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Take Home Essay
Seligman vs Keyes
Seligman's (2011) PERMA theory provides the reader with a deep emphasis on Positive Emotion Cultivating the individual. Seligman expects everyone to put their full attention and engagement towards ones Strength's (referring to the top charted positive strengths.) In order for one to accomplish this level of engagement a person must surround him or herself with positive relationships such as close friends, family, and Significant other. Once this strength is able to take action Seligman advises us to go beyond improving ourselves and use these strengths for a service much larger than something we have done before to test our limits. Finding meaning ties into Seligman last highlight, Achievement. A person without challenging goals to make one strive in life can never truly appreciate the power in their strengths to finally experience some form of mastery with ourselves and our environment.
Martin Seligman also believes the major goal of Positive Psychology as a whole is to achieve or increase a person's life satisfaction. Seligman came up with a term to breakdown how once truly improves ones overall happiness called Authentic Happiness. Authentic Happiness is split into 3 elements to help measure the state of happiness including Positive Emotion (The pleasured life,) Engagement (The Engaged Life,) and Meaning (Being bigger than oneself.) Key idea to point out here is that Seligman refers to engagement as being in a constant flow letting go of ones self-consciousness to be fully engaged in one's life.
Authentic happiness theory obviously isn't a perfect system and has a few inadequacies. Popular connotation of happiness is a basic cheerful mood and these positive emotions also provide us with a basic meaning of happiness. Seligman concept of engagement in his theory can't truly exhaust the elements because people choose for their own sake and comfort. The biggest takeaway's to get from Seligman is that everyone in society is asocial animal thriving on all types of connection available to oneself, an act of kindness here and there can become the single most increase in ones well-being, and Lastly Seligman points out that "There is never a good excuse for being bored" meaning we as a society have no shortcuts to flow and should always strive at exercising our highest strengths and talents.
Over a ten year period Seligman authentic happiness theory became the Well-Being theory. Which now included 5 elements the new one being Accomplishment "Achieving life." The goal with WBT became to increase ones flourishing in their own life and on the planet.
On the other side of Positive Psychology we have Keyes defining the importance of life presenting us with social challenges consistently which later became her social model of well-being. The five dimensions tied into this include Social Acceptance (degree of comfort,) Social Actualization (Society Growth,) Social Coherence (society understandable meaning,) Social Contribution (value of society,) and Social Integration (feelings of community.) Keyes later founded her Two Continua Model in 2002. She discovered that mental health increases as mental illness decreases, Mental illness increases as mental health decreases, and risk of a depressive episode is five times greater with a person that is languishing or flourishing. Keyes also came up with the six dimensions of social well-being including self-acceptance, personal growth, purpose in life in life, environmental mastery, autonomy, and positive relations with others.
While I believe Keyes SWB model is easier to relate to in today's society I would argue that Seligman Theory has a deeper meaning and provides the individual with more hope for obtaining the overall goal of increases in life satisfaction. I believe Keyes overall goal is increase in happiness through the lenses of social acceptance while Seligman focuses on inner increase in life satisfaction overtime.
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