Original Articles

Views from Africa on Positive Psychology

Published in: Journal of Psychology in Africa
Volume 18, issue 1, 2008 , pages: 189–194
DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2008.10820185
Author(s): Irma EloffUniversity of Pretoria, South Africa, Mustapha AchouiKing Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, Saudi Arabia, Regis ChiresheGreat Zimbabwe University, Zimbabwe, Megan MutepfaZimbabwe Psychological Association,, Caroline OfovweUniversity of Benin, Nigeria


This study explored the state of Positive Psychology in six African countries. Thirty-seven participants from the six African countries responded to a survey on the status and prospects for positive psychology in the respective countries. Data was analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively. The quantitative data was analyzed by utilizing simple counting methods. The qualitative data was analyzed by means of a content analysis in which dominant themes were highlighted. Findings indicate that manifestations of Positive Psychology are very limited in the contexts in which the participants in the study worked. It is also largely implicit in psychological practices. A coherent theoretical framework for Positive Psychology and a clear research agenda were not present in any of the countries surveyed. Positive Psychology is often linked to indigenous knowledge systems. Even though the current manifestations of Positive Psychology are perceived to be limited, most of the participants are of the opinion that the future for Positive Psychology is encouraging.

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