Top US psychologist joins Parliamentary push for wellbeing

Yesterday, top US psychologist, Martin Seligman, addressed a packed meeting in Parliament. The event was organised by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Wellbeing Economics and the audience of 170 people included leading academics, journalists and more than 30 MPs and Peers.

At the meeting Professor Seligman argued that wellbeing could be a prime goal of Government and advocated resilience lessons in schools as a key policy that Government could pursue to that end. Resilience lessons have been proven to reduce incidence of depression in trials involving thousands of children, including in the UK.

Commenting, Jo Swinson MP, who chaired the meeting said:

“Professor Seligman is a giant of the psychology world. His name features in virtually every introductory undergraduate textbook. It was a privilege to have him to join us in Parliament and to hear his ideas on how Government can take action to promote wellbeing.

“Just as the All-Party Wellbeing group has long advocated, Professor Seligman showed that there are real, practical things Government can do to boost the wellbeing of the population.

Commenting, Professor Martin Seligman said:

“Is it possible that wellbeing could be a goal of public policy? If so, it must be rigorously measured and Government must hold itself accountable for changes in wellbeing produced by public policy.”


Professor Seligman is one of the world’s most cited psychologists, notably for his work on ‘learned helplessness’, depression and positive psychology. He is also author of many books including the New York Times Bestseller ‘Authentic Happiness’ and his most recent work, ‘Flourish’. More details can be found on his University of Pennsylvania website

Jo is Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Wellbeing Economics. The All-Party group was set up by Jo Swinson and Professor Richard Layard in 2009 and has members from all major political parties. Its goal is to drive wellbeing up the Government’s agenda.

More details about resilience lessons can be found here:

The first and second evaluations of the trial conducted in the UK can be found here


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