Motivation and emotion/Textbook/Motivation/Positive thinking

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Motivation and Positive Thinking[edit]

Epiphany-bookmarks.svg This page is part of the Motivation and emotion textbook. See also: Guidelines.
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Case study: The Optimist and the Pessimist[edit]

Pessimists think the worst in a given situation.

Three women were meant to meet at a restaurant at 5.00pm. Two of the women arrived on time, however Angie was running late. Time continued to tick by. At 5.15pm one of the women, Maria could not help but look at her watch and began to feel anxious. Lucy, the other woman saw this and told her not too worry. Lucy ordered a drink and did not think any more of it as Angie was renowned for being late. Another 10 minutes passed. Maria could not stop looking at the time and expressed her worry, suggesting that Angie may have been involved in a car accident. Lucy remained calm, reminding Maria that Angie was coming from work and was most probably stuck in peak hour traffic. Maria did not even listen to Lucy’s explanation. Panicking further, Maria tried calling Angie to find out where she was. Angie did not answer, reinforcing Maria’s worry even further. Lucy reminded Maria that Angie was driving and that she cannot answer her phone while driving. Another ten minutes went by and Angie rushed in. Lucy said “Look, there she is, she is just fine like I told you.” Maria was still not convinced, rushing over to their friend to see if she was ok. It turned out that Angie had to stay back for an important meeting at work. Lucy and their friend started talking and began looking at the menu. Maria however, did not believe her friend entirely, still thinking that there must be another, more troublesome explanation for her friend’s late arrival. She was so anxious that she did not eat and continued to think about what ‘could’ have happened for the rest of the night.

This example outlines two different thinking styles. The first of these is the optimist, one who anticipates that things will work out. The other is that of the pessimist, one who expects the worst outcomes in any given situation (Seligman, 1998). The way in which people interpret events influences how individuals perceive their world and in turn how they act within it (Seligman, 1998). This chapter will highlight this difference in thinking patterns. With a main focus on optimistic thinking, this chapter will outline how positive thinking motivates the individual as well as what motivates an individual to think optimistically.

Learning Outcomes[edit]

  • Define positive thinking and motivation
  • Describe the varying relationships between positive thinking and motivation
  • Understand how an individual can change their thinking patterns
  • Identify what motivates an individual to think positively and how this can be achieved.


Motivation is directed energy toward a behaviour which is constant and strong. This behaviour aims to achieve a particular goal and is able to begin, continue, change course and cease (Reeve, 2009). Both external and internal motives provide this direction and energy. These motives are made up of an individual’s needs, cognitions, emotions and external events (Reeve, 2009).

Intrinsic Motivation[edit]

Intrinsic motivation is defined by an intrinsic want to improve an individual’s capabilities and pursue their interests and goals (Reeve, 2009). A person is intrinsically motivated when they undertake a behaviour on their own without the influence of an external reward. As a result, extrinsic motivation or external coercion, sees lower performance outcomes than intrinsic motivation (Ryan & Deci, 2000). This is because an intrinsically motivated person’s productivity is increased, their level of engagement is enhanced and they are more likely to pursue a challenging goal for a longer period of time. For example, someone who is intrinsically motivated at university will remain more focused than someone who is externally movtivated. They will inevitably undergo a process of a high quality learning, increasing their creativity and well-being. This heightened well-being will see an emergence of positive feelings and cognitions, decreasing stress and anxiety and inevitably creating a more optimistic person.

Self Determination Theory[edit]

The Self Determination Theory focuses on the relationship between personality and motivation. In particular, the theory analyses self regulating behaviours and how they are influenced by one’s internal resources. In doing so, it explores personality development by investigating both individual tendencies for development and inherent psychological needs. It examines how these two aspects of an individual combine in order to determine the link between both personality and intrinsic motivation (Ryan & Deci, 2000). In turn, this allows one to determine which external events promote positive development between the two.

The theory states that there are three fundamental psychological needs. These include autonomy, competence and relatedness. Only when all of these needs are satisfied does someone function at the optimal level, which increases personal growth, social development and well-being (Ryan & Deci, 2000). Autonomy is when an individual has control over their environment and its rewards. An autonomous act is directed by an individuals own interests and their decision to partake in a behaviour. Competence is how capable someone is and feels within a particular environment and relatedness is defined by a person’s want to engage in warm, respectful relationship. When an individual is satisfied in each of these needs they are psychologically or mentally healthy (Ryan & Deci, 2000).

The intrinsically motivated individual is not controlled by external rewards. This type of person is more excitable, interested and has an increased sense of self-esteem. These three factors, autonomy, competence and relatedness all see the individual performing at a higher cognitive level (Ryan & Deci, 2000). Even the most successful people report lower levels of well-being when pursuing extrinsically motivated goals. Therefore, it can be said that attaining an extrinsic goal is not necessarily psychologically beneficial, reinforcing the idea that intrinsic goals increase levels of well-being (Ryan & Deci, 2000).

What is Positive Thinking?[edit]

When someone has optimistic expectancies for their future, s/he is thinking positively.

Throughout the world, happiness is seen as the ultimate aspiration within people’s lives. Happiness can be defined by feeling pleasurable and being satisfied in each aspect of a person’s life (Martin, 2004). A person’s happiness is directly related to their state of mental health. A mentally healthy person:

  • Accepts themselves and has heightened self-esteem
  • Attempts to increase their potential
  • Is autonomous in their decision making
  • Has realistic views on world events
  • Has a sense of self-mastery and
  • Maintains goal directed behaviour (Snyder & Lopez, 2007).

As you can imagine, a mentally healthy person is more likely to think in a positive manner. Positive thinking, like optimism, can be defined by an individual having positive expectancies for their future (Scheier & Carver, 1993). This positive mindset is said to begin from childhood, where it is learned form modeling the behaviour of parents and peers (Snyder & Lopez, 2007). This type of thinking is directly linked to motivation. This is because the behaviours and decisions that individuals make, as well as expectations of what may occur are directly influenced by one’s cognitions. A positive thinker will set attainable goals and attempt to achieve these despite their complexity. However, this same person will also know when to separate themselves from a goal when it is too far out of reach (MacLeod & Moore, 2000). It is these expectancies that determine whether an individual will either give up or continue to work towards achieving their goal.

Physiological Aspects[edit]

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter which is released within the brain in both animals and humans. It has numerous functions and plays an important role within the central nervous system. In keeping with the theme of motivation, the function that we will be focusing on is dopamine’s role in the brain’s motivation and reward system (Dunnett, Bentivoglio, Bjorklund & Hokfelt, 2005). Dopamine creates positive feelings within the body when an individual engages in a pleasurable activity and is also released in expectation of a positive event. The positive feeling that one receives when engaging in a positive activity allows the individual to determine which life events cause these feelings to develop and other environments that could have the same affect. This is viewed as a type of positive reinforcement (Bressan & Crippa, 2005). If an individual feels good, they will continue to seek these environments and engage in the behaviours that cause dopamine to be released. So it can therefore be said that the chance of this behaviour occurring in the future is increased (Bressan & Crippa, 2005). In terms of positive thinking, dopamine increases happy emotions, which increases positive cognitions, optimal functioning and well being.


Well-being is defined as a satisfied state of happiness and flourishing health. Schmutte & Ryff’s (1997) studies suggest that there are six components of psychological well being and positive functioning. These are self acceptance, personal growth, purpose in life, environmental mastery, autonomy and positive relations with others. Each of these dimensions contribute to how positively an individual views themselves and their potential within a given environment. As a result, this directly influences an individual’s goals and actions they decide to undertake. These are explained in more detail below:

Self Acceptance:

This is seen when an individual maintains a positive attitude about themselves. They are positive about their past experiences and accept most aspects of themselves (Snyder & Lopez, 2007). Eg. “I like who I am, I have no regrets.”

Personal Growth:

These people are open to new experiences. They feel as if they are intelligent and have the potential to develop themselves further (Snyder & Lopez, 2007). Eg. “Life will always change and in doing so I will continue to grow as a person. I think new experiences will challenge how I think.”

Purpose in Life:

Someone who has purpose in life believes that their past is meaningful and has a set of goals and sense of purpose for the future (Snyder & Lopez, 2007). Eg. “I have set goals that I would like to achieve in the future.”

Environmental Mastery:

The ability to choose an environment which is suitable and feel as if they are in control (Snyder & Lopez, 2007). Eg. “I have control over my life and can manage whatever comes my way.”


An autonomous person has personal standards that they adhere to and are not easily influenced by others. They are independent and regulated internally (Snyder & Lopez, 2007). Eg. “Despite others thinking the opposite way to me, I am confident in my views.”

Positive Relations with Others:

An individual is able to engage in trusting relationships with others in a give and take relationship (Snyder & Lopez, 2007). Eg. “ I try and do what I can for others and always make time for my friends.”

Individuals high on each of these dimensions flourish in their lives. Those who do not are said to suffer as they adopt a more pessimistic thinking style, decreasing their well-being. As these components determine how an individual will act in their environment, dimensions highlight not only how successful an individual is within their environment but whether they will choose to put themselves in a situation in the first place (Schmutte & Ryff, 1997). Living life with optimistic cognitions such as these sees an increase in superior athletic and academic performance. Productivity and satisfaction in relationships are also increased. Pessimistic thinking is also highly correlated with depression, which indicates that optimistic thinking benefits both physical and mental health (Snyder & Lopez, 2007). Whether a person can cope with a stressful situation can also be determined by both their hardiness and resilience.

Resilience and Hardiness[edit]

An individual is hardy or resilient when they are able to turn a stressor into a positive outcome.

Hardiness and resilience are both predictors of someone’s well-being and as a consequence, determine whether someone’s cognitions are positive or negative in nature. Hardiness is a combination of action patterns which enable an individual to turn a prospective disaster or stressor into a growth opportunity (Maddi, 2006). When faced with trauma, resilience is the ability to adapt positively (Campbell-Sills & Stein, 2007). Therefore, being either hardy or resilient is the ability to turn stress into a positive outcome. Research states that in doing so, this enhances an individual’s physical and mental health and increases success (Maddi, 2006).

Hardiness attitudes are cognitive and growth-oriented. They are comprised of a set of traits known as the 3C’s, commitment, control and challenge. These attitudes contribute to the stress resistance of a person which enables them to overcome adversity (Maddi, 2006). Throughout a stressful period, if an individual is strong in each of these attitudes, they will want to remain in control as they view stress as an opportunity for growth. This allows a hardy individual to overcome a potential disaster which then enhances both their physical and mental health (Maddi, 2006). Hardy people are more inclined to care for themselves under stress and have a supportive social life. This enables the person to perform difficult tasks, avoid rule breaking behaviour as well as decrease the likelihood of suffering from obesity, cancer and cardiovascular disease (Cole, Field & Harris, 2004).

Resilience is the ability for an individual to be able to adapt positively after a stressful or traumatic situation. A person's level of resilience is defined by the strength of this success, if an individual were not able to overcome this adversity they would not be seen as resilient (Maddi, 2006). It appears that there are a number of psychological processes that are involved in resilience. These processes explain why a person has been resilient in a particular condition, these are referred to as coping reactions. Resilience is often referred to as a personality trait influenced by biological, environmental and psychological factors (Maddi, 2006). This means that resilience is affected by the different social environments in which people live and how they process information (Campbell-Sills & Stein, 2007). Like hardy people, a resilient individual also maintains better physical and mental health than those who are not. By analysing the hardy and resilient person, it is evident that these personality traits determine one's cognitive perspective on stressful situations and as a result, how they choose to act.

Positive Psychology[edit]

Learned Optimism[edit]

Learned optimism helps someone to persist, it attempts to explain negative outcomes by blaming the outer environment for its cause, distancing the individual from a negative event (Snyder & Lopez, 2007). It appears that throughout history, psychology has focused on curing suffering resulting from mental illness, divorce, death and abuse (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000). By only focusing on the weaknesses of individuals, this has left modern day psychologists next to useless when devising ways to prevent these weaknesses. This has brought about the development of positive psychology. Rather than trying to cure what is broken, positive psychology aims to focus on people’s strengths and build their resilience (Seligman, 1998). In doing so, individuals are given the motivation they need to make decisions, preferences and choices in their lives that are masterful and successful in often hopeless situations. Positive psychology’s final aim is to help people live not only productive, but happy lives through the use of positive thinking.


Martin E. P. Seligman, pictured on the right, has a strong influence in modern day positive psychology.

Martin E.P.Seligman is often referred to as the founder of positive psychology, he is the main reason for the growing interest within the field today. The opening case highlighted that a person’s thinking has consequences on their behaviour. When compared to pessimists, optimistic people appear to perform better in all aspects of their lives. Their health appears to increase, age does not affect their physical and mental performance to the same degree and they are more successful at both school and the workplace (Snyder & Lopez, 2007). However, the good news is that research states that individuals can choose how they think, which means that pessimists can learn to be optimists.

Seligman (1998) touches on the idea of learned helplessness and explanatory style in his theory of personal control. Learned helplessness is defined by believing that anything you do will not appease a situation and sees people give up as a result. For example, someone may not apply for a job because someone else will be chosen over them as they don’t think they are good enough. Explanatory style is how someone explains why an event has occurred. An optimistic explanatory style does not show learned helplessness, for example, if an optimistic person failed a test, they would attribute their failure to the level of difficulty (Seligman, 1998). A negative explanatory style on the other hand sees the opposite of this, where a person would blame their own stupidity for the low grade. In turn, an individual’s explanatory style predicts just how capable or incapable someone will be when faced with obstacles in everyday life (Seligman, 1998). Differing types of therapy attempt to change these thought patterns.

Cognitive Therapy[edit]

Cognitive Therapy aims to change the thinking styles of pessimist people through the following five ways.

  1. The individual concerned must be aware of their automatic thoughts. These are the immediate cognitions that someone experiences in a situation. They are persistent in nature.
  2. The individual must gain evidence to contradict the negative automatic thought, attributing the cause of the situation to an outside influence, rather than a personal one
  3. A new, positive explanation for the event must be attributed to the negative event
  4. One must sidetrack their thoughts to either positive thoughts or none in an attempt to control their thinking style
  5. In doing so the individual concerned is able to identify these negative thoughts and ponder whether they are actually true (Seligman, 1998).

By engaging in cognitive therapy, this changes the pessimistic thinking style to an optimistic one. However, this only works if an individual is intrinsically motivated to change their patterns of thinking in the first place. It is the individual concerned that chooses to make this change in order to feel better and maintain a more positive outlook on life (Seligman, 1998). This highlights how intrinsic motivation plays a role in changing someone’s initial negative cognitions to positive ones.

Solution Focused Therapy[edit]

With help, a pessimist can learn to become an optimist.

Solution Focused Therapy is a brief therapy designed by Steve de Shazer which aims to find solutions to problems. It is reported to have high success rates in various instances where patient’s lives have changed dramatically in as little as three sessions. These sessions see clients identifying a problem within their lives that they would like to change. With the help of a therapist, they are able to choose attainable goals in order to overcome these obstacles (O’Connell, 2005). By starting off with a small attainable goal towards overcoming a more prominent issue this increases the client’s sense of self mastery. For example, the conversation between the therapist and the client may go something like this:

Therapist: We can really only focus on one problem at any given time. What issue is concerning you most at this point in time?
Client: My drug abuse, however this is also influenced by my schizophrenia.
Therapist: Once we solve your drug addiction, if this is still an issue, then we can move on to your other problems (Macdonald, 2007).

This therapy sees the therapist taking on an empathetic role when treating the patient across a multitude of circumstances (O’Connell, 2005). In doing so, therapists must show that they believe the patient will achieve their goals in the given time frame. They must also remind themselves of their client’s goal and act as if the current session could be the last to increase treatment quality. Evidence shows that by making patients feel competent and encouraging them to aspire to attainable goals, they feel more empowered and are better able to implement these strategies into their lives (O’Connell, 2005). This is significantly highlighted in what is referred to as the miracle question.

Therapist: Imagine that you wake up tomorrow, and a miracle has occurred, your problem is solved. What would be the first indicator to you that this has happened?
Patient: I would be happy and not feel the need to take any drugs
Therapist: Who would be the first person to notice this change?
Patient: My family, they would be so proud and joyful (Macdonald, 2007).

This question sees patients thinking in a different, more positive way and gives them further motivation to attain their goals in order to achieve this possible future outcome. In turn, patients adopt a more positive thinking style and this potential outcome intrinsically motivates the individual to achieve their goals.

Try This: Mini Therapy[edit]

  • Identify three good things you would like to happen tomorrow
  • Think of one thing that you do not want to happen in the upcoming days
  • Imagine what you want not to happen as a circle that is getting smaller and smaller
  • Of the three good things you want to happen tomorrow imagine the least important one getting smaller and smaller.
  • Imagine the small circle of what you want not to happen getting so small it is hard to see
  • Let go of what you want not to happen. Say goodbye.
  • Of the two good things you want to happen tomorrow, imagine the least important one getting smaller and smaller
  • Focus your mind on the one good thing that remains as the most important for tomorrow
  • See this good thing happening in your mind’s eye
  • Practice having this good thing happen in your mind
  • When you awaken tomorrow, focus on the good thing happening
  • Repeat to yourself during the day, “I make this positive possible.”
  • Repeat the phrase “I choose how to focus my thoughts.”

(Snyder & Lopez, 2007, pp. 13-14 )

This experiment aims to inform people that they have far more control over their thoughts than they know. By focusing on what people want in their lives, rather than be reactive people are more likely to own what they have in their lives. Thinking about what people want to happen tends to increase positive thoughts and decrease the reactions people have when avoiding things (Snyder & Lopez, 2007).


Eastern thinking accepts that in life, both good and bad events will occur. Rather than seeing these misfortunes as a challenge, these problems are seen as potential triumphs. When confronted with obstacles, easterners appear to take on a problem solving approach, seeking to find meaning in the positive and negative that enters their lives. Unlike Western thinking which seeks physical rewards in life, Easterners seek spiritual rewards in the afterlife and attempt to lead a more fulfilling life in doing so (Snyder & Lopez, 2007). The intrinsic motivation to achieve optimum cognitive functioning is highlighted in Taoism, Buddhism and Hinduism.


Followers of Tao must live by his work. The way, refers to movement, method, direction and thought. Tao is an energy that everyone and everything is surrounded by. Taoism beliefs state that there can be no light without dark, and that this is why negative periods in one’s life are bearable. The goal of Taoism is to achieve spontaneity and a natural sense in life. Someone who encompasses this view will automatically functions at an optimal level as if it were natural (Snyder & Lopez, 2007).


Buddhist’s follow the teaching of Buddha, who states that suffering is brought about by the human emotion of desire. Buddhists believe that true, inner peace cannot be reached if one has cravings for more. Buddhism describes several virtues which must be obtained in order to overcome desire. These include love (maitri), joy (mudita) and compassion (karuna). In order to reach these virtues, the individual must remove the desire from their lives, putting an end to suffering. When an individual’s desires disappear, this state is referred to as Nirvana and the individual is then deemed as being free (Snyder & Lopez, 2007).


Finally, Hindus believe in two types of after life. The first is reincarnation where the spirit returns to earth after death. The second is non-reincarnation where in life, the individual gained the highest knowledge possible. This is a more respected and leveraged path that Hindu’s attempt to achieve. To achieve this, one must live life to the full in a positive way in order to avoid reincarnation and having to repeat life’s lessons. To return means failure. As a result, this religion emphasises personal improvement and this sees Hindus continually striving for knowledge and working towards goals.(Snyder & Lopez, 2007).

These brief definitions of Eastern religious beliefs show yet another way in which the individual can be motivated to maintain a positive mind frame.

Just for Fun: Did You Know?[edit]

What we think whether it be positive or negative, we attract into our lives

In 2006, Rhonda Byrne released a book called ‘The Secret.’ The idea of ‘The Secret’ has been shared amongst some of the most successful and intelligent people in history. This Secret is actually the law of attraction and states that what we think we actually attract into our lives. We transmit a frequency through our thoughts, and as like attracts like, this results in our thoughts becoming things (Byrne, 2006). The Secret attempts to persuade people to think positively in order to draw good things into their lives. Byrne (2006) likens The Secret to a genie lamp, stating that this law can grant our every wish. By following the steps of asking, believing and receiving we can have anything we want, big or small. By focusing our thoughts on what we do want, not what we do not want, we can apparently create our own lives. However throughout this process, one must remain positive and be grateful for what they already have in order for The Secret to be successful (Byrne, 2006). To learn more, see the official The Secret website.


This chapter focused on the relationship between positive thinking and motivation. It is evident that across an array of situations, both positive thinking and motivation influence one another. Not only is this seen physiologically, but it is also witnessed in relation to coping styles, well-being, learned optimism, positive psychology and religious beliefs. Motivation is able to help individuals achieve their goals of changing how they think, improving their mental, physical and everyday functioning as a result. Positive thinking however, can also motivate the individual to achieve their goals. This is highlighted through a person’s coping mechanisms and by their religious beliefs. In conclusion, this chapter has outlined how positive thinking motivates the individual as well as what motivates an individual to think positively in the first place.

Key Terms[edit]

Automatic Thoughts: Immediate cognitions that are experienced when an event intially takes place (Seligman, 1998)

Autonomy: When an individual has control over their behaviour and environment (Ryan & Deci, 2000)

Competence: How capable a person is in a particular environment (Ryan & Deci, 2000)

Dopamine: A neurotransmitter released in the brain that plays an important roel in the central nervous system (Dunnett, et al., 2005)

Explanatory Style: How an individual attributes external or internal causes to an event (Seligman, 1998)

Extrinsic Motivation: The motivation to achieve a goal at the prospect of receiving an external reward (Ryan & Deci, 2000)

Happiness: A feeling of pleasure and satisfaction (Martin, 2004)

Hardiness:A combination of action patters enabling an individual to turn a stressor into an opportunity of growth (Maddi, 2006)

Intrinsic Motivation: The intrinsic want to improve one's indivdiual capabilities, goals and interests (Reeve, 2009)

Learned Helplessness: Believing that anything you do will not matter and giving up as a result (Seligman, 1998)

Motivation: A combination of directed engergy towards a behaviour which is constant and strong (Reeve, 2009)

Optimist: A person that beleives any negative situation will work out in the end (Seligman, 1998)

Pessimist: An individual that expects the worst possible outcome in any given situation (Seligman, 1998)

Positive Thinking: A thought process whereby someone has positive expectancies about their future (Scheier & Carver, 1993)

Relatedness: A person's want to enage in a warm, reciprocal relationship (Ryan & Deci, 2000)

Resilience: Tha ability to adapt positively when faced with trauma (Campbell-Sills & Stein, 2007)

Well-being: Is a satisfied state of happiness and flourishing health (Ryff & Schmutte, 1997)

See also

These links will guide you to other relevant text book chapters


Bressan, R. A., & Crippa, J. A. (2005). The role of dopamine in reward and pleasure behaviour – review of data from preclinical research. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 111(427), 14-21. Retrieved from 20of%20dopamine%20in%20reward%20and%20pleasure.pdf

Byrne, R. (2006). The secret. China: Beyond Words Publishing.

Campbell-Sills, L., & Stein, M. B. (2007). Psychometric analysis and refinement of the connor-davidson resilience scale (CD- RISC): validation of a 10-item measure of resilience. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 20, 1019-1028. doi: 10.1002/jts.20271

Cole, M. S., Field, H. S., & Harris, S. G. (2004). Student learning motivation and psychological hardiness: interactive effects on students’ reactions to a management class. Academy of Management Learning and Education, 3 (1), 64-85. Retrieved from

Dunnett, S.B., Bentivoglio, M., Bjorklund, A., & Hokfelt, T. (2005). Handbook of chemical neuroanatomy dopamine (1st ed.). Retrieved from id=p4PGMV2gxsEC&printsec=frontcover&dq=dopamine&hl=en&ei=fYzWTKnqG8SecM7P1K4L&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CDMQ6AEw:AA#v=onepage&q&f=false

Macdonald, A. (2007). Solution-Focused Therapy, theory, research and practice. Retrieved from id=5SBh_UvFmYIC&printsec=frontcover&dq=solution+focused+therapy&hl=en&ei=KmzVTIPzEdD4cb3nya4L&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum:=3&ved=0CEEQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q&f=false

MacLeaod, A. K., & Moore R. (2000). Positive thinking revisited: positive cognitions, well-being and mental health. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 7, 1-10. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1099-0879(200002)

Maddi, S. R. (2006). Hardiness: the courage to grow from stresses. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 1, 160-168. doi: 10.1080/17439760600619609.

Martin, P. (2004). Making happy people the nature of happiness and its origins in childhood. London, UK: Fourth Estate.

O’Connell, B. (2005). Brief therapies series. Retrieved from id=NfjcRtTasVEC&printsec=frontcover&dq=solution+focused+therapy&hl=en&ei=62bVTMe5HcilcOrCxdQL&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum:=1&ved=0CDYQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false

Reeve, J. (2009). Understanding motivation and emotion. New Jersey, USA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000) Self determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55, 68-78. doi: 10.1037//0003-066X.55.1.68

Scheier, M. F., & Carver C. S. (1993). On the power of positive thinking: the benefits of being optimistic. American Psychological Society, 2, 26-32. doi: 10.1111/14678721.ep10770572

Schmutte, P. S., & Ryff, C. D. (1997). Personality processes and individual differences. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73(3), 549-559. Retrieved from sid=google&auinit=PS&aulast=Schmutte&atitle=Personality+and+well- being:+Reexamining+methods+and+meanings&title=Journal+of+personality+and+social+psychology&volume=73&date=1997&spage=549&issn=0022:3514

Seligman, M. E. P. (1998). Learned optimism. New York, NY: Pocket Books.

Seligman, M. E. P., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology. American Psychologist, 55, 5-14. doi: 10.1037//003- 066X.55.1.5

Snyder, C. R. & Lopez, S. J. (2007) Positive psychology the scientific and practical explorations of human strengths. London, UK: Sage.