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First World Congress on Positive Psychology Kicks Off Today With Talks by Two of the World's Most Renowned Psychologists, Martin Seligman and Philip Zimbardo, in Philadelphia, Birthplace of Positive Psychology

Sponsored by the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA)

PHILADELPHIA, June 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The First World Congress on Positive Psychology, an international conference sponsored by the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA), kicks off in Philadelphia today with talks by two of the world's most renowned psychologists.

  • Martin Seligman University of Pennsylvania Fox Leadership Professor of Psychology & Founding Director of the Positive Psychology Center
  • Philip Zimbardo, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Stanford University

Seligman and Zimbardo will present groundbreaking research on how the science of positive psychology is changing the way we live our lives on an individual, societal, and global level.

They will present new answers in the age-old quest for the good life, sharing their latest research and ideas for increasing happiness in the contemporary world.

Additionally, an international audience of researchers, practitioners, and professionals from every continent will share latest findings, insights, and information. Symposia, poster sessions, workshops, and informal round table discussions will emphasize leading-edge research, as well as applications of the fascinating science in a variety of fields -- from business to education to medicine.

The inaugural international conference takes place June 18th - June 21st, 2009 at the Sheraton Philadelphia City Center.

Founded in 1998 by Dr. Martin Seligman, the burgeoning field of positive psychology focuses on the study and practice of what is right in the world -- the positive emotions, strengths, and virtues that make individuals, institutions, and institutions thrive.

Featured Speakers and Schedule Highlights

  • David Cooperrider -- Discovery and Design of Positive Institutions
  • Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi -- Positive Psychology & Self-Image of What it is to Be Human
  • Antonella Delle Fave (Italy) -- Do We Really Pursue Happiness?
  • Ed Diener -- New Findings on Happiness
  • Shelly Gable -- Let the Good Times Role : Positive Interactions in Close Relationships
  • Giovanni Fava (Italy) -- Well-Being Therapy
  • Raymond Fowler -- Positive Health : How to Die Young as Late as Possible
  • Barbara Fredrickson -- The Path to Flourishing
  • Alexandra Freund (Switzerland) -- Successful Aging
  • Michael Frese (Germany) -- Proactive Behavior at Work
  • Anthony Grant (Australia) -- Evidence-Based Coaching
  • Hans Henrik Knoop (Denmark) -- Applied Positive Psychology on Prime Time TV
  • Richard Layard (UK) -- Happiness and Public Policy
  • Yong-Lin Moon (Korea) -- The Contribution of Positive Psychology to Korean Society
  • Christopher Peterson -- Character Strengths
  • Shane Lopez -- Courage in Sport
  • George Vaillant -- The Future of Positive Psychology
  • Robert Vallerand (Canada) -- The Psychology of Passion
  • Carmelo Vazquez (Spain)--- Positive Side of Trauma
  • Ruut Veenhoven (The Netherlands) -- Happiness Research Findings
  • Joar Vitterso (Norway) -- A Functional Approach to Human Growth and Well-Being
  • Matthew White (Australia) -- Positive Education

The international diverse audience will have the opportunity to discuss latest research, insights, and best practices and interact with like-minded people who focus on studying what is best in life and how to create more of it.

"The World Congress objectives are threefold," remarked Dr. Christopher Peterson, IPPA Program Chair and Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan. "After attending the First World Congress on Positive Psychology, participants should be better able to understand, discuss, and critique theoretical perspectives in positive psychology; integrate findings from the latest basic research in positive psychology into their own ongoing or anticipated program of research or practice; and use positive interventions effectively in personal and professional settings," he remarked.

An estimated 1,500 attendees - including researchers, clinicians, educators, students, business owners, coaches, and consultants - are expected at IPPA's inaugural World Congress.

"In just its first year of existence, IPPA has grown to thousands of members from 80 countries, attesting to the increasing global interest in the burgeoning field of positive psychology," observed James Pawelski, Executive Director of IPPA, and the Director of Education in the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, where he directs the Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) Program (the world's first degree program in positive psychology).

Since its inception in 1998, the field of positive psychology has seen an investment of tens of millions of dollars in research, the founding of several scientific journals, and the development of masters and Ph.D. programs in leading universities.

The International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA) was created to promote the science and practice of positive psychology and to facilitate communication and collaboration among researchers and practitioners around the world who are interested in positive psychology.

For more information, please visit

SOURCE International Positive Psychology Association
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