Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) Capstone Projects

Document Type

Working Paper

Date of this Version



Positive psychology as a field has made substantial advances when it comes to understanding positive experiences and positive traits, yet there is a deficiency in theory, research, and application of how to build and enable positive institutions. This paper argues that positive psychologists and practitioners need to focus on how positive psychology can support and contribute to macro level community wellbeing, specifically focused and concerned with justice. At the origins of this nation’s history is dehumanization and oppression of certain populations, denying citizens full participation in our democracy. This paper asks, what allows people to be psychologically ready to participate and what is society’s responsibility in cultivating conditions that lead to participation? Defining a positive citizenship describes where there is potential to cultivate positive citizenship and highlights the current conditions that threaten the concept of citizenship as fundamental to wellbeing. Positive citizenship embodies Freire’s belief that one cannot experience being fully human, or true emancipation, without the ability to impact and transform themselves and the world.


Citizenship, Mattering, Positive Psychology, Positive Institutions, Community Based Organizations, Self Determination Theory, Purpose


Well-Being/Flourishing,Citizenship, Positive Citizenship


Literature Review



Date Posted: 21 November 2016