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Developing Positive Psychology as a Universal Science:Cultural and Methodological Challenges


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1 Kathmandu University School of Management, Balkumari, Lalitpur, Nepal
     

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Positive psychology is a developing discipline of psychology, particularly originated from the United States, that focuses on positive aspects of human lives. The objective of this paper is to highlight some of the cultural and methodological challenges in developing positive psychology as a universal science. This paper first explores the roots of positive psychology in the Eastern philosophical/spiritual traditions and then explores the possibility of reconciliation between positive psychologists and humanistic and cross-cultural psychologists on two major issues - universality of positive psychology and positivist methodology in the inquiry process. It also evaluates the methodological approaches followed by positive psychological researchers in their inquiry process and their applicability/appropriateness in diverse cultural contexts. This paper concludes that as envisaged by the founders of positive psychology movement, there is a possibility of positive psychology being developed as a universal science that transcends cultural boundaries, if positive psychology scholars, rather than utilizing the Western conceptualization of the positive psychology constructs, use mix method approach while conceptualizing and capturing the constructs.

Keywords

Positive Psychology, Easter Philosophical/Spiritual Traditions, Cultural and Methodological Challenges.
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  • Developing Positive Psychology as a Universal Science:Cultural and Methodological Challenges

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Authors

Arjun Kumar Shrestha
Kathmandu University School of Management, Balkumari, Lalitpur, Nepal

Abstract


Positive psychology is a developing discipline of psychology, particularly originated from the United States, that focuses on positive aspects of human lives. The objective of this paper is to highlight some of the cultural and methodological challenges in developing positive psychology as a universal science. This paper first explores the roots of positive psychology in the Eastern philosophical/spiritual traditions and then explores the possibility of reconciliation between positive psychologists and humanistic and cross-cultural psychologists on two major issues - universality of positive psychology and positivist methodology in the inquiry process. It also evaluates the methodological approaches followed by positive psychological researchers in their inquiry process and their applicability/appropriateness in diverse cultural contexts. This paper concludes that as envisaged by the founders of positive psychology movement, there is a possibility of positive psychology being developed as a universal science that transcends cultural boundaries, if positive psychology scholars, rather than utilizing the Western conceptualization of the positive psychology constructs, use mix method approach while conceptualizing and capturing the constructs.

Keywords


Positive Psychology, Easter Philosophical/Spiritual Traditions, Cultural and Methodological Challenges.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.15614/ijpp%2F2019%2Fv10i2%2F185291