Original Articles

Finding The Positives in Psychology: What Are We Doing?

Published in: Journal of Psychology in Africa
Volume 17, issue 1-2, 2007 , pages: 173–180
DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2007.10820164
Author(s): Irma EloffUniversity of Pretoria,


The purpose of this article is to delineate some of the consequential aspects of the intrinsic duality that is created in the pursuit of knowledge around positive psychological and asset-based constructs. I will reflect on what we have learned during studies in educational psychology that focused on assets and strengths, by drawing on highlights from particularized studies. I will then specifically problematize the use of the asset-based approach in educational psychology, by pointing out key challenges encountered at the coalface of knowledge creation in the asset-based approach and Positive Psychology. The article concludes with suggestions for pathways of inquiry, with specific reference to the questions we might be asking. Sensitivity to the discourses we construct in our psychological endeavours, and multi-layered, complex understandings is preferenced.

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