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PSY409 - Positive Psychology

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    a) Explain all four elements of upward spiral and their relation with each other. (2*4=8 marks)

    Fredrickson (2000) proposed that positive emotions have broadening effects on our thoughts and actions. They minimize involuntary responses (automatic responses by mind & body in response to any stimulus) and instead direct human beings to wide their thinking and to look for more new and creative ways to respond in certain situations. The more positive emotions a person experience in his/her daily life, the more he/she looks for several possibilities to act. This experience of positive emotions further helps in building several personal resources and problem solving skills. The four elements of broad and build theory are as follow:

    Experiences of Positive Emotions
    During the process of broadening and building of thoughts, the first and foremost important element is to experience more positive emotions such as joy (a feeling of playful and bright), contentment (feeling that everything is right), interest (having curiosity and feeling of open and alive), gratitude (feeling of appreciation to the things that comes to your way or being grateful for whatever you have), hope (trusting and believing that everything will be good), pride
    (feeling of being valued by society and achievement), friendship/love (being in interpersonal connection), and inspiration (motivation for personal growth). Broaden Momentary Thought- Action Repertoires
    When a threating event occurs, people usually face a limitation in their thoughts and have limited numbers of actions to perform which Fredrickson called specific actions tendency. But, experiences of positive emotions provide them a wider range of thoughts and actions to choose and suggest them to look for various new opportunities or possibilities in certain situation (called broadening of momentary thought-action repertoires). Build Enduring Personal Resources
    Through the broadening process of thoughts, positive emotions can also help in building enduring (long term) resources. These resources can be physical, mental, social and psychological. People can develop social support, flexibility, skills and knowledge (personal resources). Individual can also develop physical strength (physical resources), problem solving skills (mental resources), can make new bonds (social resources) and can develop a sense of hopefulness, flexibility, sense of identity and goal orientation (psychological resources). Transform People and Produce Upward Spirals
    Positive emotions and development of personal resources further help in progressing personal growth as well as providing people with a sense of fulfillment and produce more positive emotions.
    Relationship of Broad and Build Theory Elements
    Hence, during the process of broadening and building, positive emotions such as pleasure, satisfaction etc. helps in broadening ones’ thoughts and actions and provides opportunities to look for all possibilities. This broadening emerged from positive emotions
    further helps in building long term personal resources and advances personal growth ultimately creating more positive emotions.

    b) Explain a stressful event (experience of negative emotions) from your life.
    The stressful event from my life was that once I failed in my exam due to poor medical condition. I had high fever and couldn’t prepare well for my paper and attempted it with heavy heart. I was hoping to pass but when result announced I found my name among failures. This experience of failure made me broken into tears. I found no mean of my life and decided to quit my study. I was sad enough that I couldn’t concentrate on any other task. My parents also scold me that I wasted their money. I felt so depressed and I thought that I will never regain my courage and confidence and will never seek good position further. So I decided to quit my study and end up my life on that day.

    c) Thinking about stressful event, you are supposed to Indicate, Identify and explain (in the below mentioned table) how experience of positive emotions helped you in undoing the experience of experience of negative emotions, broaden your temporary thought-action, build your enduring personal resources and transform and produce you?

    Negative Emotions Experience of Positive Emotion Broaden Thoughts and Actions Build Long- lasting Resources Transform People and Produce Identification Experience of failure, cry, depression, stress Encouragement and appreciation from teacher brought contentment and hope in my life Flexible thinking, Decision of reappearing in exam Development of the sense of hopefulness, social support, physical courage and problem solving skills Emotional wellbeing, personal satisfaction and success in exam Explanation Experience of failure in exam resulted in a number of negative emotions and I felt depressed, anxious and decided to quit my studies and end my life. When I decided to quit my studies, I went to my teacher and talked to her. She encouraged me that I have been a bright student and have good grades throughout my academic career. She realized me that failure in one paper doesn’t mean the failure in whole life. She helped me to regain my confidence and remind me of my all achievement. Experience of negative emotions has narrowed my thoughts and I was thinking to quit my studies and end up my life. But appreciation and encouragement from teacher helped me to think broadly and look for other possible opportunities. Experience of positive emotions helped me to broaden my thoughts and I regain my confidence. It helped me in building personal, physical, mental, social and psychological resources. I started believing in my abilities, become hopeful, decided to be physically strong and with the help of my peers and teacher support I decided to prepare well for my exam and re-attempt it. Experience of positive emotions helped to build enduring resources and I transformed in to a new and more confident person. I worked hard, trusted in my abilities and ultimately passed my exam with good grades. I decided to never lose hope again and perspective changed.
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