Positive Psychology – Similarities and differences between positive psychology, old-school psychology, and self-help.
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Positive psychology is an emerging field of research that seeks to help ordinary people become extraordinary. With wide-ranging topics such as happiness, flow state, stress management, positive attitude, and anger control, its primary audience is the every-man and every-woman who want to BE more and DO more with their life.
Traditional, old-school abnormal psychology began in the 1800’s as the study of problems in human behavior, seeking to understand and remediate sufferers of neuroses, psychosis, phobias, schizophrenia, panic, and suicidal thoughts — to accelerate or restore them to more-normal functioning. It continued throughout the 20th century with the purpose to primarily remedy dysfunction, but typically requires professional intervention to access its benefits. There continues to be research in abnormal psychology today, but it comprises a smaller percentage of all psychological research than in the prior century.
New-school, positive psychology, arising in the late 20th and now in the 21st century, leans heavily on research into what is normal human behavior and how to accelerate human potential to super-human in specific areas. This research fuels a booming self-help industry, which also draws on the wisdom of ancient philosophers and thinkers. Self-help media is more application-based, stated as basic techniques for average-Joes to understand and implement in their own lives, without necessarily needing a therapist or coach.