Bibliometric Analyses on the Emergence and Present Growth of Positive Psychology


* Gabriel Schui, University of Trier, ZPID, D-54286 Trier, Germany. Email:


Bibliometric results on the emergence and recent developmental trends of publications on positive psychology are presented within an outline of its precursors (i.e. humanistic psychology) and its special features in reference to humanistic psychology, health psychology, and developmental psychology. Terminological confusions (e.g. positivism in differential psychology vs. in epistemology; positive psychology) in psychological databases are described and resolved in bibliometric analyses for the time period between 2000 and 2008. The present results include findings reporting the incidence of multiple authorships, authors’ national institutional affiliations, the semantic network of publications on positive psychology, selected citation rates, and methodological classifications of the literature on positive psychology. With reference to PsycINFO, analyses show that publications on positive psychology increased markedly. Yet in comparison to other psychological subdisciplines and areas, literature output remains rather low. However, results on publication types and media point at a broad-range impact of positive psychology on various applied and basic psychological subdisciplines. Together with the solid empirical foundation of positive psychology's literature, this leads to a positive prognosis for the further development of positive psychology.