Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) Capstone Projects

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Keener, M. B. (2012). Positive media: An introductory exploration. Master's thesis. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Advisor: M. E. P. Seligman, Ph. D.


Media has become an increasingly large part of our lives, and therefore plays a crucial role in our well-being. Positive psychology, the science of well-being, can be complemented through the new potentialities of media, which in many ways also seeks to improve the human experience. I create the context for a new dialogue about what "positive media" might be. By adopting a positive lens and discussing exemplars in different formats, this paper explores the ways media effectively incorporates elements of well-being. Through this positive approach, we gain an appreciation for what media does well. The paper also recommends ways that people can consume media in support of their well-being, and ways media creators can design content that optimizes human flourishing. Lastly, the paper encourages a dialogue between the important fields of positive psychology and media. With a partnership between these fields, it posits the opportunity for dramatically increasing global well-being.


positive psychology, media, positive media, television, film, well-being, creativity, eudaimonic turn, humanities, narrative



Date Posted: 08 August 2012

This document has been peer reviewed.