The mission of the Optentia Research Focus Area is to develop and organise knowledge for the optimal expression of individual, social and institutional potential, with specific interest in the African context. The research programme utilises the inputs from various disciplines in the social sciences, including Psychology, Industrial/Organisational Psychology, Human Resource Management, Educational Psychology, Sociology, Educational Sciences, Employment Relations, and Social Work.

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Recent news

Observing risk management through the psychological looking glass

Prof Marise Born became the latest addition to the North-West University’s (NWU’s) Optentia research focus area’s impressive cadre of extraordinary professors. She recently delivered her prestige lecture on risk ...Read article

Prof Monica Ferreira to receive an honorary doctorate from the NWU

As the most prominent first-generation exponent of research on and the development of a policy on ageing in Africa, the North-West University (NWU) will honour Prof Monica Ferreira with an honorary doctorate on 22 May 2019. She wa...Read article

Penn State expert to join Optentia

Prof Sinfree Makoni will be delivering his prestige lecture as extraordinary professor at the North-West University’s (NWU’s) Optentia research focus area on the campus in Vanderbijlpark on Monday, 20 May 2019. Prof Ma...Read article

Optentia Researchers at the Fifth World Congress on Risk

Five Optentia colleagues attended the Fifth World Congress on Risk, with a focus on Development and Resilience from 6-8 May 2019. Emmanuel Mulambya, Fred Goede and Hermien Zaaiman presented their work on programme risk management,...Read article

Newsletter, April 2019

Recent publications

June 2019

High performance learning: Towards a theory for optimising potential in multi-cultural education contexts.

In L.E. van Zyl & S. Rothmann (Eds.), Theoretical approaches to multicultural positive psychology interventions.

June 2019

How to create a flourishing classroom? An intervention protocol for enhancing teachers’ social and emotional learning.

In L.E. van Zyl & S. Rothmann (Eds.), Positive psychological intervention design and protocols for multi-cultural contexts

Upcoming events



AU-ILO Decent work
Planning and implementation on AU-ILO Decent Work for the transforma...



Optentia Scientific Committee
09:00 - PhD proposal: L. Coxen; 09:45 - Master's proposal: N. Jordaa...



World Congress on Positive Psychology



SIOPSA Conference

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