The international landscape of positive psychology research: A systematic review

Heejin Kim, Kathryn Doiron, Meg Warren, Stewart Donaldson


Since positive psychology originated in 1998 as an organized stream of inquiry in theUnited States, it has inspired new theory and research on human flourishing across the world. The current systematic review presents an overview of (a) the prevalence of scientific research in positive psychology across five continents and 63 countries, (b) the characteristics of the research, including methodology and topics, and (c) the influence of positive psychology in expanding established lines of research in new ways. Through an analysis of 863 peer-reviewed positive psychology articles, this review attempts to map the international landscape of positive psychology research. Further, it responds to relevant critiques of the field, confirming some and dispelling others. Finally, recommendations are shared for future directions to build a more culturally responsive field of positive psychology that is committed to the advancement of flourishing and wellbeing in the global context.


positive psychology, wellbeing, optimal functioning, happiness, international, global, cross-cultural, diversity

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