Applied final

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Applied Final Project:  Positive Psychology in Action Proposal

This assignment will leverage your curiosity.  It will tap into your ideas for applying positive psychology in daily life. It will invite you to explore how to connect those applications to others within your community.

The Positive Psychology in Action Proposal is an integrative assignment in support of the three learning outcomes for the course:

1.  Analyze the components of positive psychology that contribute to the health and well-being of individuals, organizations, and environments

2.  Use critical thinking, skeptical inquiry, research methodologies, and appropriate instruments to analyze scientific evidence to differentiate positive psychology from other psychological approaches

3.  Evaluate positive psychology theories and theorists to determine appropriate and ethical applications and interventions within the individual as well as organizational and multicultural settings

The Positive Psychology in Action Proposal (PPA)


  Create a Positive Psychology in Action (PPA), demonstrating how a positive psychology construct/theory can be applied in a practical manner to bring about a positive impact for others. Examples of practicality include educational program, video, podcast, intervention, etc.

To achieve this, you will build your knowledge of the construct/theory, and then create a proposal for putting your positive psychology product into action. Because this is not a formal empirical study, and no data is to be collected, you are presenting a proposal for your Positive Psychology in Action product, program, or intervention.

 *A formal study –where the proposed materials and/or procedures are put into practice, monitored, and evaluated– requires ethics approval from the UMGC Institutional Review Board. Those actions reach beyond the scope of this course.  

  Below are all the steps you will need to take in order to create your PPAs*: 

1. Review what we have covered in class.

2. Choose one or more positive psychology constructs or theories that you would like to explore and apply in your life –   e.g., constructs: altruism, gratitude, forgiveness, mindfulness – or – e.g., theories: the broaden and build theory of positive emotions. 

3. Research using the UMGC Library

4. Create the proposal i.e. educational program, video, podcast, intervention

5. Write and submit for grading an APA formatted proposal document. 

*More details for each step are addressed in Requirements.


 The following rubric informs on the distribution of points assigned to each section of the paper.  A more detailed rubric accompanies the assignment within course content.

Applied Final Project Point Allocations



Positive Psychology in Action Proposal




Appropriate selection




Depth/Application of Concepts


Creativity: Approaches to the Action Plan


Accuracy: Assertions supported correctly




Introduction & Literature Review


Methods: Participants


Methods: Materials and Procedures








Title Page


APA Style


Writing Mechanics


Total points possible


ts:  The Positive Psychology in Action Proposal assignment is structured to encourage research, creativity, and the development of your Action idea.  If it is helpful, you can frame the goal of the assignment as follows:

You have just learned there is a Positive Psychology in Action Scholarship being offered by Dr. Seligman, the father of positive psychology himself!  Cool! The scholarship is a full ride.  If won it will pay for your future course work AND reimburse for tuition directly tied to courses required for your degree from UMGC.  AWESOME!  Dr. Seligman is seeking proposals for new ways to bring positive psychology into the daily lives of others.  He has created three categories for application: products, programs, and interventions.


· Products (e.g., video, podcast script, audio production, storyboard, children’s book, etc.),

· Programs (e.g., community, ’building…insert construct…in teens’)

· Intervention (e.g., counseling, workplace, senior citizens)

Winners in each category will receive a full scholarship. Competing applicants can submit a single proposal that clearly falls into one of the categories.  Proposal submissions must…


a. Introduce a clearly defined construct that will be leveraged (e.g., gratitude, mindfulness)

b. Leverage the applied construct via a thoughtful product, program, or intervention.

c. Have purpose… the product, program, or intervention must have a clear goal / outcome

d. Be designed for a target audience

e. Be neatly and concisely presented in an APA formatted document containing

· Introduction

· Literature Review

· Proposed Action (Purpose and Goals)

· Methods

· Participants

· Materials

· Procedures

· Results

· Discussion

· References

 Reading this, you smile. You think, ‘I am preparing a proposal for my PSYC 437 class that matches the scholarship’s goal perfectly!  I definitely have some ideas! I am going to follow the Applied Final Project’s Project Stages and Writing Guidance my instructor has given me.  With this scaffolding I am going to write a proposal for submission and win!!!’


Project Stages

1. Review what we have covered in class
 Reflect on the readings and think about topics that captured your attention, invited contemplation, or led to moments where you paused and envisioned how the lesson connected to yourself and others. Grab a piece of paper.  Write down these topics.  Next write down ideas that come to mind that offer examples of how the construct/theory can be applied in a practical manner to bring about a positive impact for others.

 2. Choose one or more positive psychology constructs or theories that you would like to explore and apply in your life –   e.g., constructs: altruism, gratitude, forgiveness, mindfulness – or – e.g., theories: the broaden and build theory of positive emotions.

3. Research using the UMGC Library:  Once you have decided what construct/theory you wish to put into action, begin conducting literary research.  Dig into the empirical literature to learn what studies and theoretical insights are available to inform your Action design. And, learn about your target population (who your project is dedicated to). 

4. Create the proposal.  
Map out and build your Action.
  Informed by your research on the construct/theory, and the need by your target population, design your Action. 

5. Write and submit for grading an 


 formatted proposal document. 

Write-up Guidance: 

The following guidance provides a scaffold approach to writing your PPA proposal.  Within the guidance you will find expectations for each section of the paper are outlined and are accompanied by occasional suggestions for success.  Please read this guidance carefully before you begin working on your project.

Structure your paper utilizing APA style (7th Edition); this includes heading, in-text citations, reference page, and general paper format (1-inch margins, double-spaced, appropriately sized sans serif or serif fonts – e.g., 12 Times Roman, etc.). More detail on this is provided at the end of this instruction set.


Positive Psychology in Action Proposal


In your Positive Psychology in Action introduction (approx. 1-2 pages):

· Briefly present the construct(s) or theory that inspires the positive psychology in action (PPA) proposal you are presenting.  Operationally define relevant concepts in order to anchor how they will be employed throughout the proposal and how they are employed in the PPA design.

·  Detail the rationale for the program/intervention

· Why is the use of the positive psychology construct(s)/theory interesting to you?

· What inspires your PPA (Is it original or a continuation of existing positive psychology practices?)

· Why is your PPA program/intervention important?

 Begin your introduction immediately below the Part 1:… heading.  Do not create a heading titled, “Introduction.”

Literature Review 

The project, whether a product, program, or an intervention, should be grounded in the empirical literature. A core component of your proposal paper will be a thoughtful review of relevant literature. Articles discussed should not be simply summarized (i.e., excerpts from abstracts).  The peer-reviewed articles, and other supporting resources, should be carefully incorporated into your writing, building a case for why your project matters and why your approach makes sense.


In the literature review show (in approx. 2 or more pages):

· you are familiar with the field (a brief summary of the origins of the construct(s) or theory

· you understand current research on the topic

· the strengths and weaknesses of different product/program/intervention approaches

· your ideas have academic basis (empirical grounding, not pseudoscience)

· How are you building on the work of others?

Proposed Action 

Present the objectives for your PPA product/program/intervention.  Discuss (in approx. 1 or more pages):

· Goals of your PPA

· Opportunities your PPA generates


Along with a brief literature review, you will include an evaluative component. To achieve this a modified Methods section will be leveraged. Use APA appropriate heading levels formatting.


In this section you will briefly discuss:

· Participants (approx. 1/2 + page) – for whom is your Action designed? Provide appropriate demographics and descriptive details so it is readily clear why you have selected this group or groups to receive the PPA.

· Materials – (approx. 1/4 + page; length will depend on the number, nature, and purpose of specialty materials used)

Detail your plan to use any special materials (e.g., existing surveys, instructions to be given to participants, a music compilation you developed).  If materials will be used, describe their origins, design, function, and purpose.

· If no special materials are required, this can be addressed by making the statement, “No special materials are required in this PPA.” 


· Procedures – (Page length will depend on the procedures required to use your product, or steps in your program/intervention.)

Detail and showcase how you are putting positive psychology into action.


· If you have designed a product – how and when is your product used?  Outline special instructions for use.

· If you have designed a PPA program/intervention

· What does the program look like?

· What procedures will be followed? (Think here of the 5 W’s + H –> who, what, where, when, why, and how.)

· For example, how will things like surveys, observations, interviews, coaching, or journaling be employed?

· Why are these the best methods to offer your PPA program/intervention?

· How much time will be required to implement your PPA?

· Obstacles or wrinkles (acknowledge challenges that might be encountered in developing the program/intervention and how you could overcome them)

Results (approx. 1/2 page +)

· Briefly share your ideas on how you will know whether your PPA is successful.  What will success look like?  [You are not required to formally discuss statistical evaluations of success.]

Discussion (approx. 3/4 page +) 

In this section of the proposal address: 

· the rationale for why you think your plan will have the desired outcomes

· the potential barriers and risks, ethical considerations, and implications of the project

· If the goals are achieved, what does it add to the science of positive psychology?

· If successful, what are the next steps to improve the PPA?


References will begin on a new page and will follow the Discussion section of your proposal.  Include in this refence list only the articles cited within the body of the proposal.  Include the References page number in your Table of Contents (i.e., Reference…..#).  If you have questions about how to format the references, please refer to your copy of the APA Publication Manual, the UMGC writing resources provided within the course, the UMGC Library Get Help: Writing and Citing, the UMGC Writing Center, or ask your instructor for assistance.


Help Structuring the Document

Project writeup:  The writing of the paper will employ APA formatting standards.  Because the elements of the proposal are somewhat unique for our purposes, the foundational breakdown of the Applied Final Project is as follows. You may add Level 3 and 4 headings as you deem necessary to clearly communicate the unique qualities of your Action product / program / intervention.



Heading Level*

Starts on

Title Page


Page 1

Table of Contents


Page 2

Part 1:  Positive Psychology in Action Proposal

Begin your introduction immediately below the Part 1:… heading.  Do not create a heading titled, “Introduction.”


Page 3

Literature Review



Proposed Action





























New Page


*Heading Level


Text in Paper Begins


Center, Bold, Title Case Heading

     Text begins on a new line as a new paragraph, following a Level 1 heading.


Flush Left, Bold, Title Case Heading

     Text begins on a new line as a new paragraph, following a Level 2 heading.


Flush Left, Bold Italic, Title Case Heading

     Text begins on a new line as a new paragraph, following a Level 3 heading.


     Indented, Bold, Title Case Heading, Ending With a Period.

Text begins on the same line as the Level 4 heading and continues as a regular paragraph.


     Indented, Bold Italic, Title Case Heading, Ending With a Period.

Text begins on the same line as the Level 5 heading and continues as a regular paragraph.



Submission Instructions

Create the project document in the word processing software with which you are most familiar. Digital products should be submitted in a file format your instructor can open.  When you are ready to submit your work for grading. 


Learning Resources

Lomas, T. (2017). Applied positive psychology: Facilitating multidimensional flourishing. In D. S. Dunn (Ed.), Positive psychology: Established and emerging issues (1st ed., pp. 317-338). Routledge.

Luthans, F., & Youssef, C.M. (2004). Human, social, and now positive psychological capital management: Investing in people for competitive advantage. Organizational Dynamics, 33, 243-160.

Matthews, M. D., Eid, J., Kelly, D., Bailey, J. K. S., & Peterson, C. (2006). Character strengths and virtues of developing military leaders: An international comparison. Military Psychology (Taylor & Francis Ltd), 18, 57–68.

Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. P. (2004). Section 1: Background, Chapter 1 (pp. 1-32). Character strengths and virtues: A handbook and classification. Oxford Press.

Seligman, M. P., Ernst, R. M., Gillham, J., Reivich, K., & Linkins, M. (2009). Positive education: Positive psychology and classroom interventions. Oxford Review of Education, 35(3), 293-311.

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