Major Assumption and Goal of Positive Psychology
Major Assumption and Goal of Positive Psychology
Social problem solving is considered to be the major assumption and goal of positive psychology. To begin with, social problem solving can be defined as the attempt to come out with recommendations that are considered as the remedy to a particular task or conflict within a social set up. (D’Zurilla & Goldfried, 1971) defines a problem as a particular scenario that requires a response for adaptive functioning with an aim of creating solutions amongst the aggrieved parties. In general view the idea of problem solving is considered as creating solutions to existing social situations at hand.
Illustrations from (D’Zurilla & Nezu, 1982) consider problem solving as the process of creating solutions on an existing problematic situation as it occurs in a natural environment. The two scholars further explain the essence of problem solving by identifying it in the context of impersonal problems which include aspects like shortage of resources as well as possessing illegally acquired items or an individual losing his or her legally acquired item illegally. They also identify problem solving at personal capacity which covers individual behavior in terms of emotions, social feelings and also psychosocial wellbeing. Problem solving is also viewed in the context of interpersonal relationship and in this case emphasis is put on institutional conflicts for example religion conflicts, family wrangles amongst others. Social problem solving is also looked at in form of larger societal problems. In this situation, problem solving process is covers the broader scope of heterogonous communities in terms of diversity in race, religion, social class as well as the hierarchical considerations within the society.
For example religious conflicts that has led deterioration of security due to terrorism, racial discrimination as well as discrimination due to social status in the society. This has created a scenario where there is element of inequality thus unforeseeable tension exists leading to conflict
Problem solving therefore is aimed at creating harmony where there exists discord and the major objective is pegged at reaching a rationalized conclusion that will help in lowering emotional strains that might have been created by the problem situation.
It is evident to argue that problem solving is the quickest strategy to prevent an impending discomfort within the society.
Basing my illustrations as argued by D’Zurilla, Nezu, and Maydeu-Olivares (2002; D’Zurilla, 1986; D’Zurilla & Nezu, 1982, 1990, 1999; Maydeu- Olivares & D’Zurilla, 1995, 1996; Nezu & D’Zurilla, 1989). It is clear that for one to achieve remedy to a particular problem, considerations of appropriate solution is considered whereby a solution is viewed as an end in itself if it depicts a response pattern that comes out as the end result problem solving process when it is correlated to that particular problem situation. D’Zurilla et al., 2002) a proper solution is only considered to be so if it attempts to achieve the problem solving objective. This involves transformation of a problem situation into a better situation thus leading to decline in the stains that produced it. On the same note, candid solution to a problem situation leads to improvement of positive outcomes while limiting the negative impacts. Positive solution to a problem situation results into easing of tension between the aggrieved parties thus results into mutual agreement and consensus that are taken positively by both parties and this is only achieved if the interests of the parties are catered for.
Therefore, productive solution is one that creates consensus through incorporation of interests of the two parties. For this situation to be realized there must exist an element of compromise such that the hard stands taken by the two parties can be in a position to be harmonized to accommodate the two. In addition to that, consensus becomes relevant only if the gravity of the problem situation is addressed in a manner that is considered fair and impartial by the parties.
The attainability of positive problem solving process is determined by several factors as described Maydeu-Olivares and D’Zurilla (1996). The scholars explain the problem solving skills through models. In their illustrations, a five factored model was found to be prudent in attaining positive problem solution. The model is composed of two different but closely related problem oriented dimension as well as other three problem solving styles. The first two orientations are divided into positive and negative problem solving dimensions while the styles are classified as rational problem solving, impulsive carelessness and avoidance styles. Referring to the above stated, the outcome of positive problem orientation and rational problem solving has resulted into positive existence thus achieved the meaning of creating consensus and mutual harmony. It is in this regard that the scholars advocated for it since it led to affirmative results. Rational problem solving is a style that attempts to employ proper reasoning, keen consideration of the cause of the problem as well as proper checking of circumstances that led to the occurrence of the problem.
On the other hand negative problem orientation, avoidance and impulsive carelessness styles created negative impact in comparison to the former two. Objective comparison between the two categories can be pegged to the fact that there exists direct relationship between constructive dimensions being positively related while negatively related with the dysfunctional dimension. In brief the two sets are opposite of each other.
Further illustrations point out that Positive problem orientation starts from considering the problem as a challenge. When a problem is viewed as a challenge, it gives chance for a wider scope of view in that it gives room for proper positive results. In this criterion, the problem is perceived as a balance propability of a success or benefit. There is an element of optimism in the manner that no matter the intensity of the problem there exists a solution that is positive and that the problem is going to be solved with success. It further explains that successful problem solving technique is time consuming and requires commitment. On the other hand negative problems Orientation is a dysfunctional and tends to offer pessimistic view on successful solving problem dimension. It looks at a problem in the context of conflict thus threatens social coexistence and harmony. Negative problem orientation does not offer optimistic perception on an individual’s ability to solve the problem. It tends to limit the individual’s worldview hence being myopic to reality. This situation therefore results into inability of an individual to solve problems competently due to lack of rationalized reasoning. The ability of an individual to competently solve a problem is also detailed in the Maydeu-Olivares and D’Zurilla (1997).One’s ability to solve a problem is primarily dependent on the knowledge on positive problem orientation.
Problem solving involves procedures that are employed to realize the success of a problem solution. A means-ends procedure (MEPS; Platt & Spivack, 1975; Spivack et al., 1985) is one of the evident procedures used in attempt to solve a problem or components. First is the ability to identify the order through which a particular goal is achieved. The order need to be sequential in nature. Once that is achieved, the next step is predictability of impediments that might prevent you from achieving the goal which is subsequently followed by reality that an individual must appreciate the concept of time.
However there exist complexities and a number of challenges in current problem solving processes. One of the most common factors is shortage of support for one’s construct validity. Marsiske and Willis (1995) after conducting a confirmatory factor analysis, the outcome indicated that the tests were not related to each other.
Their deductions indicated that the three tests measured differently and their findings were justified based on the fact theory. It is therefore evident that in an attempt to reach a problem solving consensus, there is need for clarity in definition of three major components of problem solving process, that is, solution, problem solving and the problem itself. Putting considerations in all these, it is evident to understand that to achieve effective problem solving practice elaborate definitions of the three terms need to be considered. On the other hand, incase proper definition is not put in place while constructing test it will be considered to be vague.
In summary, the social problem solving theory creates the difference between problem solving and solution implementation.
The processes are different and therefore needs varied skills. Problem solving in itself is considered to be the process of seeking solutions to particular problems, while on the other hand solution implementation involves the practical carrying out remedies of the actual problem. Another dichotomy is that problem-solving skills are considered to be general in nature while solution implementation tends to be diverse depending on the problem.
In conclusion positive social problem solving process is the basic way through which social problems can be solved. Whether at individual capacity, intrapersonal or at the broader community level, positive problem solving has proved appropriate as the major way through which conflict can be prevented thus preventing further conflict escalation. At the societal level, problem solving process has aided the existence of mutual peace thus limited chances of wrangles.
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