Socially Responsible Cheermongery: On the Sociocultural Contexts and Levels of Social Happiness Policies

  • Neil Thin


Positive Psychology has exciting potential to influence good change worldwide, but only if it becomes less individualistic and less ethnocentric. Psychological knowledge can only be usefully applied by engaging with the qualities of society and by recognizing cultural diversity. Rather than focusing on practices which change individuals’ attitudes and personal life choices, the emphasis here is on social and cultural changes that might improve everyone’s happiness prospects. We also need to complement the analysis of pro-happiness practices in rich countries (so far also largely based on evidence from rich countries) with attention to changes that could promote happiness in poorer countries. Some examples of critical moments in the life course are presented and discussed to illustrate how the roles of key potential cheermongers are embedded in social and cultural contexts that constrain their potential as happiness promoters. These serve to remind us that although positive happiness promotion matters for everyone in the world, for the majority of the world’s population the best prospects for improving happiness still lie in the removal of harms, provision of interim goods, and reduction of social injustices, enmities, and insecurities. Four key social qualities are recommended as a framework for understanding the potential for applying Positive Psychology at all levels: justice, solidarity, participation, and security.


Positive Psychology Corporal Punishment Character Strength Social Quality Personal Happiness 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of EdinburghEdinburghScotland

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