Positive Technology

Document Type

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 and technology companies should improve on their existing platforms by leveraging positive psychology research to systemically enhance well-being. 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, Other Topics





Date Posted: 25 September 2018