Poster Presentation 6th World Congress on Positive Psychology 2019

The Positive Attributes of Psychological Safety in an Academic Environment (#541)

Jayne Carruthers 1
  1. Etelligence, Singleton, NSW, Australia

Background: Increasingly attention is being turned to the climate in which academics and professionals in knowledge industries work, and what supports them to be innovative and to meet the knowledge and development challenges of the 21st Century. Traditionally, our attention has turned to what is not working, but it is also valuable to be able to explain what best supports early career researchers and professionals who need to be encouraged to take risks and make contributions to new knowledge. Positive psychology provides a framework to explore this phenomenon. The latter is rarely applied in academic development settings, despite the growing concerns about stresses and barriers in the academic workplace (Coates & Goedegebuure, 2012).

Method: Qualitative including a scoping questionnaire followed by case studies.

Anticipated results: It is anticipated that positive attributes that contribute to psychological safety in an academic environment will be identified along with evidence of how the presence of psychological safety can be beneficial in supporting academics within the university environment.

Potential contribution: Greater understanding for the potential of the science of positive psychology to support academics within the university environment.

  1. Coates, H., & Goedegebuure, L. (2012). Recasting the academic workforce: why the attractiveness of the academic profession needs to be increased and eight possible strategies for how to go about this from an Australian perspective. Higher Education, 64(6), 875-889. Retrieved from