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Tory leader David Cameron says there is more to life than making money, arguing that improving people's happiness is a key challenge for politicians.

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Presentation on theme: "Tory leader David Cameron says there is more to life than making money, arguing that improving people's happiness is a key challenge for politicians."— Presentation transcript:

1 Tory leader David Cameron says there is more to life than making money, arguing that improving people's happiness is a key challenge for politicians.

2 Economist and Labour Life Peer Richard Layard founder- director of the LSE Centre for Economic Performance argues that public policy should be informed by what we understand about happiness. Author of Happiness, Lessons from a new science (2005)

3 Dr. Martin Seligman one of the key figures behind the Positive Psychology movement. Author of: Authentic Happiness(2002), Learned Optimism (2006)

4 Happiness is…?

5 How does this ‘fit’? What does this mean for us as educators? How does it map onto current priorities/policy? How does it/could it relate to UFA practice? So what?

6 ‘Create all the happiness you are able to create, remove all the misery you are able to remove.’ Jeremy Bentham 1830 The principle of Greatest Happiness, any decision, public or private can be judged by its impact on those affected by it. The right decision is the one which leads to greatest overall happiness.

7 ‘Whoever said money can’t buy happiness isn’t spending it right.’ (Lexus Autos car Ad.) Average income has doubled since 1950s Increase in standard of living Better health Shorter working week But…we are no happier. In fact depression, alcoholism and crime have increased since WWII. 15% of US population have experienced major depression by age 35. (research quoted in Layard200 )

8 Happiness is not just subjective Damage to R frontal lobes produces elation Damage to L frontal lobes produces depression When good feeling is experienced there is activity in L frontal lobe. When bad feeling is experienced there is activity in R frontal lobe. ‘Subjective’ reporting of mood tallies with brain scans

9 So, what makes us happy? Family relationships Financial situation * Work * Community and friends Health * Personal freedom Personal values *  over last 50 years Age, gender, IQ and education are shown to have negligible effects

10 ‘Everything can be taken from a man but one thing, the last human freedom - to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances.’ Viktor Frankl

11 ‘Life inflicts the same setbacks and tragedies on the optimist as the pessimist, but the optimist weathers them better…the optimist bounces back from defeat…and picks up and starts again. The pessimist gives up and falls into depression. Because of his resilience, the optimist achieves more at work, at school and on the playing field. The optimist has better physical health and may even live longer.’ Seligman Learned Optimism (2006) p207

12 ‘The aim of positive psychology is to begin to catalyse a change in the forms of psychology from a preoccupation only with repairing the worst things in life to also building positive qualities.’ Seligman and Csikszentmihaly (2000) From: distress, disorder and dysfunction To: Well being, health and optimal functioning

13 ‘The waxing of the self’  choice  expectation  dissatisfaction ‘The waning of the commons’  family unit  religion  state The only way out is to either strengthen the self and/or change the balance between the individual and the common good. Seligman (2006)

14 What do you think when things go wrong? Permanent it will go on forever Pervasive it affects the whole of my life Personal it’s entirely my fault Temporary it won’t last forever Specific it affects just this External its due to external circumstances How do you explain it to yourself?

15 The ABC model Adversity how we react to adversity over time turns into… Beliefs these beliefs may become so habitual we don’t realise we hold them and they have… Consequences perhaps we give up, become dejected, or maybe we take constructive action. The ABC model was developed by Albert Ellis (1979) Certain kinds of beliefs set up the giving-up response, it can become a vicious circle. Pessimistic explanations set off passivity and dejection, optimistic explanations energise.

16 1.Realise the link between A, B and C. 2.Try to catch yourself doing it. 3.Distract and Dispute - deal with the pessimistic beliefs Distraction - think of/do something else. Dispute - much more effective long term. Argue the case! EVIDENCE? What’s the evidence for this belief? ALTERNATIVES? Is there a less destructive way to look at this? IMPLICATIONS? Decatastrophise - is it really that bad? USEFULNESS? Is this belief useful? (It may be harmful) 4. Energise - re-look at what happened in a more positive way 4 steps to take

17 How does this ‘fit’? What does this mean for us as educators? How does it map onto current priorities/policy? How does it/could it relate to UFA practice? So what?

18 A philosophical shift? Learning how to: o trust o collaborate o be optimistic o be resilient o play to strengths o have fun o form lasting relationships


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