This is a 3000 word positive psychology article for publication in a peer reviewed journal. The paper must be edited and pass for publication.

This is a 3000 word positive psychology article for publication in a peer reviewed journal. The paper must be edited and pass for publication..

This is a 3000 word positive psychology article for publication in a peer reviewed journal. The paper must be edited and pass for publication.

This is a 3000 word positive psychology article for publication in a peer reviewed journal. The paper must be edited and pass for publication. The references should be listed as 123 in the text and not as it is now done with names and dates.In the reference list they should be numerical and not alphabetical.
This article gives an understanding of Positive Psychology (PP) as an evolutionary discipline Applied Positive Psychology (APP) as its arm of practice and Positive Psychology interventions (PPI) as the tools of trade. The paper further shows how PP relates to Epigenetics and offers a possible solution to the obesity crisis through four defined sections;
Background to Positive Psychology- Applied Positive Psychology and Positive Psychology Interventions (PP APP & PPI)
Epigenetics The study of Epigenetics affecting present and future generations Genotypes to Phenotypes
Obesity The Obesity Crisis and how Epigenetics and PPIs can affect outcomes for present and future generations.
Positive Psychology Interventions (PPIs) To combat the obesity crisis
Finally implications and conclusions from the evidence are explored along with onward looking possibilities for future research incorporating a multi-disciplinary focus.
Background to Positive Psychology Applied Positive Psychology and Positive Psychology Interventions (PP APP and PPI)
Positive Psychology emerged in its first wave in 1998 as an antitheses to psychology as usual which mostly focused on identifying and correcting dysfunction as its core purpose. Ref. Psychological distress being deemed actionable if meeting categorised and listed criteria set out in the manual of dysfunction or as it is more commonly termed the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual DSM
Perhaps the inevitable consequence of focus on dysfunction would eventually lead to the study of function as a natural progression of dyadic process addressed by Dr. Martin Seligman credited as the founder of modern day positive psychology ref. Dr Seligman and colleagues co-authored a positive focus manual designed to explore the possibilities of optimum function through Core Strengths and Virtues CSV (Peterson & Seligman 2004) which sought to counteract the dysfunction focus.
Positivity and living a good life was not however a new concept having connections to the earlier 20th century discipline of humanistic psychology (Resnick et al. 2001).
The term itself Positive Psychology is credited to the Psychologist Abraham Harold Maslow best known for his contribution to modern psychology with the Hierarchy of Needs (Maslow 1943)
The new PP pioneers included Martin Seligman with his focus on authentic happiness (2002) Ed Diener with a reputation in the field of subjective well-being (1984) Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi eschewing the virtues of flow (1988) Barbara Fredrickson with her focus on positive emotions (2001) and Sonja Lyubomirsky and her work on the genetic and environmental components of happiness (2008) to name a leading few.
However just as in other scientific disciplines discovery involves theory change a continuous evolving process including observations feedback experiment interpretation and re-interpretation of data which derive new results (Popper 1963) thus PP had inevitably started to go through a similar process.
Positive psychology research and practice reached an era of criticising the very discipline as a whole even questioning whether it had any validity or even a rationale to exist at all. (McNulty & Fincham 2011).
The criticism levelled at PP had little effect on proponents such as Seligman who were driving forward and evolving the discipline with great enthusiasm into a worldwide movement. (ref)
Not all of the attention to the new discipline was flattering though and some went even further to imply it could be detrimental to human life. (Ehrenreich 2009) At an unfortunate time during which the USA increased involvement of its troops in foreign lands Ehrenreich intonated PP interventions employed by the United States army were implicated in leading soldiers to their deaths. Buoyed up with what was termed false positivity and over estimation of their abilities a position which highlighted the value of negative emotions such as fear.
Further opposing views came from English professor Eric Wilson who put the case for those who wished to remain melancholics exploring this notion in his book . While he had no wish to romanticise clinical depression the professor however argued for the inspirational motivational states that arise from melancholia. Worrying that they could be completely wiped out if we continue with the compulsion to treat every negative mood as bad. Further purporting that if such a state had prevailed historically we may never have been honoured with the works of such greats as Van Gogh Keats or Beethoven. Wilson (2008)
Such considerations certainly make one appreciate just how complex intertwined and multipronged are the workings of human emotions and their unique and subjective effects on the holder.
Getting to the middling point depends upon hitting both extremes of high and low and what emerges is a state that incorporates aspects of both. As an astute thinker put it creating a higher unity that transcends and yet preserves the truth of both extremes (Mills 2000).
Later evolving further after attracting much criticism and fierce debate PP came into full swing to answer elaborate and explore how positive and negative emotions could impact and enrich the human condition. We might call this the second wave of PP (Held 2004). The focus of the second stage or PP 2.0 as it is often referred focuses firmly on empirically valid study and research (ref) with an applied rationale using positive psychology interventions (PPIs)
PPIs being defined as empirically-validated interventions designed to promote wellbeing in a non-clinical population. (Lomas Hefferon & Itai 2014) However not to detract from their potential for clinical use it should be stated that PPIs have been used with great success in treating mental illness. (Seligman et al 2005)
To make a simile for the relationship between the traditional and the newest branch of psychology consider Newtons 3rd Law of motion which states that when a body exerts a force on a second body an opposing force of equal magnitude but opposite direction results. (Newton 1726)
Positive Psychology could be equated to a force of equal magnitude as that of psychology as usual and as such their existence could actually be dependent upon each other. Or as physicist David Bohm states; nothing simply surges up out of nothing without having antecedents that existed before (Bohm 1959) It is therefore no surprise that the study of function arose out of the study of dysfunction and will likely remain inextricably linked.
Epigenetics The study of Epigenetics affecting present and future generations Genotypes to Phenotypes
Epi-genetics is a Greek term meaning above or on top of genes. (Carey 2011) This fascinating subject is the study of how genes can be turned on or off through a control switch genes have been found to posses.
Epigenetic changes do not actually alter the genetic code or as it is known the DNA sequence (genotype). Rather the epigenetic changes are like a switch that sit on top of the genome and affect how the cell reads that genetic code. (Spector 2012) We cannot alter the sequence of our DNA however a wide variety of environmental factors affect the expression of how those genes are activated or inactivated. Gene expression is related to the chemical messengers (usually proteins) governing the cell which determine the behaviour of the cell phenotype (Spector 2012)
As the foetus grows in early development the majority of cell activity is governed from within the existing cells or adjacent cells. (Gidekel et.al. 2002 In this crucial stage of development the food the mother consumes plays a large part in the development of the epigenome. (Gidekel et.al. 2002 However as well as nutrition having a large role to play stress hormones also affect signals to the cells. (Gidekel et.al. 2002) Which signifies the wider environment of the mother is already affecting the childs development.
Post-natal development continues to shape epigenetic expression through wider environmental factors. (Carey 2011) Physical activity social interaction and nutritional elements continue to affect the individual by transmitting information from cell to cell. (Spector 2012) It is these signals that direct intra cellular learning and physical growth. (Spector 2012)
As the child grows the organs develop and most significantly the brain (Kolb et.al. 1998). At a younger age neuro plasticity the way in which brain matter volume increases or reduces and neural connections alter is at its height (Kolb et.al. 1998). The young brain is very impressionable much more so than it will be as it matures.


 

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This is a 3000 word positive psychology article for publication in a peer reviewed journal. The paper must be edited and pass for publication.