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Positive Psychology classes have no effect

Will teaching Positive Psychology build positive virtues and emotions in young people? A five year programme, funded by a $2.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, has been evaluating the benefits of ?character education? since 2003. The findings reveal that there has been ?no effect? on most outcomes. Despite the lack of efficacy some are saying that Positive Psychology lessons should be applied more widely.

Co director of the programme, and co-author of previous Positive Psychology studies such as the Penn Resiliency Programme, Jame Gillham has created 20 lessons based around Positive Psychology ideas.  The classes were taught to 9th graders in a randomly assigned group and measures were compared to a control group.  Gillham says that the study is showing ?a lot of nil results? and that in the areas of happiness and other associated measures there is a lack of efficacy.

Though the results are modest or nil there are those who want to apply the lessons more widely,as they are so convinced that this will work. Carol, the Centre?s CEO has recently critiqued Positive Psychology interventions in schools you can access her paper here. To read the article about teaching Positive Psychology to school children  click here



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