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Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70, 1185-1204.
Franco, Z. E., Blau, K., & Zimbardo, P. G. (2011). Heroism: A conceptual analysis and differentiation between heroic action and altruism. , (2), 99 –113. doi:10.1037/a0022672. Heroism represents the ideal of citizens transforming civic virtue into the highest form of civic action, accepting either physical peril or social sacrifice. While implicit theories of heroism abound, surprisingly little theoretical or empirical work has been done to better understand the phenomenon. Toward this goal, we summarize our efforts to systematically develop a taxonomy of heroic subtypes as a starting point for theory building. Next we explore three apparent paradoxes that surround heroism—the dueling impulses to elevate and negate heroic actors; the contrast between the public ascription of heroic status versus the interior decision to act heroically; and apparent similarities between altruism, bystander intervention and heroism that mask important differences between these phenomena. We assert that these seeming contradictions point to an unrecognized relationship between insufficient justification and the ascription of heroic status, providing more explanatory power than risk–type alone. The results of an empirical study are briefly presented to provide preliminary support to these arguments. Finally, several areas for future research and theoretical activity are briefly considered. These include the possibility that extension neglect may play a central role in public's view of nonprototypical heroes; a critique of the positive psychology view that heroism is always a virtuous, prosocial activity; problems associated with retrospective study of heroes; the suggestion that injury or death (particularly in social sacrifice heroes) serves to resolve dissonance in favor of the heroic actor; and a consideration of how to foster heroic imagination.
Further evidence supporting the matching hypothesis was found bySilverman (1971); Berschied et al. (1971); Dion and Berschied(1974) and Berschied and Walster et al. (1974). Indeed, Price andVandenberg (1979) stated that “the matching phenomenon [of physicalattractiveness between marriage partners] is stable within andacross generations”.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 148-164.
Fredrickson, B. L. (2000). Cultivating positive emotions to optimize health and well–being. , (1). doi:10.1037//1522–37184.108.40.206a. This article develops the hypothesis that intervention strategies that cultivate positive emotions are particularly suited for preventing and treating problems rooted in negative emotions, such as anxiety, depression, aggression, and stress related health problems. Fredrickson's (1998) broaden–and–build model of positive emotions provides the foundation for this application. According to this model, the form and function of positive and negative emotions are distinct and complementary. Negative emotions (e.g., fear, anger, and sadness) narrow an individual's momentary thought–action repertoire toward specific actions that served the ancestral function of promoting survival. By contrast, positive emotions (e.g., joy, interest, and contentment) broaden an individual's momentary thought–action repertoire, which in turn can build that individual's enduring personal resources, resources that also served the ancestral function of promoting survival. One implication of the broaden–and–build model is that positive emotions have an undoing effect on negative emotions. By broadening the momentary thought–action repertoire, positive emotions loosen the hold that negative emotions gain on an individual's mind and body by undoing the narrowed psychological and physiological preparation for specific action. Indeed, empirical studies have shown that contentment and joy speed recovery from the cardiovascular aftereffects of negative emotions (Fredrickson & Levenson, 1998). Stepping off from these ideas and findings, a range of intervention and coping strategies are reviewed, including relaxation therapies, behavioral therapies aimed at increasing rates of pleasant activities, cognitive therapies aimed at teaching optimism, and coping strategies marked by finding positive meaning. These strategies optimize health and well–being to the extent that they cultivate positive emotions. Cultivated positive emotions not only counteract negative emotions, but also broaden individuals' habitual modes of thinking and build their personal resources for coping.
Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1987). The support of autonomy and the control of behavior. , (6), 1024–37. doi:10.1037/0022–35220.127.116.114 In this article we suggest that events and contexts relevant to the initiation and regulation of intentional behavior can function either to support autonomy (i.e., to promote choice) or to control behavior (i.e., to pressure one toward specific outcomes). Research herein reviewed indicates that this distinction is relevant to specific external events and to general interpersonal contexts as well as to specific internal events and to general personality orientations. That is, the distinction is relevant whether one's analysis focuses on social psychological variables or on personality variables. The research review details those contextual and person factors that tend to promote autonomy and those that tend to control. Furthermore, it shows that autonomy support has generally been associated with more intrinsic motivation, greater interest, less pressure and tension, more creativity, more cognitive flexibility, better conceptual learning, a more positive emotional tone, higher self–esteem, more trust, greater persistence of behavior change, and better physical and psychological health than has control. Also, these results have converged across different assessment procedures, different research methods, and different subject populations. On the basis of these results, we present an organismic perspective in which we argue that the regulation of intentional behavior varies along a continuum from autonomous (i.e., self–determined) to controlled. The relation of this organismic perspective to historical developments in empirical psychology is discussed, with a particular emphasis on its implications for the study of social psychology and personality.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78, 81-91.
Augusto–Landa, J. M., Pulido–Martos, M., & Lopez–Zafra, E. (2010). Does perceived emotional intelligence and optimism/pessimism predict psychological well–being? , (3), 463–474. doi:10.1007/s10902–010–9209–7. In this study we examined the associations between perceived emotional intelligence, dispositional optimism/pessimism and psychological well–being. In addition to correlational analyses, we examined a model by structural equation modeling (SEM). The study of psychological well–being in the field of positive psychology from the paradigmatic approach to happiness developed by Ryff and Singer (Psychother Psychosomat 65(1):14–23, 1998) is very important and essential, due in part to the lack of studies analyzing the predictors of Ryff's PWB model by contemplating emotional and cognitive factors. In this framework, our study examines the possible role of optimism and PEI as possible predictors of the psychological well–being dimensions proposed by Ryff, with a specific pattern of relationships as a model. Our results show positive relationships between clarity and emotional regulation and the psychological well–being components. With regard to dispositional optimism versus pessimism, positive relationships were found between optimism and psychological well–being dimensions and negative relationships between pessimism and dimensions of psychological well–being. Our model also includes some relationships, not initially raised, between the dimensions of perceived emotional intelligence and some dimensions of psychological well–being. Our results suggest relationships between emotional attention and purpose in life as well as with personal growth dimensions of psychological well–being. Implications and limitations are discussed.
Baumeister, R. F., Bratslavsky, E., Finkenauer, C., & Vohs, K. D. (2001). Bad is stronger than good. , (4), 323–370. doi:10.1037/1089–2618.104.22.1683 The greater power of bad events over good ones is found in everyday events, major life events (e.g., trauma), close relationship outcomes, social network patterns, interpersonal interactions, and learning processes. Bad emotions, bad parents, and bad feedback have more impact than good ones, and bad information is processed more thoroughly than good. The self is more motivated to avoid bad self–definitions than to pursue good ones. Bad impressions and bad stereotypes are quicker to form and more resistant to disconfirmation than good ones. Various explanations such as diagnosticity and salience help explain some findings, but the greater power of bad events is still found when such variables are controlled. Hardly any exceptions (indicating greater power of good) can be found. Taken together, these findings suggest that bad is stronger than good, as a general principle across a broad range of psychological phenomena.
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Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 407-419.
"In conclusion, our findings suggest that individuals with depression suffer from an inability to sustain reward–related activity that is reflected in the fronto–striatal network across time, and that this deficit is associated with reduced positive affect. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the hallmark symptoms of anhedonia in MDD are based on an inability to sustain positive affect" (Heller, Johnstone, Shackman, Light, Peterson, Kolden, Kalin, et al., 2009, p. 22449).
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 50-65.
Comment: this article is not under the positive psychology umbrella per se. But it's interesting and pertains to Dabrowski. "Two commonly held assumptions of research into personality development are that personality has "set like plaster" (James, as cited in Costa & McCrae, 1994, p. 21) and will not change much after the age of 30 and that adolescence is a period in which personality matures and becomes more stable" (Meeus, Van de Schoot, Klimstra, & Branje, 2011, p. 1181).
[resilients (R) characterized by high levels of ego–resiliency and moderate levels of ego–control and are able to adapt their levels of ego–control to environmental demands. Overcontrollers (O) and undercontrollers (U) have low levels of ego–resiliency and differ markedly on egocontrol. Overcontrollers maintain relatively inflexible levels of high ego–control, whereas undercontrollers have relatively inflexible levels of low ego–control.]
"The primary goal of Study 1 was to evaluate whether personality types are stable or whether there is a systematic personality change in the direction of resiliency during adolescence" (p. 1183). "we observed change of personality types in the direction of resiliency" (p. 1191).
"We also found substantial stability of personality, with 73.5% of the adolescents remaining in the same personality type between Waves 1 and 5. This finding shows that personality types are already quite stable in adolescence" (p. 1191).
"the resilient type indexes the most well–adjusted personality profile and is consistent with the findings of Study 2 showing that resilients are the least anxious and most capable of forming intimate relationships" (p. 1191). "the analyses of the personality type trajectories revealed that the majority of adolescents who change personality type across 5 years make only one transition. This makes clear that personality type changes tend to be decisive in adolescence and that probabilities of additional personality type changes are low" (p. 1192).
"We replicated the well–known finding that male adolescents more often tend to be undercontrollers, and female adolescents overcontrollers" (p. 1192).
"Stable resilients (R>R) were less anxious over time than were stable overcontrollers (O>O), and change from O>R was accompanied by a decrease in anxiety, whereas change from R>O was accompanied by an increase in anxiety" (p. 1192).
"these findings imply that overcontrol goes together with anxiety and an inability to enter into the world of social relationships. Additionally, moving out of overcontrol means leaving anxiety behind and being more able to grow into the social world" (p. 1192).
"The main conclusion of the research is that personality types mature in the direction of resiliency. This means that research into adolescent personality development has come full circle. Adolescent personality matures not only in terms of mean levels and stability of personality traits but also in terms of personality organization" (p. 1192).
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