Positive Psychology and Positive Criminology: Similarities and Differences

AuthorEty Elisha,Natti Ronel
Published date01 February 2023
Date01 February 2023
Subject MatterArticles
Criminal Justice Policy Review
2023, Vol. 34(1) 8 –19
© The Author(s) 2022
Article reuse guidelines:
DOI: 10.1177/08874034211065992
Positive Psychology and
Positive Criminology:
Similarities and Differences
Ety Elisha1 and Natti Ronel2
The purpose of this review is to highlight the similarities and differences between
positive psychology and positive criminology—both relatively new concepts that
represent an optimistic view of human beings and their ability to recover—while
calling for a change of focus in the discourse and research of their respective fields.
To this end, we first present a brief overview of each of these perspectives, along
with findings of studies that confirm their assumptions, and then address their
similarities and differences, with an emphasis on positive criminology which is our
area of expertise. We conclude that both approaches seek to improve the quality of
life and well-being of individuals, families, and communities through the development
of human strengths and skills and the provision of social assistance.
positive psychology, positive criminology, well-being, recovery, rehabilitation.
Congratulations are to the editorial board for this special issue on positive psychology
and positive criminology. It is highly apposite: Both approaches are relatively new and
attempt to bring a refreshing voice into existing behavioral science. The two are natu-
rally interrelated, at least in part, in their basic premises and goals—but despite their
similarities, and the impact of positive psychology on positive criminology thinking,
its younger sibling, there are also marked differences between them. In this article, we
aim to briefly describe positive psychology and provide a firsthand description of
1The Max Sterm Yzreel Valley College, Israel
2Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel
Corresponding Author:
Ety Elisha, Department of Criminology, The Max Sterm Yzreel Valley College, Yzreel Valley, Emek
Yezreel 1930600, Israel.
Email: etye@yvc.ac.il
1065992CJPXXX10.1177/08874034211065992Criminal Justice Policy ReviewElisha and Ronel

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