October 2, 2023

Lisa Sansom, MAPP ’10, is the proprietor of LVS Consulting, an impartial consulting agency that helps to construct optimistic organizations. Lisa present companies equivalent to particular person and management teaching, staff facilitation, efficient communications coaching, Appreciative Inquiry and alter administration consulting. Full Bio.

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Is the PERMA mannequin broad sufficient to deal with all of well-being? This was a query I heard addressed on the July IPPA World Congress greater than as soon as. Listed below are some solutions I heard from Stewart Donaldson and Victoria Cabrera from Claremont College.

Fast Assessment: What’s the PERMA Mannequin?

If you’re conscious of the sector of optimistic psychology and you’ve got heard of Dr. Martin Seligman, then you’re seemingly acquainted with his PERMA mannequin of the enablers of human flourishing. The PERMA mannequin lists components within the recipe for a great life, although the precise measures of every ingredient range from life to life. PERMA stands for Positive Feelings, Engagement (often known as Stream), Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment. Variations on Seligman’s mannequin have added Vitality or Health. The foundational necessities for being a well-being ingredient are that every is pursued for its personal sake and is outlined and measured independently of the opposite components.

Enter 4 Further Components

Dr. Stewart Donaldson and his analysis staff at Claremont College additional researched the PERMA mannequin to find out if there have been another lacking components. They discovered 4 further components which can be essential for well-being and optimistic functioning:

Since 2018, analysis on the brand new PERMA+4 mannequin has been evolving, beginning with a measurement evaluate, progressing by the validation of a 29-item scale. Lately a 9-item brief scale was created and confirmed. This new PERMA+4 well-being mannequin has sturdy predictive energy throughout varied settings. Analysis continues.

What Issues Most for Life Satisfaction?

One among Dr. Donaldson’s graduate college students, Vicki Cabrera, used the PERMA+4 framework to discover the lives of full-time workers to find out which of those components are most essential in numerous contexts.

Piggy Bank

Monetary safety is essential.

Cabrera’s combined strategies analysis revealed that an important components for all times satisfaction are optimistic feelings, bodily well being, and financial safety. These have been seen as essentially the most useful, and so they have been foundational for the opposite components to even be potential. With out optimistic feelings, bodily well being, and financial safety, plainly a way of which means or accomplishment, for instance, could also be rather more troublesome to realize in a single’s private life.

What Issues Most for Job Satisfaction?

Nevertheless, the image is considerably completely different relating to job satisfaction. Within the office, the foundational components have been which means, accomplishment, and engagement. Whereas all these components are inter-related with small to average correlations, it’s actually fascinating to see that we might search other ways of flourishing at work in comparison with the remainder of our lives outdoors of the work surroundings. It could even be that we’re capable of create a flourishing existence throughout by the interaction of each work and non-work actions.

My Observations

As somebody studying this analysis for the primary time, I used to be fairly shocked that Relationships didn’t come up in both the work or the life classes as a foundational constructing block for well-being. This can be for a number of causes, equivalent to folks simply naturally assumed it was in place and so didn’t point out it, or that folks interpreted the questions in a extra individualistic method. That mentioned, Dr. Donaldson did iterate that, within the office, one’s chief issues lots. A poor chief can simply decrease the PERMA+4 of direct stories.

It is going to be fascinating to see the place this analysis goes and if the brand new mannequin holds up and even surpasses PERMA in use and recognition. The PERMA mannequin was already a development from Seligman’s authentic mannequin with solely three components. I’m inspired to see the pondering and science progress. Constructive psychology analysis is turning into extra nuanced, diving additional into the complexities of human well-being and flourishing throughout domains.


Cabrera, V. & Donaldson, Stewart. I. (2023) PERMA to PERMA+4 constructing blocks of well-being: a scientific evaluate of the empirical literature. The Journal of Constructive Psychology, DOI: 10.1080/17439760.2023.2208099

Donaldson, Scott I., Donaldson, Stewart I., McQuaid, M., & Kern, M. (2023). The PERMA?+?4 short scale: A cross-cultural empirical validation Using item response theory. Worldwide Journal of Utilized Constructive Psychology. DOI: 10.1007/s41042-023-00110-9.

Donaldson, Scott I., Lee, J.Y. & Donaldson, Stewart I. (2019). Evaluating positive psychology interventions at work: A systematic review and meta-Analysis. Worldwide Journal of Utilized Constructive Psychology, 4, 113–134.

Donaldson Stewart. I., van Zyl LE & Donaldson SI (2022). PERMA+4: A framework for work-related wellbeing, performance and positive organizational psychology 2.0. Frontiers in Psychology. 12:817244. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.817244

PERMA Theory of Well-being and PERMA Workshops. Penn Constructive Psychology Heart.

Dweck, C. (2007). Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. New York: Ballantine Books.

Seligman, M. E. P. (2011). Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being. New York: Free Press. Introduces the PERMA mannequin.

Picture Credit

Walking on a log by Jon Flobrant on Unsplash
Piggy bank image by Andre Taissin on Unsplash