Conversation Hour Presentation 6th World Congress on Positive Psychology 2019

Has Positive Psychology Overlooked ‘Implicit Learning’ As An Implementation Method For PPI Delivery? (#111)

Ivan J Raymond 1 2
  1. South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, Adelaide, SA, Australia
  2. Life Buoyancy Institute, Adelaide, SA, Australia

Positive psychology interventions (PPIs) have gained widespread application. At present, PPIs are predominantly being delivered through explicit teaching approaches (or a method where the client or participant is engaged directly and explicitly in the learning content, often through prescriptive learning or teaching protocols). Across the educational and behavioural change literature, there is widespread understanding that learning can be facilitated through both ‘explicit’ and ‘implicit’ methods.  The author and colleagues argue that an overlooked area of PPI design and implementation is ‘implicit learning processes’ (Raymond, van Agteren, Iasiello, & Kelly, in preparation).   A recently published case study of an at-scale delivery of PPIs for 1400 young people from disadvantaged backgrounds reported that a sole reliance on explicit learning methods was not found to be a viable teaching methodology (Raymond, Iasiello, Kelly & Jarden, 2018). However, when program implementation integrated intentionally delivered implicit methods, program traction and impact were achieved. Implicit learning methods thus appear to offer utility to strengthen explicit strategies, particularly in the areas of (1) preventative mental health, (2) at-scale delivery of PPIs and (3) for disadvantaged or low-motivation population groups. Strengths and weaknesses of implicit learning methods are discussed.