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Social Sciences
Speech Presentation
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Psychology Videos: The New Era of Positive Psychology (Speech Presentation Sample)


You are a high school psychology teacher and you are preparing for a class in which you will show two videos. The first is a program on “The Secret,” which claims to help people attain their goals through positive thinking. The second is a talk by Dr. Martin Seligman, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, who claims that pleasure, engagement and meaning can increase people’s happiness. Both videos make scientific claims, but how can your students know which are sound? It is up to you to show them how!
Prepare a handout for your students that summarizes and evaluates the two videos.
Begin by watching both videos. Then, summarize each in writing, making sure to point out the main ideas and key points of each.
Next, compare the two videos in terms of the scientific claims they make. State which video is more scientifically sound and briefly explain in your own words how you can tell. Be sure to provide specific examples from the videos of correct and faulty scientific claims.
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These are links to public external resources. Any comments or statements made on these public websites are not representative of College for America.
Project Resources
These are links to public external resources. Any comments or statements made on these public websites are not representative of College for America.
Evaluating Scientific Claims
Martin Seligman: The New Era of Positive Psychology
Watch, summarize and evaluate this video.
The Secret
Watch, summarize and evaluate this video.
Handout (400–600 words)


Speech Presentation
Institutional Affiliation:
Speech Presentation
The New Era of Positive Psychology
In the talk dubbed the 11th Reason to be Optimistic, Dr. Martin Seligman addresses the development of psychology over the past 60 years analyzing the use of the disease model to make miserable people less miserable (Seligman, 2004). The need for a new approach in psychology was because of the following:
Psychologists became victimologists and pathologizers
They forgot improving normal lives and high talent
The methodologies did not make people happier by improving normal lives
The need to make people happier led scholars to study positive psychology. Seligman suggests that the discipline should be concerned with strength as with weakness, build the best things in life and repair the worst, and make the lives of normal people fulfilling with nurturing.
The science of positive psychology involves research to identify the three types of happy living (Seligman, 2004).
The pleasant life. It involves having as many pleasures as possible and acquiring the skills that enhance them. Seligman adds that this form of a happy life is 50% heritable, not modifiable, and habituates rapidly.
The good life. It is described as an interaction of pressure and flow. While pressure has a raw feeling, during flow there is no feeling increasing the level of concentration. It is achieved by identifying signature strengths and recrafting work, love, play, friendship, and parenting to derive more flow.
The meaningful life. It consists of knowing what your highest strengths are and using them to belong to and in the service of something larger than you are.
A function of the three forms of life regarding life satisfaction shows:
Pursuit of pleas...
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