January 11, 2007
Teaching positive psychology with country western song lyrics
Augusta, GA – It’s not every day that a psychology class is taught with songs such as Johnny Cash’s I Walk the Line, Tammy Wynette’s Stand By Your Man, or Willie Nelson’s Mama Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys playing in the background.
That is exactly what Robert Reeves, professor of psychology in Augusta State University’s Department of Psychology, did in a consumer behavior class—not for fun, but for research. He found some common elements between the more positive themes in country music and the content of positive psychology.
“Positive psychology focuses on several key concepts—positive experiences, positive traits and virtues, and positive institutions or community,” Dr. Reeves paraphrases in his research. “It occurred to us that some of the more positive country lyrics might be a useful way to illustrate certain concepts from positive psychology in a classroom setting.”
Dr. Reeves adds that these types of studies may illustrate the need to use creative and interactive teaching methods. “Our study also demonstrates that there are many positive themes in country music, which may have an effect on the stereotype that country music projects,” he says.
To pursue this topic, contact Amy Connell, information specialist in ASU’s Office of Public Relations and Publications, at 706-667-4807.
January 2007 | February 2007