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EDU120 Assignment

Book Discussion: Flourish


(one to two sentence responses due in Sakai assignment by September 11)

Part of what we will do in this class is teach each other what were learning. Please answer the
questions below as you work through your Flourish (by Dr. Seligman) reading. We will use your
individual responses in a classroom exercise. Please use this document to record your responses
electronically.

Overview: Wellbeing, Creating Happiness, Responding to the Negative (Chapters 1-3)


Why should we care about this research? This research is important because it discusses
the ways in which human beings achieve flourishing. It is also very important and
relevant because the top psychologists in the field have helped Seligman refine and
perfect his research on flourishing.
How does this research impact the way you think about approaching the career
exploration and search process? I am now going to pay more attention to what activities
bring fulfillment and happiness to my life. I will then like to pick a job that lends itself to
doing activities that provide me with these feelings.
Overview of the original Happiness Formula; explain the formula itself (H=S+C+V). His
original formula described happiness to include a capacity for happiness, circumstances,
and voluntary control. All of these aspects are how you are naturally happy and how you
can voluntarily change your happiness levels.
Explain elements of well-being. Why is this concept important for our course? Well
being includes the PERMA elements. These elements are positive emotion, engagement,
meaning, positive relationships, and accomplishment. These are important to our class
because I think we should strive to look for careers that will bring a sense of these
elements to our lives.
Explain Active and Constructive Responding and how it may apply to work we will do in
class. Active and constructive responding is when you listen closely to what people are
saying and craft a response to encourage them. This applies to class because all of our
classmates are different, so we should actively listen to their opinions and then lift them
up with our responses, not criticize or put them down.
Select two exercises discussed in these chapters to increase positive emotion or sense of
wellbeing (e.g. Three Blessings, Signature Strengths Exercise, homework from any of the
14 PPT sessions). Practice them and share what the experience was like for you. Hows
this helpful related to your career planning or our course? The three blessings exercise is
important to realizing what makes you happy and why. This will help me pick a career
field that will bring me happiness. Another exercise is the homework for session one of
PPT. Telling a story of a time I exemplified my strengths would help me better
understand what I am good at and why I enjoy being good at that task. I should then look
for a career where I can use this strength.
Learning and Applying Well-Being Principles (Chapters 4-5)
What is the importance of the Losada Ratio? How might this impact career exploration
practices? The Losada Ratio shows that companies with more positive emotions in their
meetings tend to be performing better economically. I would like to pick a career where I
experience positive emotions on the job, because then I will work harder and care more
about my work, most likely leading to better economic decisions.
How might the principles of exploring strengths and Appreciative Inquiry be important to
undergraduates exploring opportunities? Explain. Both of these are important because
they help the undergraduate students know and explore what they do best. By helping to
identify strengths and times where they are at their best, a student can learn more about
what career field they will be best suited to work in.
How might the PFA be a helpful tool in understanding career options that are
meaningful? How could this be applied? The PFA application would help by knowing
what classes we enjoy and what activities create happiness. This would give people a real
world understanding of when they are at their happiest. The PFA could be used by
colleges and high schools. Students could carry their device with them to each class, and
then the app will chart and track which classes the student is happiest in and which class
the student struggles to be happy in.
Seligman discusses prosperity. What is different about his view? His view of prosperity is
a focus on flourishing as the goal of a society. He believes that the goals to flourish
should be taught from a young age so each kid can achieve more well-being than his/her
parents. His view is different because most scholars view prosperity as an economic
measure. Seligman says he believes prosperity should focus less on the economic
situations of people and focus more on their well-being and flourishing.

Grit, Principles to Flourish and Mental Strength (Chapters 6 and 7)


Explain the old/early explanation of character. How does Seligmans view differ? Early
explanations of character were often explained by the situation in which an action
occurred. Seligman believes that character is to blame for action and that only blaming
circumstances allows people to be free of responsibility for their actions. He believes that
character can be shaped by using rewards and punishments.
What are elements of intelligence described in Chapter 6? One element of intelligence is
speed. Speed in answering questions and knowing things automatically is a big part of
intelligence. Slowness is also an element of intelligence. Slowness is good for catching
the nuances and refining what has been learned. The final part of intelligence is mental
acceleration. Mental acceleration is the rate at which a student can learn. The quicker the
mental acceleration, the more time a student will have to explore slow mental processes.
What is GRIT? Explain the role of GRIT and self-discipline and how these relate to your
work as a student exploring career options? How can this information be applied? Grit is
a combination of persistence and passion for a subject or action. It is a part of self-
discipline because it takes the character trait of discipline to be persistent about a subject.
This is applicable to career options because it takes discipline to find a career field. It
takes a lot of time and effort to think about your strengths and search for different career
options. Without grit and discipline, it is very difficult to put in the effort to find the
proper career field.
Describe the five fitness dimensions included in the GAT. Practice one of the exercises
under Positive Emotions in Emotional Fitness. Describe your experience. Emotional
fitness shows if a person is at risk of anxiety or other disorders, or if a person will be
perseverant. Social fitness describes how a person interacts with their fellow troops or
society. Spiritual fitness relates to how they see the world from a spiritual perspective.
Family fitness is how the troop see the army impacting his/her family. Reading over the
statements in the GAT was very interesting. I felt like I gave myself high scores for the
positive emotions section. I think this helped show me that I am a positive thinker and
that this positivity could help me throughout my life.
Relate the research in this chapter to your own goals for growth and how this research
may be helpful personally and professionally. I think the research on intelligence could
help me. I thought it was very interesting how there are both a fast and slow component. I
sometimes think I think too quickly and forget to take things slow. By adding more slow
time, I can better reflect on my experiences and allow myself more time for creative
thought.
Resolving Past Events and Research on Optimism for the Future (Chapters 8 and 9)
What are the five elements that contribute to post-traumatic growth? Explain. The
elements are to understand the response to trauma itself, an anxiety reduction,
constructive self-disclosure, creating a trauma narrative, and life principles and stances
that are more robust to challenge. All of these elements help people with PTSD or have
undergone traumatic events to better cope with the event and to improve relationships
and create growth.
Discuss the elements of Mental Toughness. How does Ellis model contribute to
development of resilience? Use an example from your own thinking/experience and walk
through the steps. The ABCDE model helps explain why people to struggle with
adversity. It is not the adversity situation itself, but rather the beliefs the people hold
about their adversity. There have been times where I give up on homework problems
because I cannot get the correct answer. I give up because I think I am not smart enough
to find the answer, when in reality the adversity, and the problem, are solvable.
What are the skill building dimensions (e.g. Hunt the Good Stuff) and what is the value in
them for undergraduates now? There are three skills that are used to fight catastrophic
thoughts. These skills are to gather evidence, use optimism, and put things into
perspective. These skills are important to the army, but also to undergraduates. It is
important for undergraduates to keep perspective and keep positive emotions while
searching for a career. All three of these skills are important to remain happy and focused
in order to find the best job for themselves.
Explain the physical/biological elements of Optimism. What is the role of well-being and
overall positive health? Optimism is when people believe that their lives are changable
and that setbacks are temporary. One element to optimism is learned helplessness. When
there is no escape of a certain stimuli, animals would just give up and become helpless. It
was then proven that animals with learned helplessness died at a higher rate than those
that were not helpless. Also, people who possess more optimism have lower rates are
cardiovascular disease than those who are pessimistic. The study at Penn shows that a
lack of optimism can lead to physical illness, while learning about positive education and
well-being can decrease the amount of illness.
Wellbeing and Economic Realities (Chapter 10)
Explain the relationship between wealth and happiness. Wealth only measures the
economic impacts of products, and does not regard if that increases or decreases well-
being. While the GDP of the United States has tripled, life satisfaction ratings have
remained the same. This means that more material wealth does not mean that the people
experience better lives.
How might people increase their satisfaction in any type of work; give examples from
either personal experience or current experience? Satisfaction relies on people
appreciating and enjoying their work. For example, I am more satisfied listening and
thinking about my psychology homework than when I do my Spanish homework. I value
the subject and enjoy psychology more than Spanish, therefore I gain more satisfaction
from my psychology work. I think to increase satisfaction, people need to know what
work makes them happy and then do more of that work instead of work that makes them
unhappy.
What implications might this have for undergraduates? It is crucial that undergraduates
find out what work makes them feel satisfied. This way they can major in a subject that
allows them to feel fulfilled and happy in life. The worst case scenario is to go to college
for four years and then end up hating the job that the degree gets you. This can only be
avoided if undergraduates understand what in life they enjoy to do and brings them
satisfaction in their work.
What is important in this reading for an undergraduate now and in the future? It is
important for undergraduates to understand what they value doing in life. Seligman talks
about numerous activities and exercises that help to show what a person values in life.
These exercises include things like the three blessings exercise and the PFA app. I hope
that I can take the knowledge from this reading to ensure that I can better understand
myself.