Research Interests

Upward Acts is a platform for scholars, researchers, and well-being practitioners to collaborate on developing evidence-based practices in the field of Applied Positive Psychology. Our workshops, trainings, and coaching programs are evaluated for their effectiveness and their efficacy, with this data contributing to further programmatic improvement and theory development. Below you will will find several categories of well-being that are currently under investigation by our team of researchers, evaluators, and coaches.

 

 Photo by  rawpixel

Photo by rawpixel

Positive emotions

Positive Emotions are considered to be one of the ingredients of a life worth living. We are interested in helping clients understand how positive emotions develop, how they interact with “negative emotions” and well-being, as well as how to increase their intensity, duration, and frequency.


 Photo by  Milan Popovic

Photo by Milan Popovic

meta-cognitive awareness

A vital facet of deep mindfulness practice, meta-cognitive awareness is the process of becoming aware of one’s thoughts and feelings with a detached and curious sense of objectivity. Meditation, yoga, and other attentional practices contribute to this domain. We are interested in fostering the skill of meta-cognitive awareness and helping clients to apply this skill to developing other areas of their well-being with more clarity and precision.


 Photo by  Aziz Acharki

Photo by Aziz Acharki

Strengths efficacy

As practitioners of Positive Psychology we operate with the approach that everyone has their own unique strengths of character regardless of life circumstances or stage of development. Helping clients to more easily identify these strengths in themselves and others, and to use these strengths in new ways is a key part of our practice and evaluation.


Autotelic personality

Also known as “Flow Proneness”, Autotelic Personality refers to an individual’s tendencies related to engaging in life in such a way as to foster deep and frequent flow experiences in everyday life. Identifying necessary preconditions for flow, and arranging one’s life to facilitate the balance of challenges and skills is a significant area of our practice and research.


Creative self-efficacy

Not every person has the personality to be dispositionally creative, however, there are many skills, techniques, and approaches that can help anyone engage more fully with the creative process, allowing them to reap the benefits of creative thinking. We are interested in what those processes and skills are, and how to help people use them in novel and personally meaningful ways.


 Photo by  Michael Heuser

Meaning & purpose

Identifying one’s values and subsequently identifying some sense of purpose behind one’s actions can foster a sense of having a deeply meaningful life. Finding meaning and purpose in one’s life is arguably one of the best things to do when striving toward a life worth living. We are interested in helping clients with this process of uncovering values and forging a purpose out of the chaos around us.


 Photo by  Tyler Nix

Photo by Tyler Nix

Flourishing relationships

“Other people matter” has become a truism in the world of Psychology and especially in the world of well-being and development. Fulfilling, supportive, and relatable relationships is a necessary ingredient in a full and meaningful life. Skills like active listening, capitalization, and social support have been shown to make significant impacts on how connected people feel, and exploring these social connections is a vital part of our practice and research.


 Photo by  Anthony Tori

Photo by Anthony Tori

Psychological capital

Psychological Capital refers to the mental resources people have at their disposal to support them in difficult situations, and aid them in building a well-lived life. In the literature this includes Hope, Optimism, Resilience, and Self-Efficacy. Each of these constructs plays a pivotal role in every other aspect of well-being and their development is a focus of both individual and organizational work with clients.