Positive Psychology and Poverty

  • Robert Biswas-DienerEmail author
  • Lindsey Patterson


For millennia scholars have given attention to the relationship between material resources and the Good Life. The findings from a large body of research literature suggest that income and related aspects of material life influence well-being at both the individual and national levels. Much of the popular and some of the academic understanding of those living in poverty have focused on problems related to living without material sufficiency. In this chapter, we suggest that there are many positive aspects in the lives of the very poor. In keeping with a positive psychology approach, we suggest that these strengths and successes can be useful in the process of empowering people living in poverty. We review research and theory from positive psychology as it bears on poverty, and present case studies for psychological empowerment.


Life Satisfaction Positive Affect Positive Emotion Positive Psychology Homeless People 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Applied Positive PsychologyCoventryUK
  2. 2.Portland State UniversityPortlandUSA

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