Title

The Negative Shadow Cast by Positive Psychology: Contrasting Views and Implications of Humanistic and Positive Psychology on Resiliency

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-14-2012

Originally Published In

The Humanistic Psychologist

Volume Number

40

Issue Number

1

Page Numbers

87-102

Abstract

Resiliency is the ability to survive, or even thrive, during adversity. It is a key construct within both humanistic and positive psychology, but each sees it from a contrasting vantage. Positive psychology decontextualizes resilience by judging it as a virtue regardless of circumstance, while humanistic psychology tends to view it in a more holistic way in relationship to other virtues and environmental affordances, clarifying how resiliency can actually be either a virtue or a vice depending upon circumstances. Adolf Hitler is presented as an example of a resilient person who would not be seen as virtuous, and the US Army Comprehensive Soldier Fitness study training war fighters in resiliency illustrates possible ethical problems with a decontextualized view of resiliency.