Symposium 6th World Congress on Positive Psychology 2019

Happy in a ‘Shithole’ World: The Wellbeing Implications of Primal World Beliefs (#21)

Jer Clifton 1
  1. University of Pennsylvania, WYNNEWOOD, PENNSYLVANIA, United States
Perceptions of the general character of a place often impact behavior and wellbeing outcomes while in that place. For example, as long as the perception endures, places thought to be full of opportunity are explored and places thought to be filled with threats cause irritability and stress. Yet psychologists have largely overlooked the possibility that humans not only have different opinions about various places withinthe world, but also the world as a whole as one giant place. My research explores the degree to which an array of wellbeing and personality variables—including life satisfaction, overall wellbeing, engagement, meaning in life, depression, optimism, gratitude, curiosity, grit, neuroticism, and variables like extraversion and political ideology—stem from 26 empirically-derived underlying perceptions of habitat-general conditions—which I call primal world beliefs, or primals. This talk will introduce the three major primals that humans hold—the beliefs that the world is Safe, Enticing, and Alive—focusing on wellbeing implications, describing theory, correlational research, and future directions.