Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) Capstones


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Now showing 1 - 10 of 265
  • Publication
    Micromoments Matter: Finding Agency and Connection Through a Micromoments Mindset
    (2020-08-01) Chou, Cindy; Masters, Amanda J
    As humans, our tendency is to reduce uncertainty, leading us to want to hold things still rather than accept the inevitable change that comes (Langer, 2009). However, psychological and behavioral attempts to do so can result in clinging to outdated and erroneous information, limiting our perspectives and narrowing opportunities for meaningful choice. In this paper, we merge Western psychology and Eastern wisdom traditions and build upon conceptions of mindfulness from both perspectives, to present our theory of the micromoments mindset as a tool for well-being. We define a micromoment as both the instant opening into conscious awareness of the present moment, as well as the brief stretch of experience that follows, until awareness recedes. A micromoments mindset is the cognitive prioritization toward these openings. It serves as both an entryway into mindfulness and the experience of being more mindful within the micromoment. We argue that tapping into micromoments throughout our days can facilitate factors of well-being, particularly agency and connection, so that we have more tools for living with intention in the world of uncertainty and flux in which we find ourselves. We also present the PEACE framework for optimizing well-being within micromoments.
  • Publication
    Recrafting Work: A Model for Workplace Engagement and Meaning
    (2006-07-15) Parry, Gordon H
    The global knowledge based economy, technological and information advances, and expanding complexity, are transforming the work place. Worldwide, less than a third of employees are actively engaged, the majority unengaged, and a significant portion actively disengaged. Work represents nearly half of waking life for most adults and has been identified as an important domain for authentic happiness. A model is provided to guide employees through the process of recrafting work to align with signature strengths with the goal of moving along the job, career, calling continuum. A description of the model, the empirical basis for the process and tools embedded in the model and results of a pilot implementation in a Fortune 250 global information services company are reviewed.
  • Publication
    Story as Medicine: Indigenous Storytelling as a Path to Resilience
    (2022-08-05) Loprinzi, Siena E
    In many Indigenous communities around the world, storytelling was a central part of life (Erdoes & Ortiz, 1984). Stories were how wisdom was passed on, often from elders to young children; they held lessons and were something that could be ingrained into memory and helped build culture (Doucleff & Greenhalgh, 2019). As a result of the genocide of Native Americans in North America that lasted centuries (Corntassel et al., 2009), their stories changed from lessons of how the world came to be to lessons on how to overcome the deepest levels of grief and adversity. Today, some of the most popular Indigenous novels and poetry are stories of resilience born from trauma. These were not simple lessons of coyotes getting into mischief, but lessons from the deepest pain. Navigating trauma with the help of storytelling encouraged resilience (Corntassel et al., 2009; Estés, 1992; Harjo & Leen, 1995). This paper will explore the science and words behind the alchemical process of story as medicine, Indigenous storytelling as a conduit to resilience, and how it can be used for all.
  • Publication
    "Yes And": Exploring and Heightening the Positive Psychology in Improvisation
    (2020-08-15) Elam, Bridget Erica
    This capstone contains a brief introduction to positive psychology and the art of improvisation, including a review of the literature that supports improvisation’s potential well-being effects. Also included in this capstone is a description of an exploratory study on improvisation and well-being. In this study, positive and negative affect, resilience, loneliness, and perceived life satisfaction was measured among a group of actors and improvisers from all over the United States. The study also features qualitative data, collected from the same participants, coded for positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning and accomplishment (PERMA) in order to consider whether working without a script offered flourishing outcomes distinct from general participation in theatre. Quantitative analysis revealed that life satisfaction scores among actors was significantly higher than those of improvisers, however the elements of PERMA showed up more frequently in the qualitative data collected from improvisers, with positive relationships mentioned significantly more often. Findings suggest that while improvisers may have a lower sense of life satisfaction, they experience more positive emotion, engagement, sense of accomplishment than actors and the study of improvisation has considerable positive effects on their relationships onstage and off. Implications for the creation of a new branch of the Positive Humanities, “Positive Improvisation,” are discussed, as well as suggestions for how to make traditional improvisation more intentionally positive.
  • Publication
    Making Our Time Together Count: How to Use Workshops to Increase Well-Being through Connection
    (2019-08-09) Kastner, Sydney
    This Capstone explores how well-being can be increased through creating conditions for connection in workshop experiences. It begins with an overview of workshops followed by a literature review of the general field of positive psychology and two specific elements of social connection: belonging and mattering as well as short-term positive connections. It details these areas as well as their corresponding benefits for well-being both generally and inside of workshops, specifically. Finally, the Appendix: Fostering Connection in Workshops to Increase Well-Being, outlines research-based suggestions workshop facilitators can use to put this information into action. These resources are provided with the intention of fostering well-being in workshops through creating opportunities for participants to connect in the moment as well as arming participants with tools to use in their own workshops and lives. This translation of research into practical suggestions for workshop facilitators should elevate facilitators’ practice by both giving them new ideas to incorporate as well as by backing their existing practices with research.
  • Publication
    Building Resilience in MBA Students: Bouncing Back and Forward through Challenges
    (2017-01-01) Marinova, Denitsa
    The raison d'être for MBA programs is to prepare students to lead and manage effectively in the real world. An overview of the unique challenges awaiting MBAs, however, reveals a blind spot in business education: It doesn’t necessarily prepare MBA students to operate effectively in the VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) world of today. This paper suggests that resilience training can help fill the void by enhancing the capacity of MBAs to bounce back and forward through and despite adversity. The objective of the paper is to propose a conceptual design of an evidence-based, relevant, and applicable Resilience Training Program for MBA students, building on research and practice in positive psychology and positive organizational scholarship. The proposed program seeks to enhance MBAs’ individual resilience from a 3-dimensional perspective of protecting, promoting, and sustaining mental health and well-being. Topics covered in the program include emotion regulation, cognitive flexibility, optimism, hope, positive emotions, character strengths, positive relationships, meaning-making, high-quality connections, and job crafting. Each of these topics is examined through a review of relevant research, practical implications, and specific interventions for building and strengthening related skills. This paper will hopefully serve MBA students and their business schools in shaping resilient leaders of the future.
  • Publication
    How Positive Psychology Overlaps with a Culturally-Based Indigenous Addictions Treatment Program
    (2017-08-14) Manitowabi, Rolanda
    Indigenous cultural teachings on well-being continue to be passed on from generation to generation. Research is showing promise in the effectiveness of participating in cultural practices as more First Nations are returning to their culture for healing and recovery in addictions treatment centres. Positive psychology may help explain why. A very brief and general background will be provided on some cultural well-being teachings and on the impacts of history that have had devastating effects on many Indigenous people. Even through historical challenges that affect present day life, more Indigenous people are returning to their cultural ways of healing and living well. This paper will look at positive psychology constructs and theories in the context of supporting the effectiveness of a culturally-based addictions treatment center program and at ways positive psychology can enhance the program.
  • Publication
    Social Flourishing: Skills for Fostering Positive Social Connections and Relationships
    (2014-01-01) Vargas, Rebecka
    The capacity to cultivate flourishing relationships has important implications for health and well-being (Reis & Gable, 2003). There is increasingly a focus in positive psychology, and related fields, on identifying the positive processes and skills that can be employed to foster warm, momentary connections with others, as well as long-lasting, life-enhancing social bonds. At the basis of many of these skills is a requirement to cultivate an interest and concern for others; an orientation towards supporting and promoting other people’s well-being. This orientation towards others has the potential to positively impact well-being beyond the participants in the interaction. The benefits of positive social connections have been found to ripple out to other people in the network (Fowler & Christakis, 2009). Therefore the potential positive impacts of developing and cultivating positive relationships are substantial and wide-reaching.
  • Publication
    Moving Forward with Purpose: Increasing Physical Activity for School Wellness
    (2021-08-19) Bailey, Karen
    Physical activity (PA) or movement embedded into elementary school education offers both mental and physical health benefits for students. This paper will look at the important role physical activity plays in the overall physical, emotional, and academic well-being of students and make an argument for why the field of positive education should incorporate physical activity into its framework. It will also make a case for the critical role teachers play in bringing physical activity into their classrooms and provide strategies for how teachers can do this in a more organic way. Studies show that PA is as important to the learning environment as academics. With buy-in from administrators, teachers, and educational institutions, a practice of including physical activity into our daily schedule will produce benefits for wellness at school and beyond.
  • Publication
    Positive Psychology in Collegiate Sport: Leveraging the Pivotal Role of the Athletic Trainer to Promote Student-Athlete Well-being
    (2017-08-01) Turak, Jessica
    Research suggests that the state of collegiate student-athlete psychological health is poor, and current protocols for identification and referral are insufficient. According to the NCAA and NATA, the athletic trainer plays an essential part in this identification and referral process. Yet, many ATs report lacking confidence and readiness to address the psychological components of athletic injury. They also struggle to navigate unclear policies that obfuscate effective action. While diagnosing and treating psychological illness is outside of the ATs scope of practice, in order to improve the athletic trainer’s ameliorative capacity, positive psychology should be an integral component of their educational competencies. Positive psychology, as a growing facet of psychology and healthcare, focuses on the importance of well-being as a significant contributor to mental health. In order to bolster student-athlete wellness, the NATA must strongly consider adopting initiatives that enhance positive emotions, psychological well-being, and optimal functioning, through greater incorporation of evidence-based constructs of positive psychology into the NATA Code of Ethics and Educational Competencies.