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A Primer in Positive Psychology

by
Edition:
1st
ISBN13:

9780195188332

ISBN10:
0195188330
Format:
Paperback
Pub. Date:
7/27/2006
Publisher(s):
Oxford University Press
List Price: $48.95

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Summary

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.

Author Biography


Christopher Peterson has been at the University of Michigan since 1986. He is Professor of Psychology, the former director of clinical training, and an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, awarded in recognition of his accomplishments as an undergraduate instructor. Peterson is a member of the Positive Psychology Steering Committee, a consulting editor of the Journal of Positive Psychology, and a Templeton Senior Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania's Positive Psychology Center. He took the lead in creating the Values in Action (VIA) Classification of Strengths, the most ambitious research project to date explicitly undertaken from a positive psychology perspective. Co-author of Character Strengths and Virtues (OUP 2004), Peterson is among the world's 100 most-frequently cited psychologists during the past 20 years and has long-standing research interests in optimism, health, character, and well-being.

Table of Contents

What Is Positive Psychology?
3(22)
Learning About Positive Psychology: Not a Spectator Sport
25(22)
Pleasure and Positive Experience
47(28)
Happiness
75(32)
Positive Thinking
107(30)
Character Strengths
137(28)
Values
165(30)
Interests, Abilities, and Accomplishments
195(28)
Wellness
223(26)
Positive Interpersonal Relationships
249(26)
Enabling Institutions
275(30)
The Future of Positive Psychology
305(10)
References 315(52)
Name Index 367(14)
Subject Index 381


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