Speakers:

Ilona Boniwell
Ilona Boniwell
Positran, France
Short Bio CV Publications
Lucy Ryan
Lucy Ryan
Founding Director, Mindspring
Profile Mindspring
Sue Langley
Sue Langley
Founder and CEO, Langley Group of companies
Profile suelangley.com
Mads Bab
Mads Bab
CEO of Gnist
Short Bio Gnist
...

Summary:

Over the past few years, the notion of a “positive intervention” has risen to prominence, as it was discovered that certain intentional actions can be effective in increasing and sustaining happiness and other positive states, as well as in reducing depression and anxiety. Despite the evidence for their effectiveness, these interventions are not widely accepted in the organisational and/or coaching domains, often seen as too "fluffy" and removed from the realities of day-to-day business. The symposia will focus on the theory and emerging evidence behind using more pragmatic tangible and creative tools and facilitation methods in positive psychology coaching and training to communicate positive psychology concepts and solutions to the business and professional audience.

Research demonstrates that recipients of positive psychology, whether in training or coaching, are wanting to understanding the science, but equally need that science to be accessible. ‘Talk my Language’ is a strong theme from learners who thrive when empowered to receive in the science in kinaesthetic and visual ways. Lucy Ryan (UK) will present a business case study of helping a UK company survive - and thrive - through change through working with a positive psychology ‘toolkit’.

Handling emotions is a key skill for leaders in the future, according to the World Economic Forum. Sue Langley (Australia) will discuss how leaders’ emotional intelligence can be developed through the application of tangible tools, such as emotion and resilience cards.

Lego Serious Play provides a tangible method to apply positive psychology interventions through use of Lego model building. Mads Bab (Denmark) will explore how individuals and groups use metaphors and narratives to express deeper held thoughts and arrive to shared meaning. This method offers coaches and facilitators a framework that fits with their existing positive psychology toolbox and know how.

Finally, Ilona Boniwell (France, UK) will bring multiple threads together into a coherent framework and discuss recent research into the effectiveness of tangible interventions.

Chair:

Márta Csabai
Márta Csabai
University of Szeged, Hungary
Short Bio Publications

Co-Chair:

Tamás Martos
Tamás Martos
University of Szeged, Hungary
Short Bio Publications Abstract

Speakers:

Marta Bassi
Marta Bassi
University of Milano, Italy
Short Bio Publications Abstract
Peter J. Schulz
Peter J. Schulz
Universita della Svizzera italiana (USI), Switzerland
Short Bio Publications Abstract
Sara Kim
Sara Kim
University of Washington, USA
Short Bio Abstract
Viola Sallay
Viola Sallay
University of Szeged, Hungary
Short Bio Publications Abstract
...

Summary:

The last few decades have brought promising developments in the application of the bio-psycho-social approach in the integrated care models of healthcare. There is a growing need that the traditional medical view of diseases and their treatment should be gradually replaced by the emphasis on health promotion and a more democratic concept of provider-client interactions. These developments are partly facilitated by the fast increase and availability of (digital) health information, and the need for the extension of the health- illness spectrum by the dimension of general well-being. The invited papers of the symposium critically reflect on these developments and the challenges brought by them.

Marta Bassi (Italy) will present a working model of integrated care, the Care System Group, a research team comprising psychologists and physicians from nine centers in Northern, Central and Southern Italy.

Peter Schulz (Switzerland) will demonstrate how on one side the availability of digital information influences patients’ information search, but also the challenges for patient empowerment and autonomy.

The problems of patient autonomy and empowerment are critically reflected by Sara Kim (US), who will address the question of psychological safety in relation to speaking up and power dynamics in healthcare.

The complex, bio-psycho-social view of health and well-being is enlightened in the systems theory approach by Tamas Martos and Viola Sallay (HU), emphasizing the transactional processes between individuals and their personal niches and the relevance of these processes to health outcomes.
Abstract

Chair:

Lisa Vivoll Straume
Lisa Vivoll Straume
Ph.D. Psychology
Academic Director / MIND
Profile Publications
...

Speakers:

Joar Vitterso
Joar Vitterso
Department of Psychology
The Arctic University of Norway
Profile Abstract
Marit Christensen
Marit Christensen
Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
Profile Abstract
Benedicte Langseth-Eide
Benedicte Langseth-Eide
The Arctic University of Norway / MIND
Profile Abstract
Hakon Tveiteras
Hakon Tveiteras
MA Psychology / Executive coach / MIND
Profile Abstract
Dorthe Rygh Hestnes
Dorthe Rygh Hestnes
Head of HR, Wideroe
Profile Abstract
Thor Oyvind Olsen
Thor Oyvind Olsen
Vice Precident HR, Wideore
Abstract
...

Summary:

With an increasing demand for change ready, healthy, and high performing employees, positive psychology has made a huge leap into the practical field. Theories and models like the Job-Demand Resources Model, Self-Determination Theory, job-crafting and strength-based leadership have reached board rooms, leaders and HR-personnel, and have become popular approaches in organizational initiatives. Yet fame comes at a price. Science and practice represents two different worlds, speak different languages and measure success in different ways. For science to be applicable in practice, it has to be converted to simple, hands-on stories and tools. The organizational initiatives we eventually implement may thus be quite far from the statistical correlations of causes and effects that such initiatives seek to replicate. In the transition from real life to research, rules for scientific scrutiny defines the phrame. In the process of transforming needs, values, thoughts and feelings into means and standard deviations, we may loose some of the depth and complexity of being human. The aim of the present symposium is twofold: First, it is to take the audience on a travel from theory and models to research, practical tools, and eventually the story about benefits and barriers associated with practicing positive psychology in real life. Although the gap between research and practice is narrowing, we still have a lot to learn from each other. The present symposium seek to inspire for a closer collaboration between four perspectives with the same phenomenon in mind. Second, the travel is made through some of the key elements in applied positive psychology to illustrate why and how orgnaniational initiatives can promote healthy, fully functioning employees that are fit to master the demands and resources of worklife.

First, Prof. Joar Vitterso discusses the role of basic needs in a well-functioning work life, with a critical view on how needs are used to explain work motivation in some of the most popular theories and models.

Second, PhD Marit Christensen (NTNU) will present research on how organizational interventions aimed at building change ready, healthy, and work engaged empoloyees are more likely to succeed in bottom-up processes. Particularly, job crafting let personal resources come into play.

Third, PhD student Benedicte Langseth-Eide and MA Hakon Tveiteras will present practical tools used in leadership development and organizational initiatives aimed at promoting healthy and fully functioining employees and organizations. These tools are founded in positive psychology and based on research.

Finally, Thor Oyvind Olsen - HR director in the Norwegian flight company Wideroe - illustrates the benefits and barriers of implementing strength-based leadership and job crafting.

The present symposium provides theory, research, practical methods, and a real-life company case that have tested these theories and methods in a strength-based leadership development program. Consequently, the symposium contributes to minor the gap between research and practice.

Chair:

László Harmat
László Harmat
Institute of Psychology
Linnaeus University, Sweden
Short Bio Publications Abstract
...

Speakers:

Örjan de Manzano
Örjan de Manzano
Department of Neuroscience
Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
Profile Abstract
Tímea Magyaródi
Tímea Magyaródi
Institute of Psychology
Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary
Profile Abstract
Jef J.J. van den Hout
Jef J.J. van den Hout
Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Profile Abstract
Corinna Pfeifer
Corinna Pfeifer
Unit Applied Psychology
Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany
Profile Abstract
...

Summary:

Background: Flow is the subjective experience of high but effortless attention, loss of self-awareness, control, and enjoyment that can occur during active performance of challenging tasks. [1]. Flow has been studied in widely different activities ranging from e.g. sport, computer gaming, artistic creation and performance to work [2].

Aim: We are aiming to develop a symposium to discuss the new directions in flow research. We are focusing upon empirical works within flow research and discuss of the implications of the findings to future research. The symposium will introduce current approaches in flow research focus on creativity thinking and individual differences in flow proneness, team flow and flow synchronization.

László Harmat discuss the literature about flow experience during musical activities in relation to expertise, individual and group performances. Dr. Harmat will review studies using qualitative and quantitative research methods to assess “state” and “trait” flow experiences in relation to music performance, practice and musical composition and introduce some new directions and undergoing researches regarding this field.

Örjan de Manzano will present the benefit experiencing flow at work and investigate the phenotypic relation between the occupational requirement/importance of creative thinking and flow proneness during work.

Timea Magyaródi aimed to conceptualize and operationalize the possible phenomenon of flow synchronization in order to measure the related social interactions [3]. Based on the synchronization tendency of human interaction this coordination can be observed in case of flow experience. Team flow is defined as a shared experience of flow during the execution of interdependent personal tasks that serve the interest of the team, originating from an optimized team dynamic [4].

Jef van den Hout will introduce an interview study search for impediments to the experience of team flow. Dr. van den Hout will discuss prominent factors that can impede team flow experiences at the working place such as motivational, interpersonal, task-related and environmental issues.

Corinna Peifer will introduce a current project of European Flow Researcher Networks and aim at providing an overview of flow-research in the new millennium. At the end of the symposium we suggest a short discussion with the audience about future directions in flow research.

References
1. Csíkszentmihályi, M., Creativity: flow and the psychology of discovery and invention. 1997, New York, NY, USA: Harper Perennial.
2. Harmat, L., Orsted, F., Ullén, F., Sadlo, G.,Wright, J. (eds): Flow Experience: Empirical Research and Applications. Springer, 2016.
3. Magyaródi, T. (2016). Az áramlat - élmény vizsgálata társas helyzetben. Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem Pedagógiai és Pszichológiai Kar. Retrieved from https://doktori.hu/index.php?menuid=193&lang=HU&vid=16630
4. Van den Hout, J.J.J (2016). Team Flow: From Concept to Application. (Doctoral Dissertation). Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven.

Chair:

Michael F. Steger
Michael F. Steger
Director, Center for Meaning and Purpose
Professor of Psychology
Colorado State University
Short Bio
...

Speakers:

Tamás Martos
Tamás Martos
University of Szeged, Hungary
Short Bio Publications
Dóra G. Gudmundsdóttir
Dóra G. Gudmundsdóttir
Director of Determinants of Health and Wellbeing,
European Network for Positive Psychology Short Bio Publications
Bradley J. Conner
Bradley J. Conner
Associate Professor of Psychology
Director, Masters in Addiction Counseling Program
Colorado State University
Short Bio
Helena Águeda Marujo
Helena Águeda Marujo
School of Social and Political Sciences – ISCSP
Universidade de Lisboa
Colorado State University
Short Bio
Luis Miguel Neto
Luis Miguel Neto
Centro for Administration and Public Policies - CAPP
Universidade de Lisboa
Short Bio
...

Abstract

Meaning in life research has exploded over the past 5 years, with approximately 1200 of 2700 total citations of the phrase “meaning in life” occurring since 2012 (PsychINFO). Symbolically, meaning has become a standard, and perhaps foundational, part of the positive psychology canon. Practically, this abundance of data on the topic suggests that it is no longer possible for anyone to master the body of relevant knowledge. Aspirationally, scholars and practitioners may set their sights on translating research into suggestions and applications for improving personal and societal welfare. This symposium seeks to present a diversity of approaches to the next big phases of meaning research. Talks will cover meaning and adolescent mental health, meaning in the context of the divisive US Presidential Election, meaning in the workplace, meaning research on a national epidemiological scale, and conclude with an exploration of the potential for relational and collective meaning to promote peace.


Introduction to the Symposium: Meaning in Surprising and Unsurprising Places
Michael F. Steger
Director, Center for Meaning and Purpose
Professor of Psychology
Colorado State University

This brief talk will provide an overview of the symposium and use data collected during the 2016 United States Presidential Election to suggest that meaning should be considered to be a natural part of how we understand human psychological functioning in our societies. These data show that although voters for each candidate reported momentary deviations in daily meaning in life on, and immediately after, Election Day, their overall trajectories across a three-week period was flat. This suggests that meaning is both responsive to important social events and also resembles a stable resource for those who have it. If this is so, then the rapidly mounting research demonstrating the importance of meaning to human welfare requires an expansion in the scope and application to personal and societal matters of importance. The main talks of this symposium show some important examples of such an expansion.


Meaningful work experiences among Hungarian employees: a socioecological approach
Tamás Martos 1, PhD, Viola Sallay 1, PhD, Balázs Matuszka 2, PhD

1 Institute of Psychology, University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary
2 Institute of Psychology, Pazmany Peter Catholic University, Budapest, Hungary

Keywords: personal projects, meaningfulness of work, self-concordance, environmental fit, person-oriented approach

Background: Meaningful work is an important ingredient for a meaningful life. But what do meaningful work experiences depend on? Socioecological psychology emphasizes the role of transactional processes between the person and its sociophysical environment in the emergence of subjective experiences. Pursuit of personal projects (e.g., Little, 2014) represents one of the core processes in this transaction. In this sense, meaningfulness of work (MW) indicates the extent of the perceived fit between one’s work related personal projects and the self as well as the perceived fit between the projects and the workplace environment.
Aim: In a sample of Hungarian employees we tested the hypothesis that intrapersonal and environmental fit in work-related personal projects (i.e., self-concordance as well as perceived support and concordance with team goals, respectively) independently predicted MW. Moreover, we aimed at finding patterns of these characteristics using a person-oriented approach and identified associations of these patterns with experiences of MW.
Method: We used an adapted version of the Personal Project Assessment procedure in a sample of 1940 Hungarian employees. Autonomous and (negatively) controlled reasons for work projects indicated aspects of intrapersonal fit, while support from colleagues and concordance of the project with the team’s goals represented environmental fit. We assessed the extent of MW with Work and Meaning Inventory (Steger et al., 2012) as the output variable.
Results: Higher self-concordance and team-concordance in projects predicted higher MW scores even after controlling for satisfaction with work. Person-oriented analysis of personal project characteristics revealed four types of motivational profiles of the employees: “committed” (high autonomous and low controlled motivation with high support and team-concordance), “decided” (medium autonomous and high controlled motivation with medium support and team-concordance), “fighter” (medium autonomous and low controlled motivation with low support and team-concordance) and “oppressed” (very low autonomous and low controlled motivation with low support and team-concordance) patterns. The “Committed” group had the highest and the “Oppressed” the lowest WAMI scores.
Conclusions: Our results indicate that the experience of meaningful work emerges as a joint result of a perceived fit between intrapersonal and environmental experiences at the workplace. Moreover, person-oriented analysis showed that specific combinations of these experiences had an effect on meaningfulness in one’s work. Subjective meaningfulness is a result of transactional processes between the person and its environment.


Relations between Specific Personality Traits and Meaning in Predicting Engagement in Health Risk Behaviors
Bradley J. Conner
Associate Professor of Psychology
Director, Masters in Addiction Counseling Program
Colorado State University

While research has examined relations between negative personality traits such as sensation seeking, impulsivity, and emotion dysregulation and engagement in health risk behaviors (e.g., substance misuse and high risk sexual behavior) and meaning and engagement in these same behaviors, there no research on interactions between the specific personality traits and meaning on engagement in these behaviors. Data from 2 different samples, a community sample of 580 college undergraduates and a clinical sample of 100 adolescents in an inpatient short-term residential hospital, were analyzed to determine bivariate relations between the personality traits and meaning and their interactive effects on engagement in health-risk behaviors. Meaning was measured with 2 subscales, presence and search, from The Meaning in Life Questionnaire (MLQ; Steger, 2010). Sensation seeking was measured with 2 subscales, Risk Seeking (RS) and Experience Seeking (ES), from the Sensation Seeking Personality Type Questionnaire (SSPT, Conner, 2018). Impulsivity was assessed with 4 subscales, Negative Urgency, Lack of Premeditation, Lack of Perseverance, and Positive Urgency, from the UPPS-P scale (Cyders et al., 2007). Emotion dysregulation was assessed with 6 subscales, nonacceptance of emotional responses, difficulty engaging in goal-directed behavior, impulse control difficulties, lack of emotional awareness, limited access to emotion regulation strategies, and lack of emotional clarity, of the Difficulty with Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS; Gratz & Roemer, 2004).

Presence was significantly negatively correlated with RS in both samples; significantly negatively correlated with all 6 of the subscales of the DERS in both the community and clinical samples; and significantly positively correlated with ES in only the community sample, and significantly negatively correlated with RS in the clinical sample. Search was significantly positively correlated with all of the subscales of the DERS except Awareness in the community sample but was only significantly negatively correlated with Awareness in the clinical sample. Search was only significantly positively associated with negative urgency while presence was significantly negatively associated with all 4 subscales of the UPPS-P in the community sample. Search and presence were significantly negatively correlated in both samples. Previous research has shown the sensation seeking, impulsivity and emotion dysregulation are robust predictors of engagement in health risk behaviors. In the current study, analyses indicated the presence moderates the relations between the personality traits and engagement in health risk behaviors such that higher presence disrupted the positive predictive pathways from personality to health risk behaviors in both the community and clinical samples. Implications are that presence is a leverage point for offsetting the impact of negative personality traits on engagement in health risk behaviors and that interventions attempting to reduce the risk associated with negative personality traits should focus on increasing presence of meaning.


Meaning at the National Level: Report from Iceland
Dora Gudmundsdottir
Department of Public Health, Iceland

Meaning has been studied almost exclusively at the individual level. Data from such research projects has indicated that those who report greater meaning in life also enjoy more desirable mental health, lower levels of problematic substance use, less suicidal ideation and behaviors, as well as better health and greater longevity. These associated benefits of meaning in life are also public health priorities, suggesting the importance to governments of analyzing meaning at the national level. Although there is one prior analysis of meaning at a cross-national level, no research has been published looking at a large cross-section of any single country. Although individual-level data are compelling, there are three central questions that must be answered to propose that meaning should be a consistent component of public health monitoring by states: (1) can meaning be reliably measured in large population studies?; (2) what are the predictors and concomitants of meaning on the national scale?; and (3) does meaning explain variance in important public health outcomes? This talk presents data collected in 2009, 2012, and 2017 from a substantial portion of the population of Iceland with an eye toward addressing each of these questions.


Contributions towards peace: Co-construction of collective meaning in community contexts
Helena Águeda Marujo
Luis Miguel Neto
School of Social and Political Sciences – ISCSP
Centro for Administration and Public Policies - CAPP
Universidade de Lisboa

Studies on Meaning follow a long tradition of thought and approaches, first in the philosophical domain, and more recently in an empirical scientific perspective. However, the concept has been mainly addressed as an intra-individual phenomenon. This kind of individual approach is extremely valuable, but doesn’t take into consideration all of its potentialities. Our line of research and though in positive psychology is dedicated to a relational and communitarian point of view, addressing directly pressing topics such as poverty and public happiness, identity transitions and resilience associated with unemployment, positive-constructive ways to manage conflict, balance between the social values of modernity and the quality of life in sustainable environments.
The purpose of this presentation is to explore the significance of a relational and collective perspective on meaning, using methodologies to promote social cohesion and positive peace.
We will present the guidelines of a UNESCO Chair on Education for Global Peace Sustainability, recently approved, that take into consideration diverse programs aimed at enriching the lives of minority and poverty populations, and the methods and results of several positive interventions and action-research projects implemented in the last ten years in Portugal and South Africa. They all converge to show how participative methods using particular forms of appreciative communication among diverse populations, namely the World Café, and the emergence of “third places”, can promote collective and collaborative meaning. It is the coordination of meaning that allows for a sense of common identity, connection and satisfaction that activates the necessary vitality that fuels the conjoint movement into the complex, uncertain and unpredictable human situations with a renewed hope in the future.