Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) Capstone Projects

Document Type

Working Paper

Date of this Version



Around the world, across a spectrum of disciplines and by many different pathways, measures of wellbeing are emerging as a means for institutions and individuals to join forces in their efforts to balance material growth and development with the rights of humans to preserve, protect, and pursue those interests that lead to wellbeing, for both individuals and for society. Wellbeing indices are an important and innovative addition to the global conversation about the economics of happiness. Their rising viability with nations, communities, Nobel laureates, ordinary citizens, academics, economists, and policymakers, speaks to a growing questioning of the validity and adequacy of traditional measures of national progress – notably, the gross domestic product. Through the lens of positive psychology, this capstone provides an overview of the landscape of wellbeing indices, identifying in one place who is measuring what, by what indicators, and why. As scientific interest in the measurement of population wellbeing and national performance begins to deliver and document empirical results, this capstone makes a case for the wellbeing index as an instrument of massively disruptive and contagious change –a grand-scale positive intervention that has the potential to change the world.


wellbeing, well-being, index, indices, Santa Monica, metrics, happiness, Positive Psychology, intervention, economics of wellbeing



Date Posted: 02 October 2013

This document has been peer reviewed.