Get to know Associate Professor Aaron Jarden, wellbeing consultant, keen traveller and Director of the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology.
Aaron has previously been a Senior Research Fellow at Flinders University, and Head of Research at the Wellbeing and Resilience Centre at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI). He is founder and past president of the New Zealand Association of Positive Psychology, also founder and co-editor of the International Journal of Wellbeing, lead investigator for the International Wellbeing Study, and Senior Scientist for Work on Wellbeing amongst others.
Q: Do you have a particular area of research?
Positive psychology and the science of wellbeing. Within those areas, I am particularly interested in the assessment of wellbeing and in the application of wellbeing programs, and how we can make the impacts of wellbeing initiatives stick at a scalable and sustainable level.
Q: Do you have a defining moment or influential person who encouraged you to pursue education?
I would like to say “yes”, but the true answer is “not really”. No one in my family went to university for example. I’ve have always been lucky enough to curiously follow my passions and this path has lead me from starting in education, to philosophy, to computing, to psychology – and then to various fields within psychology; social psychology, clinical psychology, and now positive psychology.
Q: What advice would you give to those students thinking about taking MAPP?
The Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) is a life changing program. In fact, there is research to show the many positive impacts that the MAPP program has on graduates at both professional and personal levels. I know that personally I have benefited enormously from practicing and studying in this field of wellbeing. At present my work is one of the most important parts of my life; what I do for a living is a vital part of who I am. I love my work and I think it makes the world a better place.
Q: What are your passions outside of education?
I am curious about all facets of life, and have a deep love of learning. I love modern art, 90’s music, playing games with our 8-year-old daughter, being involved in community projects to focus on wellbeing, and probably most of all travel (having now been to well over 50+ countries).
Read Associate Professor Aaron Jarden's biography here.