What Pre-school Children Think about Happiness, Hope, Gratitude, Wisdom, Justice, and Optimism? The Positive Conceptual Thinking Development Study

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Sanja Tatalović Vorkapić https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9170-8455
Ana Babić Šikić

Keywords

Concept development, positive psychology, and pre-school children.

Abstract

The purpose of this research was to explore how pre-school children define and understand positive psychology concepts such as happiness, wisdom, hope, justice, gratitude, and optimism. The research included 100 children (4-7 years old) in Croatia. After receiving consent from parents, an individual structured interview with children was applied. Qualitative and quantitative methodology was used in data processing. It was found that children had the most comprehensive definitions of happiness, but defined the concept of justice the least. Furthermore, although the concept of gratitude recorded the highest answer frequency, the concept of happiness in relation to gratitude was accurately defined. Gratitude was followed by hope, justice, wisdom, and optimism. Boys gave significantly more answers considering happiness, wisdom, justice, and optimism, while older children offered significantly more answers considering the concept of happiness.

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