thanks for listening!

Thanks so much for joining me again this week.  If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the bottom of this post.  

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Special thanks to Peggy for joining me this week. Until next time, take care!

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