Paul T. P. Wong

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Paul T. P. Wong

Ph.D., C.Psych
Paul T. P. Wong
Paul T. P. Wong, speaking at the Lotus Foundation in Taiwan, 2013.
Native name
王载宝
PronunciationWáng Zàibǎo
BornApril 1, 1937
Tianjin, China
ResidenceToronto, Ontario, Canada
CitizenshipCanadian
EducationPh.D., University of Toronto, 1970
OccupationPresident, Meaning-Centered Counselling Institute Inc.


Adjunct Professor, Saybrook University
Professor Emeritus, Trent University


Professor Emeritus, Trinity Western University
OrganizationInternational Network on Personal Meaning
Known forMeaning Therapy
Second Wave Positive Psychology
Spouse(s)Lilian C. J. Wong
Children2
Websitedrpaulwong.com

Paul T. P. Wong is a Canadian clinical psychologist[1] and professor. His research career has gone through four stages, with significant contributions in each stage: learning theory, social cognition, existential psychology, and positive psychology. He is most known for his integrative work on death acceptance,[2] meaning therapy,[3] and second wave positive psychology (PP 2.0).[4] He has been elected as a fellow for both the American Psychological Association and the Canadian Psychological Association.

Wong is the Founder and President of the International Network on Personal Meaning[5] and Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Existential Psychology and Psychotherapy. With more than 300 publications in journals and book chapters, his major books are the two editions of The Human Quest for Meaning: A Handbook of Psychological Research and Clinical Applications (1998) and The Human Quest for Meaning: Theories, Research, and Applications (2012), as well as The Handbook of Multicultural Perspectives on Stress and Coping (2006).

Wong is currently Adjunct Professor at Saybrook University[6] and Professor Emeritus of Trent University[7] and Trinity Western University.[8] At the latter, he was the Founding Director of the Graduate Counselling Psychology Program. He also taught at the University of Texas at Austin, York University, and the Graduate Division of the University of Toronto.

Personal life[edit]

Wong was born in Tianjin, China in 1937 and migrated to Hong Kong in 1948. He came to Canada as an international student in 1961, earning his B.Th. from the Toronto Bible College (now Tyndale University College and Seminary) in 1964 and B.A. in Honours Psychology from Carleton University in 1967. In 1970, he earned his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Toronto.

Wong's career straddles two domains: psychology and Christian ministry. He first served as the Founding Pastor of the Chinese Gospel Church in Toronto in the early 1960s, and then started the Peterborough Chinese Christian Fellowship in the 1970s while teaching at Trent University. He was involved in resettling the boat people in the 1980s. Afterward, he founded the graduate program in counselling psychology at Trinity Western University in the early 1990s. During his tenure, he started a neighbours-together program and received a Cultural Harmony Award from VanCity for his community outreach.[9]

Research[edit]

Wong's research career has covered several domains in psychology: learning theory, social cognition, existential psychology, and positive psychology.

Learning theory[edit]

Wong's first decade of research in the area of animal learning focused on how to develop persistence in animals in spite of frustration or pain. Through a variety of intermittent reinforcement and punishment schedules, he taught animals persistence in overcoming prolonged failure.[10][11][12] This series of research provided an animal model of the positive psychology of optimism and grit as well as the empirical basis for his deep-and-wide hypothesis of negative situations.[13] His research on persistence has also led to Rosenbaum's development of learned resourcefulness.[14]

Social cognition[edit]

In the area of social cognition, Wong's main contribution was the demonstration of spontaneous attribution, both causal and existential.[15][16] As well, Wong demonstrated that internal and external control are two separate dimensions rather than opposite poles on the same continuum.[17] This finding later led to the development of the dual-system model of adaptation[13] and the dialectical approach to positive psychology.[4][18][19]

Wong's main contribution to stress and coping research is the resource-congruence model[20][21] and the Stress Appraisal Measure (SAM).[22] Wong also made the case that effective coping needs to be a part of positive psychology in his second wave of positive psychology (PP 2.0).[23][24]

In the area of positive aging and dying, Wong redirected the concept of successful aging from an emphasis on physical and biological factors to a psychological and spiritual orientation.[25][26][27][28] Wong also developed the Death Attitude Profile-Revised (DAP-R), which includes three kinds of death acceptance as positive ways to cope with the reality of death.[29]

Existential psychology[edit]

Wong developed a pluralistic and integrative meaning therapy.[30][31] Based on Viktor Frankl’s logotherapy,[32][33][34] meaning therapy also incorporates cognitive behavioral therapy,[35] positive psychotherapy,[3][36] and research findings on meaning and purpose.[37][38] Wong's main conceptual contribution to meaning therapy is identifying four components of meaning: Purpose, Understanding, Responsible Actions, and Enjoyment/Evaluation (the PURE model).[30] Meaning therapy interventions focus on self-transcendence, such as reframing bad situations into some larger meaningful context and pursuing some life goal that is larger than oneself.[39] Currently, he is a Virtue Scholar of the collaborative working group on Virtue, Happiness, and the Meaning of Life,[40] funded by the John Templeton Foundation.

Positive psychology 2.0[edit]

Wong's integration of existential psychology with positive psychology resulted in Existential Positive Psychology,[41][42] which recognizes the existential concerns and dark side of human existence. Later, this was broadened to become the second wave of positive psychology (PP 2.0),[4] which acknowledges the importance of the dialectical Yin-Yang principle and Asian indigenous psychology.[19] PP 2.0 is based on the foundation of the co-existence of opposites as essential for human development and flourishing.

Wong has given positive psychology away[43] through his Meaningful Living MeetUp group since 2011.[44] Participants learn basic principles of meaning and new ways of relating to each other. This outreach program was intended to improve mental health at the grassroots level.[45]

International psychology[edit]

Wong's contribution to cross-cultural and international psychology is threefold. The first was his emphasis on the importance of cross-cultural perspectives in stress and coping and positive psychology.[23][46][47][48] In addition, he has been organizing the Biennial International Meaning Conference since 2000.[49] At the 9th Biennial International Meaning Conference, he organized the first Second Wave Positive Psychology Summit.[50]

His research on death acceptance and the meaning of life impacted Taiwan's Life and Death Education.[51] He has given lecture tours in Taiwan and was awarded the 12th Global Love of Life Medal from the Chou Ta-kuan Cultural & Educational Foundation, the Lifetime Achievement Award in Life Education by the National Taipei University of Nursing and Health, and the Rising Great Compassion Award from the Buddhist Lotus Hospice Care Foundation.

Selected publications[edit]

Wong has published over 300 articles and chapters and authored or edited 11 books and monographs.[52] The following is a selected list of his most cited papers.

  • Wong, P. T. P., & Weiner, B. (1981). When people ask “Why” questions and the heuristic of attributional search. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 40(4), 650-663. [Cited by 1133][53]
  • Reker, G. T., & Wong, P. T. P. (1988). Aging as an individual process: Towards a theory of personal meaning. In J. E. Birren, & V. L. Bengston (Eds.), Emergent theories of aging (pp. 214–246). New York, NY: Springer. [Cited by 525][53]
  • Reker, G. T., Peacock, E. J., & Wong, P. T. P. (1987). Meaning and purpose in life and well-being: A life-span perspective. Journal of Gerontology, 42, 44-49. [Cited by 483][53]
  • Wong, P. T. P., Reker, G. T., & Gesser, G. (1994). Death Attitude Profile – Revised: A multidimensional measure of attitudes toward death (DAP-R). In R. A. Neimeyer (Ed.), Death anxiety handbook: Research, instrumentation, and application (pp. 121–148). Washington, DC: Taylor & Francis. [Cited by 453][53]
  • Wong, P. T. P. (1998). Implicit theories of meaningful life and the development of the Personal Meaning Profile (PMP). In P. T. P. Wong, & P. Fry (Eds.), The human quest for meaning: A handbook of psychological research and clinical applications (pp. 111–140). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. [Cited by 368][53]

Selected awards and honors[edit]

  • 1981–1986, member of the Behavior/Biological Review Panel in the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in Washington, DC.
  • 1994–1997, member of the National Advisory Council on Aging, an advisory body to Canada's Minister of Health in Ottawa, ON.
  • 1999, recipient of the Statue of Responsibility Award from the Viktor Frankl Institute of Logotherapy Vienna, Austria.
  • 2002, the Board of Governors at Trinity Western University established the Paul Wong Center for Research in Counselling Psychology.
  • 2008, recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Network on Personal Meaning, Toronto, ON.
  • 2013, recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award in Life Education at the National Taipei University of Nursing and Health, Taiwan.
  • 2016, recipient of the Carl Rogers Award presented by the Society for Humanistic Psychology (Division 32) of the American Psychological Association.

References[edit]

  1. ^ College of Psychologists of Ontario. (2013). Paul T. P. Wong. Retrieved from https://members.cpo.on.ca/public_register/show/1252
  2. ^ Wong, P. T. P., Reker, G. T., & Gesser, G. (1994). Death Attitude Profile – Revised: A multidimensional measure of attitudes toward death (DAP-R). In R. A. Neimeyer (Ed.), Death anxiety handbook: Research, instrumentation, and application (pp. 121-148). Washington, DC: Taylor & Francis.
  3. ^ a b Wong, P. T. P. (2015). Meaning therapy: Assessments and interventions. Existential Analysis, 26(1), 154-167.
  4. ^ a b c Wong, P. T. P. (2011). Positive psychology 2.0: Towards a balanced interactive model of the good life. Canadian Psychology, 52(2), 69-81.
  5. ^ "About". www.meaning.ca. International Network on Personal Meaning. Retrieved 2016-03-23.
  6. ^ Saybrook University. (2016). Paul Wong. Retrieved from http://www.saybrook.edu/faculty/byname/Paul_Wong/
  7. ^ Trent University. (n.d.). Psychology faculty. Retrieved fromhttp://www.trentu.ca/psychology/Faculty.htm
  8. ^ Trinity Western University. (2015). Paul Wong. Retrieved fromhttp://twu.ca/directory/faculty/paul-wong.html
  9. ^ Bolsta, Phil (2012-06-13). "My Video Interview With Dr. Paul Wong on Meaning and Purpose". Triumph of the Spirit. Retrieved 2016-03-25.
  10. ^ Wong, P. T. P. (1977). A behavioral field approach to instrumental learning in the rat: I. Partial reinforcement effects and sex differences. Animal Learning & Behavior, 5(1), 5-13. doi:10.3758/BF03209123
  11. ^ Wong, P. T. P. (1995). A stage model of coping with frustrative stress. In R. Wong (Ed.), Biological perspectives on motivated activities (pp. 339-378). Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
  12. ^ Wong, P. T. P. (2006). The positive psychology of persistence and flexibility. Positive Living Newsletter. Retrieved from http://meaning.ca/archives/presidents_columns/pres_col_feb_2006_persistance-and-flexibility.htm
  13. ^ a b Wong, P. T. P. (2012). Toward a dual-systems model of what makes life worth living. In P. T. P. Wong (Ed.), The human quest for meaning: Theories, research, and applications (2nd ed., pp. 3-22). New York, NY: Routledge.
  14. ^ Rosenbaum, M. E. (1990). Learned resourcefulness: On coping skills, self-control, and adaptive behavior. New York, NY: Springer.
  15. ^ Wong, P. T. P., & Weiner, B. (1981). When people ask “Why” questions and the heuristic of attributional search. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 40, 650-663.
  16. ^ Wong, P. T. P. (1991). Existential vs. causal attributions. In S. Zelen (Ed.), New models, new extensions of attribution theory (pp. 84-125). New York, NY: Springer-Verlag.
  17. ^ Wong, P. T. P., & Sproule, C. F. (1984). Attributional analysis of locus of control and the Trent Attribution Profile (TAP). In H. M. Lefcourt (Ed.), Research with the locus of control construct: Limitations and extensions (Vol. 3, pp. 309-360). New York, NY: Academic Press.
  18. ^ Wong, P. T. P. (2009). Chinese positive psychology. In S. Lopez (Ed.), Encyclopedia of positive psychology (Vol. 1, pp. 148-156). Oxford, UK: Wiley Blackwell.
  19. ^ a b Wong, P. T. P. (2016). Chinese positive psychology revisited. International Journal of Existential Psychology and Psychotherapy, 6(1).
  20. ^ Wong, P. T. P. (1993). Effective management of life stress: The resource-congruence model. Stress Medicine, 9, 51-60.
  21. ^ Wong, P. T. P., Reker, G. T., & Peacock, E. (2006). The resource-congruence model of coping and the development of the Coping Schema Inventory. In P. T. P. Wong, & L. C. J. Wong (Eds.), Handbook of multicultural perspectives on stress and coping (pp. 223-283). New York, NY: Springer.
  22. ^ Peacock, E. J., & Wong, P. T. P. (1990). The Stress Appraisal Measure (SAM): A multidimensional approach to cognitive appraisal. Stress Medicine, 6, 227-236.
  23. ^ a b Wong, P. T. P., & Wong, L. C. J. (Eds.). (2006). Handbook of multicultural perspectives on stress and coping. New York, NY: Springer.
  24. ^ Wong, P. T. P., Wong, L. C. J., & Scott, C. (2006). Beyond stress and coping: The positive psychology of transformation. In P. T. P. Wong, & L. C. J. Wong (Eds.), Handbook of multicultural perspectives on stress and coping (pp. 1-26). New York, NY: Springer.
  25. ^ Reker, G. T., Peacock, E. J., & Wong, P. T. P. (1987). Meaning and purpose in life and well-being: A life-span perspective. Journal of Gerontology, 42, 44-49.
  26. ^ Reker, G. T., & Wong, P. T. P. (1988). Aging as an individual process: Towards a theory of personal meaning. In J. E. Birren, & V. L. Bengston (Eds.), Emergent theories of aging (pp. 214-246). New York, NY: Springer.
  27. ^ Wong, P. T. P., & Watt, L. (1991). What types of reminiscence are associated with successful aging? Psychology and Aging, 6, 272-279.
  28. ^ Reker, G. T., & Wong, P. T. P. (2012). Personal meaning in life and psychosocial adaptation in the later years. In P. T. P. Wong (Ed.), The human quest for meaning: Theories, research, and applications (2nd ed., pp. 433-456). New York, NY: Routledge.
  29. ^ Wong, P. T. P., Reker, G. T., & Gesser, G. (1994). Death Attitude Profile – Revised: A multidimensional measure of attitudes toward death. In R. A. Neimeyer (Ed.), Death anxiety handbook: Research, instrumentation, and application (pp. 121-148). Washington, DC: Taylor & Francis.
  30. ^ a b Wong, P. T. P. (2012). From logotherapy to meaning-centered counseling and therapy. In P. T. P. Wong (Ed.), The human quest for meaning: Theories, research, and applications (2nd ed., pp. 619-647). New York, NY: Routledge.
  31. ^ Wong, P. T. P. (in press). Integrative meaning therapy: From logotherapy to existential positive interventions. In P. Russo-Netzer, S. E. Schulenberg, & A. Batthyany (Eds.). To thrive, to cope, to understand: Meaning in positive and existential psychotherapy. New York, NY: Springer.
  32. ^ Wong, P. T. P. (2002). Logotherapy. In G. Zimmer (Ed.), Encyclopedia of psychotherapy (pp. 107-113). New York, NY: Academic Press.
  33. ^ Wong, P. T. P. (2014). Viktor Frankl’s meaning seeking model and positive psychology. In A. Batthyany, & P. Russo-Netzer (Eds.), Meaning in existential and positive psychology (pp. 149-184). New York, NY: Springer.
  34. ^ Wong, P. T. P. (2016). Logotherapy. In A. Wenzel (Ed.), The SAGE encyclopedia of abnormal and clinical psychology. New York, NY: Sage.
  35. ^ Wong, P. T. P. (1997). Meaning-centered counselling: A cognitive-behavioral approach to logotherapy. The International Forum for Logotherapy, 20(2), 85-94.
  36. ^ Wong, P. T. P. (2010). Meaning therapy: An integrative and positive existential psychotherapy. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy. 40(2), 85-99.
  37. ^ Wong, P. T. P., & Fry, P. S. (Eds.). (1998). The human quest for meaning: A handbook of psychological research and clinical applications. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
  38. ^ Wong, P. T. P. (Ed.). (2012). The human quest for meaning: Theories, research, and applications (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.
  39. ^ Wong, P. T. P. (2016). Self-transcendence: A paradoxical way to become your best. International Journal of Existential Psychology and Psychotherapy, 6(1). Retrieved from http://www.drpaulwong.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Self-Transcendence_A-Paradoxical-Way-to-Become-Your-Best-2016-Aug-15.pdf
  40. ^ Virtue, Happiness, and the Meaning of Life. (2015). Scholars. Retrieved from https://virtue.uchicago.edu/page/scholars
  41. ^ Wong, P. T. P. (2009). Existential positive psychology. In S. J. Lopez (Ed.), Encyclopedia of positive psychology (Vol. 1, pp. 361-368). Oxford, UK: Wiley Blackwell.
  42. ^ Wong, P. T. P. (2016). Existential positive psychology. International Journal of Existential Psychology and Psychotherapy, 6(1).
  43. ^ Wong, P. T. P. (2012, June 22). Giving positive psychology away: Meaningful living meetups. Positive Psychology News Daily. Retrieved from http://positivepsychologynews.com/news/paul-wong/2012062222849
  44. ^ Meaningful Living Project. (2016). Meaningful living group. Retrieved from http://www.inpm.org
  45. ^ Wong, P. T. P. (2016). Meaning centered positive group intervention. In P. Russo-Netzer, S. Schulenberg, & A. Batthyány (Eds.), To thrive, to cope, to understand: Meaning in positive and existential psychotherapy (pp. 0-0). New York, NY: Springer.
  46. ^ Wong, P. T. P., & Ujimoto, K. V. (1998). The elderly: Their stress, coping, and mental health. In L. C. Lee, & N. W. S. Zane (Eds.), Handbook of Asian American psychology (pp. 165-209). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  47. ^ Leong, F. T. L., & Wong, P. T. P. (2003). Optimal human functioning from cross-cultural perspectives. In B. Walsh (Ed.), Counseling psychology and optimal human functioning (pp. 123-150). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
  48. ^ Wong, P. T. P. (2013). Cross-cultural positive psychology. In K. Keith (Ed.), Encyclopedia of cross-cultural psychology. Oxford, UK: Wiley Blackwell.
  49. ^ "International Meaning Conference". www.meaning.ca/conference. International Network on Personal Meaning. Retrieved 2016-03-23.
  50. ^ "Presentations". 9th Biennial International Meaning Conference.
  51. ^ Chang, S-M. (2016). The development and implementation of life education in Taiwan: A meaning-centered positive education. Meaning Conference. Retrieved from http://meaning.ca/conference/shu-mei-chang/
  52. ^ Wong, P. T. P. "Curriculum Vitae". Dr. Paul T. P. Wong. Retrieved 2016-03-25.
  53. ^ a b c d e "Paul T. P. Wong - Google Scholar Citations". scholar.google.ca. Retrieved 2016-12-19.

External links[edit]