Thesis or dissertation
Date of this Version
Since the founding of positive psychology, the scientific study of well-being, in 1998 we have a much better understanding of how to define, measure, and cultivate well-being. For the first time, this means the field of technology can move forward with science on its side, designing and developing technology based on its actual impact on well-being. Through the lens of social relationships, this paper explores the current state of technology and well-being (part 1), ways in which we can improve existing technology (part 2), and how we can create new technology to systematically cultivate well-being (part 3). Recent research suggests that much of the fastest growing technology today has a negative effect on our social relationships and psychological well-being. To mitigate these negative outcomes, this paper calls for a foundational shift towards positive technology, defined as technology that uses principles from positive psychology to systematically cultivate well-being. To do this, positive psychology should dedicate more resources towards testing and validating well-being hypotheses as they relate to the latest technology applications. At the same time, technology companies should improve on their existing platforms by leveraging positive psychology research. Moreover, we should use the foundational principles of positive psychology to design new applications of technology that drive each of the core elements of well-being: positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning, and achievement (Seligman, 2011).
psychology, positive psychology, technology, positive technology, well-being, flourishing
Well-Being, Flourishing, Technology
Date Posted: 31 August 2018