After following this course students will be able to:
- distinguish different types of positive psychology interventions
- differentiate positive psychology interventions from more commonly used interventions in organizations
- argue by which mechanisms positive psychology interventions may contribute to individual, team and organizational outcomes.
- to argue which variables may moderate the effectiveness of positive psychology interventions.
- develop a positive psychology intervention for an organizational context.
Traditional approaches towards enhancing the quality of organizational life often focus on the identification and prevention of what is not working in organizations. But positive states are not simply the opposite of negative states and positive dynamics will not emerge by just reversing negative dynamics. For instance, preventing employees to get exhausted does not necessarily mean that they will feel vigorous, correcting deficits of workers does not necessarily lead to excellent performance and the absence of negative emotions does not imply the presence of positive emotions. An exclusive focus on the prevention of problems falls short of generating the entire range of solutions for enabling human flourishing. For this reason, positive psychology aims to catalyze a change in the focus of psychology by studying positive subjective states, positive individual traits, and positive institutions. Expanding the focus from describing what is problematic to capturing the mechanisms that create positive deviance leads to a more complete view of the conditions and processes that contribute to the optimal functioning of people, groups and institutions. This course focuses on positive psychology interventions applied in the organizational context, referring to any intentional activities or methods that are based on (a) the cultivation of positive subjective experiences, (b) the building of positive individual traits, or (c) the building of civic virtue and positive institutions.|
The course consists of 7 interactive lectures. The lectures will be given by Marianne van Woerkom (dept. Human Resource Studies). In addition, multiple guest lecturers from (clinical) practice will be invited.
The examination of the course consists of two obligatory assignments. The individual assignment (50% of the grade) is a short (2 A4) report that is based on the (guest) lectures and student's own experiences with self-administered PPI's about the mechanisms by which PPI’s contribute to individual, team and organizational outcomes, the effectiveness of PPI’s and the variables that may moderate the effectiveness of PPI’s. For the team assignment (50% of the grade) groups of 4-5 students design a positive intervention and deliver this intervention to at least 2 persons per student. Students write a report (max. 5000 words excluding references and appendices) about the effectiveness of this intervention.