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Affective modulation in positive psychology’s regime of happiness

Affective modulation in positive psychology’s regime of happiness Over the last decade, positive psychology has reified happiness as the key to achieving an understanding of human psychological experience and development. According to positive psychology, happiness can be understood as a measurable object of self-cultivation and psychological enhancement. This conceptualization has provoked multiple critiques, focusing on the power effects invested in these psychological discourses, with a special emphasis on the governmentality practices they exercise on subjectivity formation, in the context of neoliberal capitalism. Less attention has been paid to the ways in which specific technologies, derived from this “turn to happiness,” have had an influence on subjects’ bodies and embodied experiences beyond discursive means. In this article, we borrow insights from affect studies to contribute to and expand the critique of positive psychology. We do this by analyzing a positive psychology-based app called “Happify.” Our analysis consists of identifying and describing three mechanisms through which this technology modulates the capacities of human bodies by producing preemptive habits that result in what we call the positive psychology regime of happiness. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Theory & Psychology SAGE

Affective modulation in positive psychology’s regime of happiness

Theory & Psychology , Volume 29 (3): 22 – Jun 1, 2019

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References (42)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© The Author(s) 2019
ISSN
0959-3543
eISSN
1461-7447
DOI
10.1177/0959354319845138
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Over the last decade, positive psychology has reified happiness as the key to achieving an understanding of human psychological experience and development. According to positive psychology, happiness can be understood as a measurable object of self-cultivation and psychological enhancement. This conceptualization has provoked multiple critiques, focusing on the power effects invested in these psychological discourses, with a special emphasis on the governmentality practices they exercise on subjectivity formation, in the context of neoliberal capitalism. Less attention has been paid to the ways in which specific technologies, derived from this “turn to happiness,” have had an influence on subjects’ bodies and embodied experiences beyond discursive means. In this article, we borrow insights from affect studies to contribute to and expand the critique of positive psychology. We do this by analyzing a positive psychology-based app called “Happify.” Our analysis consists of identifying and describing three mechanisms through which this technology modulates the capacities of human bodies by producing preemptive habits that result in what we call the positive psychology regime of happiness.

Journal

Theory & PsychologySAGE

Published: Jun 1, 2019

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