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InPsych 2016 | Vol 38

August | Issue 4

Psychology in current issues

Psychology Week | 6-12 November 2016

Feeling positive about psychology

Psychology Week is an opportunity to demystify and communicate the depth, breadth and many benefits of psychology to people who may never have considered visiting a psychologist before.

This year, the focus of Psychology Week will be positive psychology, in collaboration with one of the leading centres in the field, The University of Melbourne’s Centre for Positive Psychology. The theme of positive psychology will focus on improving mental-health literacy and wellbeing. The aim is to reverse the stigma of seeing a psychologist by showing it is a normal and practical way to improve people’s lives, relationships, performance and health. By raising awareness of positive psychology, psychologists from different fields are empowered to share their knowledge and make an impact in their local community.

The survey

Since 2011, the APS Stress and Wellbeing Survey has been the centrepiece of Psychology Week. In 2016, the survey will continue to assess the levels of stress and wellbeing of Australians while also including a number of additional research tools, including Butler and Kern’s (2015)1 PERMA Profiler.

Based on Dr Seligman's (2011)2 concept of flourishing, the PERMA Profiler is a multidimensional measure of flourishing comprising five domains: P = positive emotion, E = engagement, R = relationships, M = meaning, and A = accomplishment.

Working with the Centre for Positive Psychology, the survey will utilise the PERMA Profiler with added demographic and behavioural questions. The results are anticipated to drive public and media conversations before, during and after Psychology Week regarding the ways people can apply positive psychology principles to improve the quality of everyday life.

We hope to engage Australian adults to take part in completing the PERMA Profiler online. Upon doing so, Australians completing the PERMA Profiler online will be able to get feedback in real-time, a score, and be directed to resources with advice and ways to help them to identify their strengths and to lead more fulfilling and meaningful lives.

We encourage you to put 6-12 November in your diaries and join us in our exploration of positive psychology. Now you know this year’s theme, you are invited to think about ways you might engage with the people around you, and plan your Psychology Week events.


  1. Butler, J. & Kern, M. L. (2015). The PERMA-Profiler: A brief multidimensional measure of flourishing. Available from http://www.peggykern.org/questionnaires.html
  2. 2 Seligman, M. (2011). Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being. Simon and Shuster: New York.

Disclaimer: Published in InPsych on August 2016. The APS aims to ensure that information published in InPsych is current and accurate at the time of publication. Changes after publication may affect the accuracy of this information. Readers are responsible for ascertaining the currency and completeness of information they rely on, which is particularly important for government initiatives, legislation or best-practice principles which are open to amendment. The information provided in InPsych does not replace obtaining appropriate professional and/or legal advice.