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About us
Our Team
– Advisory Panel
Hunter Region
Research & PhD Projects
Mission, Vision, Values
Our Charters
What is Positive Psychology?

RESEARCH & PHD PROJECTS
 

Whilst primarily practitioners, we also see part of our role as leaders in the field of Positive Psychology to add to the evidence base. Between us we have conducted numerous studies and published a significant number of journal articles. A number of our team members are currently conducting PhD research. Please find below a few examples of some of the current topics and a selection of previous research papers.

phd Projects

Mental Fitness - Paula Robinson

The term mental fitness is being increasingly used by psychologists, mental health practitioners and the general population however there is confusion about what the term means within the scientific and popular literature. To address this lack of consensus Paula Robinson has conducted a comprehensive review of the theory and evidence for mental fitness and developed a new model to represent the mental fitness concept. This research involved analysis of the evidence from psychology, positive psychology, physical fitness and the perceptions of the global community.

A baseline definition and four underlying principles for the term mental fitness was developed and then provided to an international expert panel for evaluation. This approach adhered to the rigorous systematic and validated Delphi methodology. The expert panel reached consensus based on the criteria provided thus providing a final definition, four underlying principles and a framework of mental fitness broadly aligned to physical fitness (i.e., strength, flexibility and endurance). This proactive model will enable greater understanding, measurement and effective interventions to improve mental fitness worldwide. More information available on request. 

Strengths based Leadership - Kelly daCosta

This study will use Appreciative Inquiry as a methodology and intervention in order to find and further develop strengths based leadership in an organizational setting. The setting is an NGO whose primary purpose is to support those with disabilities.

Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a philosophy that incorporates a collaborative approach and a process for creating positive change through discovering what is possible, applicable and provocative. In an organizational setting AI locates and emphasizes the life giving forces or the Positive Core of the organization to enable growth and change (Cooperrider, Whitney and Stavros, 2008). The first topic that will be addressed is using strengths to foster leadership at every level, and the second will be revolutionary partnerships.

Strengths come in many shapes and sizes; currently in psychology we can discreetly measure 60 strengths according to 3 dimensions (energy, performance and use) in a tool called the realize2. The realise2 was developed by Professor Alex Linley at the Centre for Applied Psychology (CAPP) in the UK and had not yet been tested in Australia. This area of research is new and essential as a way forward in positive and strengths based leadership, strengths based orgsanisations and appreciative inquiry. More information available on request.

 

EXAMPLES OF Previous Research/ PUBLICATIONS

Robinson, P. L., Oades, L. G., & Caputi, P. (2012). Conceptualising Mental Fitness. Manuscript sumbitted for publication.

Green, L.S., Robinson, P.L. & Oades, L.G. (2011). The role of positive psychology in creating the psychologically literate citizen. In J. Cranney & D. S. Dunn (Eds.), The psychologically literate citizen: Foundations and global perspectives. New York: Oxford University Press.

Green, S., Oades, L., Robinson, P. (2011). Positive education: Creating flourishing students, staff and schools, InPsych, The Bulletin of the Australian Psychological Society, April 2011.

Oades, L. G., Robinson, P., Green, S., & Spence, G. B. (2011): Towards a positive university, Journal of Positive Psychology, 6:6, 432-439.

Elliot, R. & Robinson, P. (2007). Optimising ‘leadership’: theory, practice and professionalism. The Organisational Psychologist. March.

Oades, L. G., Caputi, P., Robinson, P. M., & Partridge, B. (2005). A Contemporary Coaching Theory to Integrate Work and Life in Changing Times. In M. Cavanagh, A. M. Grant & T. Kemp (Eds.), Evidence-Based Coaching (Vol. 1). Bowen Hills, QLD: Australian Academic Press.


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