Today we speak with Dr Peggy Kern, Associate Professor at the Centre for Positive Psychology at the University of Melbourne’s Graduate School of Education. Dr. Kern’s research utilises innovative methodologies to investigate: (a) the understanding and measurement of healthy functioning, (b) the individual and social factors impacting life trajectories, and (c) systems informed approaches to wellbeing.
Dr. Kern received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Arizona State University, a Masters and PhD in social/personality psychology from the University of California, Riverside, and postdoctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania. She has worked directly with many leading researchers in the positive psychology field, including Martin Seligman, Angela Duckworth and Ryan Niemiec, among others.
I was really grateful to speak with someone so eminently qualified to discuss the progress, significance and outlook for the positive psychology field some 21 years on from its birth.
0:06 – On the historical importance of the positive psychology movement to date.
5:48 – On lessons learned from the self-esteem movement.
9:45 – If not happy, how should think about their efforts to make their life more ‘positive’.
11:00 She went to say ‘aspects’ of happiness but reverted to ‘type’. Clarify the language here.
14:05 – On the benefit of negative emotions.
15:00 – On what will universally, or at least usually, be beneficial for our life satisfaction.
19:17 – On personalised positive psychology.
24:15 – On what’s coming up for positive psychology as a field.
28:09 – Advice for people aspiring to conduct research within the positive psychology field.
32:53 – On the environment at the University of Pennsylvania during her time there.
34:00 – On her upcoming research projects.
Highlight Quote – “A lot of what the positive psychology interventions are trying to do is to awaken people to the narrative that they have of their life and shift that narrative.”