Journal of Positive Psychology 16 (3):289-297 (2020)

Michael Prinzing
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Evaluative claims and assumptions are ubiquitous in positive psychology. Some will deny this. But such disavowals are belied by the literature. Some will consider the presence of evaluative claims a problem and hope to root them out. But this is a mistake. If positive psychology is to live up to its raison d’être – to be the scientific study of the psychological components of human flourishing or well-being – it must make evaluative claims. Well-being consists in those things that are good for us, that make life go well. Thus, one cannot investigate this topic without making claims about what is good for people and what they have reason to do. It’s time, therefore, to embrace the fact that positive psychology is value-laden. Doing so would benefit the field by allowing for more rigorous theorizing, and – perhaps counterintuitively – increasing the field’s objectivity.
Keywords happiness  objectivity  positive psychology  subjective well-being  values  well-being
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Democratising Measurement: Or Why Thick Concepts Call for Coproduction.Anna Alexandrova & Mark Fabian - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 12 (1):1-23.
Well-Being and Pluralism.Polly Mitchell & Anna Alexandrova - forthcoming - Journal of Happiness Studies.

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