Our bookmarks on this topic are also at pinboard.in/u:unison/t:positive-psychology/
by David Cooperrider: This chapter orginally appeared in the 1990 edition of Appreciative Management and Leadership book edited by Srivastva and Cooperrider. This groundbreaking chapter is one of the classic articles discussing the theories around positive change in organizations. It discusses the power of positive imagery, the placebo effect in medicine, the pygmalion effect in education and human development, the relationship between positive-negative discourse in health, the balance of internal dialogue to emotional health, the effects of positive images on culture and the implications for management creating a theory of the affirmative organization.
What if change brought energy, excitement and possibility to your company? Appreciative Inquiry is a process that helps you ask “what’s working around here?” You explore what gives life to human systems when they function at their best. From the best of what is and has been, you create the possible future — “what could be.” · Read more →
From FastCompany: Let’s say your kid comes home one day and shows you this report card. Anything jump out at you? Well, if you’re like most parents, all you really see is this. And you’d hire a tutor, and your kid would be grounded, and they can kiss their Wii goodbye. This thought experiment comes from the author Marcus Buckingham, and what it reveals is that we’re wired to focus on problems rather than strengths. It would be the rare parent who’d say, “Wow, honey, you’ve really got a strength in English. I wonder how we can encourage that.” You’ve probably had friends spend hours analyzing all the problems in their relationships, but have they ever spent hours analyzing why things are working so well?
From Harvard Business Review: Neuroscientists have long understood that the brain can rewire itself in response to experience — a phenomenon known as neuroplasticity. But until recently, they didn’t know what causes gray matter to become plastic, to begin changing. Breakthrough research by a team at MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory has documented one type of environmental feedback that triggers plasticity: success. Equally important and somewhat surprising: Its opposite, failure, has no impact.
From FastCompany: It’s become a classic business mantra: you learn more from your failures than from your successes. But what if that idea is all wrong? Alex Bogusky, co-chairman of Crispin Porter + Bogusky, believes it is — and recent MIT research showing that we learn more from success backs him up. “You create a fearful culture where you spend a lot of time looking at where you screwed up,” he says. Instead, his company has bred a culture in which success is celebrated, and failure is forgotten.
Learning Substrates in the Primate Prefrontal Cortex and Striatum: Sustained Activity Related to Successful Actions
From Neuron: Learning from experience requires knowing whether a past action resulted in a desired outcome. The prefrontal cortex and basal ganglia are thought to play key roles in such learning of arbitrary stimulus-response associations. Previous studies have found neural activity in these areas, similar to dopaminergic neurons’ signals, that transiently reflect whether a response is correct or incorrect. However, it is unclear how this transient activity, which fades in under a second, influences actions that occur much later. Here, we report that single neurons in both areas show sustained, persistent outcome-related responses. Moreover, single behavioral outcomes influence future neural activity and behavior: behavioral responses are more often correct and single neurons more accurately discriminate between the possible responses when the previous response was correct.