Massimini, F., & Delle Fave, A. (2000). Individual development in a bio–cultural perspective [Special issue]. , (1), 24–33. doi:10.1037//0003–066X.55.l.24. Biological and cultural inheritance deeply influence daily human behavior. However, individuals actively interact with bio–cultural information. Throughout their lives, they preferentially cultivate a limited subset of activities, values, and personal interests. This process, defined as psychological selection, is strictly related to the quality of subjective experience. Specifically, cross–cultural studies have highlighted the central role played by optimal experience or flow, the most positive and complex daily experience reported by the participants. It is characterized by high involvement, deep concentration, intrinsic motivation, and the perception of high challenges matched by adequate personal skills. The associated activities represent the basic units of psychological selection. Flow can therefore influence the selective transmission of bio–cultural information and the process of bio–cultural evolution.
Lilius, J. M., Worline, M. C., Maitlis, S., Kanov, J., Dutton, J. E., & Frost, P. (2008). The contours and consequences of compassion at work. , (2), 193–218. doi:10.1002/job.508. This paper describes two studies that explore core questions about compassion at work. Findings from a pilot survey indicate that compassion occurs with relative frequency among a wide variety of individuals, suggesting a relationship between experienced compassion, positive emotion, and affective commitment. A complementary narrative study reveals a wide range of compassion triggers and illuminates ways that work colleagues respond to suffering. The narrative analysis demonstrates that experienced compassion provides important sensemaking occasions where employees who receive, witness, or participate in the delivery of compassion reshape understandings of their co–workers, themselves, and their organizations. Together these studies map the contours of compassion at work, provide evidence of its powerful consequences, and open a horizon of new research questions.
Lester, P. B., McBride, S., Bliese, P. D., & Adler, A. B. (2011). Bringing science to bear: An empirical assessment of the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness program. , (1), 77–81. doi:10.1037/a0022083This article outlines the U.S. Army's effort to empirically validate and assess the Comprehensive Soldier Fitness (CSF) program. The empirical assessment includes four major components. First, the CSF scientific staff is currently conducting a longitudinal study to determine if the Master Resilience Training program and the Comprehensive Resilience Modules lead to lasting resilience development in soldiers. Second, the CSF program has partnered with other researchers to conduct a series of longitudinal studies examining the link between physiological, neurobiological, and psychological resilience factors. Third, the CSF program is also incorporating institutional–level data to determine if its material influences health, behavioral, and career outcomes. Fourth, group randomized trials are being conducted to ensure that resilience training incorporated under the CSF program is effective with soldiers. A specific rationale and methodologies are discussed.
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Kendler, H. H. (1999). The role of value in the world of psychology. , (10), 828-835. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.54.10.828 The mechanistic view of Newtonian science was interpreted by German holism to consist of barren facts and purposeless theories. The assumption that the whole determines the operation of its parts enables holism to provide moral value and existential meaning to human existence. Whereas a positivist view of science assumes that facts cannot logically yield moral values that are right for humankind, holism contends that human values can be revealed in a scientific manner. The same epistemological process that allows holism and humanistic psychology to generate a psychologically demanded morality has also justified Nazi and Communist ideology. The logic of the fact/value dichotomy and the inevitable ascendancy of moral pluralism prevent scientific psychology from serving a democratic society as a pipeline to moral truth or to a positive conception of mental health. Psychological research can estimate the consequences of competing social policies and thus assist a democracy in making informed choices. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved)
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Hackman, J. R. (2009). The perils of positivity. , (2), 309–319. doi:10.1002/job.587. The passion and productivity that characterizes research on positive organizational behavior (POB) is impressive. Yet POB research is accumulating so rapidly that it may exceed what the field's conceptual, methodological, and ideological foundation can bear. I discuss here six concerns prompted by the articles in this special issue. These concerns are (1) the emphasis of positive organizational scholarship on individual–level phenomena, (2) the ahistorical character of POB research and writing, (3) the construct validity of key concepts, (4) over–reliance on a particular research strategy, (5) implicit acceptance of fundamental flaws in how work and organizations are designed, and (6) the seductiveness of new research paradigms.