Session 1B Wellbeing and Bridge


Professor Samantha Punch (BAMSA)

Live Keynote Address

Wellbeing and Bridge

Professor Martin Seligman (Zellerbach Family Professor of Psychology and
Director of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania, USA)

Wellbeing has five pillars: Positive Emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment (PERMA). Professor Seligman examines the effect of playing serious bridge on each. Bridge has entered a new electronic epoch. Skill levels are now higher than ever, and the game has never been better played. If the problem of cheating can be overcome, a positive inflection point for the greatest of games will have been reached.


Professor Seligman has focused his work on the study of positive mental health. His academic career started in the 1960s with his ground-breaking theory of learned helplessness and he has authored more than 30 books on motivation and learning. Since the late 1990s he has led the movement for positive psychology, describing his theory of happiness in Authentic Happiness (2002) and his theory of wellbeing in Flourish (2011). More recently Professor Seligman has used the lexicon of communications across social media platforms to measure the wellbeing of men, women and children of different ages.

Professor Seligman is a life-long bridge player, winner of more than 50 regional championships and an ACBL Platinum Life Master. He says of himself:  ‘I’m a serious, but mediocre player, and I love the game.’