Integrating Technology in Positive Psychology Practice

Integrating Technology in Positive Psychology Practice

Daniela Villani (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italy), Pietro Cipresso (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italy & I.R.C.C.S. Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Italy), Andrea Gaggioli (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italy & I.R.C.C.S. Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Italy) and Giuseppe Riva (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italy & I.R.C.C.S. Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Italy)
Indexed In: PsycINFO®
Release Date: February, 2016|Copyright: © 2016 |Pages: 447
ISBN13: 9781466699861|ISBN10: 1466699868|EISBN13: 9781466699878|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9986-1


Most research on the psychological impact of computers and the Internet has focused on the negative side of technology – i.e. how the use (abuse) of interactive systems and videogames can negatively affect mental health and behavior. On the other hand, less attention has been devoted to understanding how emerging technologies can promote optimal functioning at individual, group, and community levels.

Integrating Technology in Positive Psychology Practice explores the various roles that technology can play in the development of psychological interventions aimed at helping people thrive. Exploring the ways in which ICT can be utilized to foster positive emotions, promote engagement in empowering activities, and support connectedness between individuals, groups, and communities, this timely publication is designed for use by psychologists, IT developers, researchers, and graduate students.

Topics Covered

The many academic areas covered in this publication include, but are not limited to:

  • Affective Control Theory
  • Gaming and Virtual Reality
  • Online Mental Health Support
  • Participatory Wellbeing
  • Positive Technologies
  • Psychological Interventions
  • Stress Management

Reviews and Testimonials

Editors Daniela Villani, Pietro Cipresso, Andrea Gaggioli, and Giuseppe Riva present readers with a collection of academic essays and scholarly articles focused on the contemporary and emerging practice of using technology to positively enhance therapeutic practice. The editors have organized the fifteen contributions that make up the main body of the text in five parts devoted to empowerment, engagement, change, and positive technology; the design of positive systems; positive interventions in health care; positive interventions using games; and positive interventions dealing with cognition and stress.

– ProtoView Reviews

Integrating Technology in Positive Psychology Practice (ITPPP) is a collection of essays on the use of technology to enhance personal experience. It challenges common assumptions about technology by looking at its potential to support human growth and flourishing by harnessing its ability to create goal-oriented systems, augment interactive experiences, and simulate physical presence. As positive psychology has expanded psychology’s focus to include the study and promotion of wellbeing, ITPPP’s essays demonstrate how technology can function in the service of positive outcomes. Divided into five sections that cover theory, system design, applications in health care, gaming-based interventions, and technology applied to stress management, the authors address the full spectrum of psychological, logistical, and ethical considerations, from design and structure to adoption and compliance.

– Pamela Rutledge, PsycCRITIQUES

Table of Contents and List of Contributors

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Author(s)/Editor(s) Biography

Daniela Villani, PhD, is a researcher in General Psychology at the Faculty of Educational Science, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart of Milan. She has collaborated as a junior researcher at the ATNP-LAB (Auxologico Italian Institute, Milan) to the European project (“EMMA” – Engaging Media for Mental Health Applications-IST-2001-39192) aimed to study the emotional impact in virtual environments and she was a three-year scholarship holder for the realization of the Italian project MIUR FIRB “NEUROTIV – Managed Care based on immersive virtual telepresence for the assessment and rehabilitation in neuro psychology and clinical psychology” (RBNE01W8WH) at the same facility. She received some international awards, including the ‘Italian E-content Award in the category of E-Health for the product Dream Island (2005) and the “CRC-Clinical CyberPsychology New Investigator Award” for the quality of research methods in “Narrative Versus Environment: The Role of Media Content in Emotional Induction”(2006). Villani’s scientific efforts and contributions along these years have been focused on three domains and their intersections: psychology of emotions and well-being, communication psychology and new media psychology. In particular, Dr. Villani’s research has been characterized by a strong interdisciplinary nature, covering the following research topics: 1) the relationships between emotions and new technologies; 2) the use of interactive simulations for the training of psychological skills; 3) the cognitive factors related to the use of mediated technologies in the education/training and clinical domains, with a specific focus on the analysis of the concept of “presence”. She is author of contributes at national and international conferences as well as of national and international publications on peer-reviewed journals with impact factor.
Pietro Cipresso, Ph.D., is Senior Researcher and Chief Technical Officer at the Applied Technology for Neuro-Psychology Lab - ATN-P Lab, IRCCS Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Milan and Research Fellow in Psychometrics at Catholic University of Milan. He graduated at Bocconi University of Milan in economics, major in statistics and operational research, and received his Ph.D. in communication and new technologies, major in psychology, from IULM University of Milan, with a dissertation in computational communication and emotions. Cipresso has been Visiting Research Scholar at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and in charge of projects coordination, collaborating in many international and European projects. Pietro Cipresso is author of more than 100 scientific publications and books likeModeling Emotions at the Edge of Chaos, Computing Paradigms for Mental Health, The Psychology of Social Networking, and Virtual Reality: Technologies, Medical Applications and Challenges, and also editor of the Central European Journal of Medicine (Springer), an Associate Editor in Psychology Open Books program (De Gruyter) and of other international peer-reviewed scientific journals and books. In 2012, Cipresso was awarded with the Canadian Research Chair in Clinical Cyberpsychology New Investigator Award, sponsored by the Université du Québec, Outaouais, Canada, for a presentation of outstanding quality.
Andrea Gaggioli, Ph.D. is a Research Professor of General Psychology at the Catholic University of Milan, Italy; Senior Researcher of the Interactive Communication and Ergonomics of NEw Technologies (ICE-NET) Lab. at the Catholic University of Milan, Italy, and Deputy Head Researcher at the Applied Technology for Neuro-Psychology Laboratory - ATN-P Lab., Istituto Auxologico Italiano. For over ten years, Gaggioli has investigated the potential role of pervasive technologies in promoting mental and physical wellbeing. His involvement with those research areas has led to the co-authoring of over fifty articles in refereed journals, including these papers published in Science: (i) Gaggioli A., Riva G., Working the Crowd, Science. 2008 Sep 12;321(5895):1443; (ii) Gorini A, Gaggioli A, Riva G. Virtual Worlds, Real Healing. Science. 2007 Dec 7;318(5856):1549. For his scientific work, Gaggioli has received several international acknowledgements, including the 2005 Annual Prize from the European Academy of Rehabilitation Medicine.
Prof. Giuseppe Riva, Ph.D., is Director of the Interactive Communication and Ergonomics of NEw Technologies (ICE-NET) Lab. at the Catholic University of Milan, Italy, and Head Researcher of the the Applied Technology for Neuro-Psychology Laboratory - ATN-P Lab., Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Verbania Italy. He also is a full professor of General Psychology and Communication Psychology and a member of the steering committee of the Ph.D. programme in Psychology at the Catholic University of Milan, Italy. According to the scientific databases of the ISI Web of Science, PubMed/Medline and PsycInfo, Riva is the scholar who authored the highest number of peer-reviewed scientific publications in the fields of “Virtual Reality” in the world (as of November 2012). He is also 1st in the field of “Interreality” worldwide and within the top 10 in the field of “ambient intelligence” and “telepresence” research. Giuseppe Riva is currently the President of the International Association of CyberPsychology, Training, and Rehabilitation ( Riva is also the Scientific Committee Chair of the CyberTherapy and CyberPsychology Conference (, Workshop Organizer at UbiHealth: The International Workshop on Ubiquitous Health and Wellness ( and Organizing Committee Member for the NextMed – Medicine Meets Virtual Reality Conference (