A Life Worth Living: Contributions to Positive Psychology
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Isabella Selega Csikszentmihalyi
Oxford University Press, USA, Apr 20, 2006 - Self-Help - 253 pages
A Life Worth Living brings together the latest thought on Positive Psychology from an international cast of scholars. It includes historical, philosophical, and empirical reviews of what psychologists have found to matter for personal happiness and well-being. The contributions to this volume agree on priciples of optimal development that start from purely material and selfish concerns, but then lead to ever broader circles of responsibility embracing the goals of others and the well-being of the environment; on the importance of spirituality; on the development of strengths specific to the individual.
Rather than material success, popularity, or power, the investigations reported in this volume suggest that personally constructed goals, intrinsic motivation, and a sense of autonomy are much more important. The chapters indicate that hardship and suffering do not necessarily make us unhappy, and they suggest therapeutical implications for improving the quality of life. Specific topics covered include the formation of optimal childhood values and habits as well as a new perspective on aging.
This volume provides a powerful counterpoint to a mistakenly reductionist psychology. They show that subjective experience can be studied scientifically and measured accurately. They highlight the potentiality for autonomy and freedom that is among the most precious elements of the human condition. MOreover, they make a convincing case for the importance of subjective phenomena, which often affect happiness more than external, material conditions.
After long decades during which psychologists seemed to have forgotten that misery is not the only option, the blossoming of Positive Psychology promises a better understanding of what a vigorous, meaningful life may consist of.
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Historical and Theoretical Perspectives
The Values in Action VIA Classification of Strengths
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accommodative action activities adolescents Alexithymia American Psychological Association approach assimilative associated Baltes behavior Brandtstadter broaden-and-build theory character strengths Classification clinical psychology cognitive concept coping correlated cross-cultural Csikszentmihalyi cultural Deci depression developmental Diener disorders effects Emmons emotional intelligence Emotional Intelligence Test Fave feelings focused Fredrickson function Gallup Organization happiness human important internal intrinsic Isen Journal of Personality Kasser levels life-span lives Martin Seligman Massimini Mayer meaning measures Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi motivation MSCEIT negative emotions Nurmi one's optimal experience outcomes Pargament participants people's personal development personal goals Personality and Social perspective Peterson positive affect positive emotions positive psychology problems processes psychological resilience psychology of religion psychotherapy relationship religion religious reported resilience role Rothermund Salmela-Aro Salovey self-determination self-determination theory self-report Seligman Sheldon situation Social Psychology spiritual strategies strivings subjective well-being suggest task therapy tion tive traits University Press William Stern York