Congress Tracks


We all know the benefits of being happy. But why are some people happier than others? Research has shown that biological mechanisms, such as genetic differences, hormonal differences, and differences in brain volume and functioning may be important to explain, at least part, differences in individual happiness. Within this track we will bring together the state-of-art research on biological mechanisms underlying well-being. We will explain why understanding these biological mechanisms is essential for researchers, teachers, students, and practitioners in the field of positive psychology. 


This track offers you a feast of assorted positive psychology topics and cool research designs. The high quality and innovative studies you’ll find here are those that fit ‘outside of the box.’ New ideas, hot off the press will be explored. Big data, implicit association testing, lexicon analysis and so on. Treat yourself to some novelty - you’re in for a terrific surprise! 


Understanding emotion experiences is central to positive psychology. This track features original research in affective science, broadly construed. Contributions may target positive emotions, negative emotions, or both, and may describe people’s emotion experiences, their emotion regulation processes, or perceptions of emotions in others. Methodological approaches may include (a) laboratory experiments with randomization between- or within-participants, (b) field studies with ecological or diary assessments, and/or (c) longitudinal randomized controlled trials. Dyadic and group-based designs are also appropriate. Measures may include behavioural, psychophysiological or neuroendocrine assessments in addition to self- or observer-reports. 


As the field of positive psychology has evolved and matured there has been a call for the science to extend beyond the individual to also include socio-cultural and system factors that shape wellbeing. This track looks at science in cross cultural aspects of wellbeing as well as other aspects of culture including indigenous culture. We will showcase system and community approaches to building wellbeing in different countries. 


This track is based on the field of positive developmental psychology and considers the factors that allow individuals to thrive through all stages of life. The emotional, cognitive, physical, social and spiritual needs that sustain us at each life stage will be examined as well as the ways our wellbeing develops and grows over life. The ecology of parenthood, positive families, early learning, adolescence and positive aging are key topics in this track. 


There is remarkable consensus that meaning is a foundational part of wellbeing and flourishing, with many hundreds of empirical findings supporting its place. Now, for the first time at an IPPA conference, there is a track dedicated to the science, theory, and application of meaning. Meaning captures people's yearnings for a life of significance and of purpose: a life that truly is worth living. Join us in exploring this rapidly growing area, and in creating new parts to sustained flourishing. This track will explore many branches of meaning scholarship including social, biological, cultural, clinical, educational, humanistic, organizational, coaching, and other branches of scholarship. 


This track deals with core topics that are dear to the heart of positive psychology. We will look at the latest and greatest science in eudemonic and hedonic wellbeing, as well as the sources and outcomes of wellbeing. Motivation, a key enabler of human agency, will feature heavily in this track as will coaching and other growth-oriented approaches that build agency and wellbeing. Note, you may also find your coaching abstract is better suited within another track (e.g., workplaces, education, health) and it is you choice whether you submit it to the coaching track or another track (note: abstracts cannot be submitted more than once). 


This track focuses on the ways in which positive psychology has been applied in clinical settings and is being used to boost mental health outcomes. We will explore the ways in which positive constructs such as positive emotions, character strengths, positive relationships and pursuit of meaning can be integrated meaningfully with symptoms, distress, dysfunctions and disorders to better grasp nuanced complexity of psychological problems. We will specifically showcase innovative clinical practices which capture this integration through concrete evidence-based skills and strategies that can be shared from the platform of World Congress of IPPA. This track supports the mission of the Clinical Division of IPPA to advance professional, ethical, effective, evidence-based and culturally responsive practice of positive psychology in clinical settings. 


Positive education is the subfield of positive psychology that combines the scholarship of wellbeing with best practice guidelines from education to boost the mental health and academic outcomes of students. This track will explore science and practice in positive education across all levels from early years through to adult learning. Beyond student outcomes we are interested in the science of positive education for staff and faculty. System approaches to educational change will also be a key topic for us to explore. 


This track will seek to explore science that focuses on uncovering assets and interventions which contribute to human longevity, quality-of-life, and physiological and psychological wellbeing. We are interested in communication and collaboration among key stakeholders such as researchers, clinicians, healthcare policymakers, and consumers. This track has the goal of advancing the science and practice concerning optimal human health and the positive and protective biosocial factors linked to it. 


A strength is considered to be any virtuous capacity, characteristic, or process that is persistently experienced as energizing and authentic by the individual. Knowing and using one’s strengths is significantly related to a host of wellbeing indicators. This track will consider the ways strengths can be developed and harnessed both in naturally occurring environments and through interventions. Science on the outcomes of strengths and wellbeing, relationships, and performance will be examined. We will also look at research that applies strengths in various contexts such as schools, social work, workplaces, families, and so on. 


Positive psychology has produced over 20 years of research -- but how do we take this research to scale? Technological innovations, from the advent of the internet and smartphones, to newer developments such as virtual reality goggles, artificial intelligence, gamified interventions, allow basic science to be translated into the real-world in a way that engages users and has the potential to be scaled globally. In this track we will showcase new and interesting uses of technology to implement the science of happiness -- to educate more effectively, to help improve mental health at a population level, and to learn new things about ourselves. 


This track focuses on scientific research and evidence-based practices of positive psychology in work and organizational contexts. We invite intellectual exchange among positive psychologists situated in a variety of content domains such as industrial/organizational psychology, organizational behavior, applied psychology, and management research and practice. This track will cover the latest theory, research, and application of positive psychology principles aimed to improve individual, team, and organizational wellbeing and performance across organizational and institutional contexts around the world.