The Quality of Life Research Center at Claremont Graduate University was founded in 1999. The center is a nonprofit research institute that studies positive psychology — that is, human strengths such as creativity, engagement, intrinsic motivation, and responsibility.

In the past, the study of behavior has focused mainly on what goes wrong in human affairs: aggression, mental disease, failure and hopelessness. While it is essential to study and address such pathologies, it is equally important to understand those aspects of human experience that make life worth living. The center conducts research on such issues, and provides a forum for scholars from the U.S. and abroad who wish to extend their studies in positive psychology.

Graduate programs in positive psychology were launched in the fall of 2007 through the School of Social Science, Policy & Evaluation, Division of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences and Department of Psychology. The PhD programs in Positive Organizational Psychology and Positive Developmental Psychology provide research training in positive psychology. MA co-concentrations in Evaluation and either Positive Organizational Psychology or Positive Developmental Psychology are also offered.


The center is currently conducting research projects on the sources of good mentoring with a grant from the Spencer Foundation, and on well-being as part of the cross-national Eudaimonic and Hedonic Happiness Investigation. Other research the center is currently pursuing include the study of everyday life using experience sampling methods and the study of good work in the second half of life.

With the help of grants from the Fetzer, Ford, Hewlett, Spencer, and Templeton Foundations, the center has conducted research jointly with Harvard and Stanford universities on the conditions that make good work in the professions possible. Areas investigated included business, human genetics, the media, philanthropy, and higher education. Findings are used to enhance professional training in these areas.

The center welcomes inquiries about collaboration on projects in line with its basic mission.

If you are interested in being a participant in studies conducted by the Center, please email us at