A Primer in Positive Psychology
Positive psychology is the scientific study of what goes right in life, from birth to death and at all stops in between. It is a newly-christened approach within psychology that takes seriously the examination of that which makes life most worth living. Everyone's life has peaks and valleys, and positive psychology does not deny the valleys. Its signature premise is more nuanced, but nonetheless important: what is good about life is as genuine as what is bad and, therefore, deserves equal attention from psychologists. Positive psychology as an explicit perspective has existed only since 1998, but enough relevant theory and research now exist to fill a textbook suitable for a semester-long college course. A Primer in Positive Psychology is thoroughly grounded in scientific research and covers major topics of concern to the field: positive experiences such as pleasure and flow; positive traits such as character strengths, values, and talents; and the social institutions that enable these subjects as well as what recent research might contribute to this knowledge. Every chapter contains exercises that illustrate positive psychology, a glossary, suggestions of articles and books for further reading, and lists of films, websites, and popular songs that embody chapter themes. A comprehensive overview of positive psychology by one of the acknowledged leaders in the field, this textbook provides students with a thorough introduction to an important area of psychology.
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3 Pleasure and Positive Experience
5 Positive Thinking
6 Character Strengths
8 Interests Abilities and Accomplishments
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ability achievement activities adults asked assessment attachment theory behavior believe chapter character strengths characteristics chology cognitive correlation course Csikszentmihalyi culture depression described Diener Ed Diener effects equity theory eudaimonia example exercise experience explanatory style feel friends Gallup Organization George Vaillant goals happiness hedonism heritability human identify immune system important individual institutional-level virtues institutions intelligence interest John Henryism learned lives Magic Johnson marriage means measures mental health moods moral nations negative one’s optimistic oxytocin parents Park people’s person physical pleasure Pollyanna Principle positive affectivity positive emotions positive psy positive psychology positive traits psychology of religion relationships religion religious research participants respondents satisfaction Schwartz scores self-report Seligman signature strengths skills social someone specific strategy survey theorists theory things tion tive University values versus well-being