Claremont Graduate University Announces Doctoral Degree in Positive Psychology

Researchers Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Jeanne Nakamura will lead Claremont Graduate University's new doctorate in Positive Psychology, set to begin this fall. Csikszentmihalyi is the author of the bestseller "Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience."

Claremont, CA, March 15, 2007 --( Two world-class developmental psychologists have announced the establishment of a doctoral program in the emerging field of Positive Psychology. The Claremont Graduate University researchers involved—Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Jeanne Nakamura—will begin the program in the university’s School of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences this fall semester.

Csikszentmihalyi is one of two founders of Positive Psychology, which has emerged since it was first discussed and studied seven years ago. The author of 18 books, including the bestseller Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, he has been published more than 200 times. In psychology circles, he has received high praise for his groundbreaking work in Positive Psychology.

Positive Psychology emerged at the turn of the century. It is aimed at enhancing human strengths such as creativity, happiness, and responsibility, which lead to optimal achievement and performance. Positive Psychology has three central concerns: positive emotions, positive individual traits, and positive institutions. Understanding positive emotions entails the study of contentment with the past, happiness in the present, and hope for the future.

“Most research on human behavior has focused on what goes wrong in human affairs: aggression, mental disease, failure, and so on,” Csikszentmihalyi said. “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.”

Nakamura has worked alongside Csikszentmihalyi at the Quality of Life Research Center. Established seven years ago, this one-of-a-kind center has studied aspects of careers that make good work possible to enhance professional training by analyzing human strengths such as optimism, creativity, intrinsic motivation, and responsibility.

“Our hope is that students will want to use what they learn to improve life in schools, workplaces, and more, either through research and teaching or through applied work,” Nakamura said.
Claremont Graduate University
Nikolaos Johnson