The Science of Positive Psychology – Happify Daily

This post will discuss the intersection of technology and positive psychology through Happify, an app based on science and positive psychology. Psychology transitioned from a science of pathology and victims toward a focus on positive psychology in the 1990s (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000). The shift in focus is from negative personal characteristics to strengths (Fredrickson, 2001; Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000) with an aim of finding ways to support and bolster the strengths (Frederickson, 2001; Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000), rather than highlighting the weaknesses (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000) of the human condition.

Focusing on the nurture aspect of a human’s sense of well-being and happiness (Cassity, 2018), Happify uses the science of positive psychology to change the It uses several primary components and weaves mindfulness into each portion of Savor, Thank, Aspire, Give, Empathize, and Other, each enumerated into as many as 315 subcategories (Other) (Happify, 2018a, 2018b). The approach of how these components are realized within the app and online through their website varies from mindfulness about negative habits to reinforcing positive habits. Often the app encourages external kindness and consciousness. (Cassity, 2018; Happify, 2018a, 2018b)

As an example, acts of kindness, even if not reciprocally rewarded or acknowledged, introduce endorphins into the physiological being that increase the sense of happiness (Cassity, 2018; Marsh & Suttie, 2010; Ritvo, 2011). Acts of kindness toward others are often associated with pleasure and enjoyment (Happify, 2018b; Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000). As a side benefit, acts of kindness can also positively affect people who know about or witness the kindness (Cassity, 2018; Marsh & Suttie, 2010; Ritvo, 2011).

Acacia C. Parks, chief scientist for the company, wrote that there are many lanes for positive psychology in self-help and positive psychology intervention (2014). This suggests that there are more opportunities to bring happiness and positivity into the digital world of mobile devices and online activities.

Cassity, J. (2018). The power of a single act of kindness. . The Science of Happiness – Positive Psychology – Happify Daily. Visited 2018-03-18

Fredrickson, B. L. (2001). The Role of Positive Emotions in Positive Psychology. American Psychologist, 56(3), 218-226. doi: 10.1037/0003-066X.56.3.218

Marsh, J. & Suttie, J. (2010). 5 ways giving is good for you. Mind & Body. Greater Good. University of California at Berkley.

Parks A. C. (2014),. Psychology in Practice via Self-help. Chapter: 14. Positive Psychology in Practice. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey. p. 237-248.

Ritvo, E. (2014). The neuroscience of giving: Proof that helping others helps you. On Vitality – Psychology Today.

Seligman, M.E.P. & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Psychology: an introduction. American Psychological Association, 55(1), 5-14. doi: 10.1037/00003-066X.55.1.5

Staff (Happify) (2018a). The science of happiness research references. The Science of Happiness – Positive Psychology – Happify Daily (Happify). Visited 2018-03-17

Staff (Happify) (2018b). What is the science of happiness? The Science of Happiness – Positive Psychology – Happify Daily (Happify). Visited 2018-03-17

About Ann Townsend

Ann is a published author, speaker, and LGBTQ youth advocate; and has been a professional web application developer since 1997. She holds a medical A.S.; a B.S. in Management with an Emphasis on Computer Science, Minor in Psychology; and a M.S., MBA with an Emphasis on Management of Information Systems. She is the recipient of multiple awards of recognition and is currently pursuing her PhD in Media Psychology. She is currently a senior lead application developer in municipal government and the CTO of SSCodeWorks, LLC, developing applications for government synergy and geo-services apps for serious and recreational location-based mineral propecting. Prior to working for a municipal government agency, she was the majority owner of two small businesses, including Gold Core Networks (GCN), a general partnership. Until 2013, GCN provided internet web hosting and web application development, servicing the Central Valley and multiple U.S. corporations. GCN contracts included a two year contract with the fourth largest school district in California, assisting in the implementation and augmentation of their accounting web application. She was also CEO and chief developer for Midas Accounting Packages, Inc., a niche-market, diverse, ahead-of-its-time tech start up with the primary product of an adaptable, multi-industry accounting web application. In 2007, Ann was hired by a municipal government agency as one of two implementation and 24/7 support personnel for its accounting web application and developer of multiple interfaces between disparate financial applications and systems across 13 departments. Since 2012, Ann has been the lead custom mobile and web application developer. With her current employer, she has developed and/or maintains 13 custom, in-production mobile and web applications, including an application to digitize, collect, track, and report on property base-year values; and a budget application to digitize, collect, track, and transparently report, enumerate, and document budgeted IT charges for all departments. A recent project was for human resources from position request by a department through employee separation.