Melbourne Graduate School of Education - Research Publications

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    Positive Psychologists on Positive Psychology (Vol. 3)
    Jarden, A ; Slemp, G ; Chia, A ; Lahti, E ; Hwang, EB ; Jarden, A ; Slemp, G ; Chia, A ; Lahti, E ; Hwang, EB (No publisher, 2016)
    Interest in positive psychology is rapidly expanding as the field continues to make swift progress in terms of scientific advancement and understanding. There are more courses, more workshops, more conferences, more students, more associations, more journals and more textbooks than ever before. The news media and public are thirsty for information related to happiness, and, specifically, wellbeing, and for all facets of positive psychology generally. Psychology departments are increasingly looking to teach courses and offer qualifications that focus specifically on positive psychology, and various organisations are trying to understand how they can best capitalise on and harness the field’s initial scientific findings. What you don’t hear so much about is how positive psychology operates in the real world, how researchers and practitioners became interested in positive psychology, how they work with clients and the various models and theories they use. What do they find most useful? What happens to their thinking and practice as they become experienced and knowledgeable in the positive psychology arena? Why did they decide to move into positive psychology? What do they get out of being involved in the positive psychology community? What directions are they and the field heading towards? Is gender an issue for this developing field? This book discusses these kinds of questions and issues, and is a book for all those in the wellbeing, helping professional and psychological fields interested in knowing more about the development, theory, research and application of the new field of positive psychology. It is a book that spans an eclectic range of interests from psychology students to psychologists, to coaches, to media and beyond.
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    Contemplative Interventions and Employee Distress: A Meta‐Analysis
    Slemp, G ; Jach, H ; Chia, A ; Loton, D ; Kern, M (Wiley, 2019)
    Mindfulness, meditation, and other practices that form contemplative interventions are increasingly offered in workplaces to support employee mental health. Studies have reported benefits across various populations, yet researchers have expressed concerns that adoption of such interventions has outpaced scientific evidence. We reappraise the extant literature by meta‐analytically testing the efficacy of contemplative interventions in reducing psychological distress in employees (meta‐analyzed set: k = 119; N = 6,044). Complementing other reviews, we also examine a range of moderators and the impact of biases that could artificially inflate effect sizes. Results suggested interventions were generally effective in reducing employee distress, yielding small to moderate effects that were sustained at last follow‐up. Effects were moderated by the type of contemplative intervention offered and the type of control group utilized. We also found evidence of publication bias, which is likely inflating estimated effects. Uncontrolled single sample studies were more affected by bias than large or randomized controlled trial studies. Adjustments for publication bias lowered overall effects. Overall, our review supports the effectiveness of contemplative interventions in reducing employee distress, but there is a need for proactive strategies to mitigate artificially inflated effect sizes and thus avoid the misapplication of contemplative interventions in work settings.
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    Distilling the Essence of the McKinsey* Way: The Problem-Solving Cycle
    Chia, A (Sage Publications, 2019)
    Consulting projects where students are tasked to propose solutions to a client issue are a common feature in many business courses. Whether scenario-based or dealing with real clients, students engaged in consulting tasks tend to focus on solution development without giving due consideration to the underlying process by which they derive their solutions. Drawing on consulting practitioner approaches, this article presents a translation of the McKinsey approach as a six-stage structured problem-solving methodology that can be used to guide students on how to develop solutions in a systematic, logical, and evidence-based way. Prescribing a standardized methodology to students to guide their approach to consulting tasks ensures that they are able define and decompose business problems effectively and enhances the credibility of their proposed solutions.