This chapter explores positive psychology’s attempt to identify significant human virtues. Early in the positive psychology movement it was recognized that in order to advance research on human excellence, there was a need to develop a classification system complete with measurable strengths that would be meaningful to the good life. The chapter describes and defines the six core virtues, and also explores some of the more specific human strengths thought to be clustered with each virtue. The author believe that the most significant achievement of the Values in Action (VIA) project was to identify virtues and strengths that appear to transcend time and culture. Finally the chapter emphasizes and recommends two other attempts to identify transcendent virtues that come from outside of psychology. To emphasize one virtue without the others is bound to result in an imbalanced life.
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This chapter helps the reader to learn happiness matters. Happiness is not simply a nice consequence of a successful life. Indeed, happiness itself is consequential. Research has shown that there are a number of beneficial by-products to experiencing positive emotions frequently: better relationships, better health, and better occupational success. Lyubomirsky’s theory highlights the importance of the intentionality of positive activities and this brings up an important point about happy people’s pursuits. As positive psychology and the study of happiness come more and more into the public eye, the author increasingly see the need for science to be at the heart of positive psychology. The positive psychology movement has identified six primary virtues that are essential to the good life: wisdom, courage, love, justice, temperance, and transcendence. Although these virtues vary somewhat in their relationships to subjective well-being (SWB), they all may be seen as critical to the life well lived.
This book is about all the exciting aspects that have been investigated in the science of positive psychology. One of the reasons that the interest in positive psychology has increased so much in recent years is that people are interested in happiness, and they’re interested in enhancing their well-being. All conceptions of positive psychology involve something to do with the “positive side of life”, which is clearly contrasted with the negative side of life. The positive side of life seems to go by many names, such as happiness, flourishing, thriving, a worthwhile life, a meaningful life, a fulfilling life, or “what goes right in life”. The study of positive subjective states involves two related but distinct areas of study: positive emotions and subjective well-being (SWB). Positive psychologists often refer to two types of happiness: hedonic and eudaimonic. Any treatments of the history of happiness spend little time on ancient Jewish contributions to our understanding of well-being. From the early Christian tradition, writers encouraged enduring suffering now in the light of future happiness in the afterlife. The book focuses on two theories that are both representative and helpful to the field of positive psychology: the Self-Determination Theory (SDT) and the Hedonic Adaptation Prevention (HAP) model. Gratitude and compassion are very important to the good life; however, when we also emphasize strengths such as prudence, humility, self-control, and integrity, we are much more likely to flourish. The issue of Internet relationships also brings up an alternative form of relationships: Our relationships with our pets. The book attempts to describe the cognitive characteristics of happy people.
- Go to chapter: Foundational Concepts and Issues of Positive Psychology: The What and Why of Happiness
This chapter shows that how positive psychology is in fact important to psychology as a whole. It attempts to explain the foundations of positive psychology. It looks at basic conceptions of happiness and subjective well-being (SWB) including all the debates therein, it explores the history of happiness, it debates the criticisms of positive psychology, it examines important theories of SWB and positive emotion, and finally it gives a taste of research in positive psychology. The chapter demonstrates the importance of the study of happiness and SWB. Moreover, as Fredrickson’s theory has shown, positive emotions are crucial, in that they broaden the authors’ momentary thought/action readiness and build essential personal resources for the future. Happiness and joy are consequential, as Helen Keller affirmed, “Joy is the holy fire that keeps our purpose warm and our intelligence aglow”.
This chapter investigates the genetic makeup of happy people, and draws some conclusions about biological contributions to happiness. It discusses the behavioral characteristics of those who are happy. The chapter delves into an important area of research in positive psychology: looking at the personality traits that predict happiness. It shows that happy people are active in their work and leisure life, and extends this to a more general conclusion: Happy people tend to be active people. Contrary to the stereotype of happiness producing “contented cows”, happy people appear to be actively engaged in life. Religious and spiritual people tend to be happier than those who are not. A healthy humility may have an important role to play in our happiness. Humility helps us accept who we really are, so we can get past ourselves to focus on others and the beauty all around us.
Positive psychology falls within the perspective of humanism (or humanistic psychology) but is different because it focuses on testing ideas. Abraham Maslow had arguably the most well-known view of growth motivation because his concept appears in countless psychology and educational psychology textbooks. Optimism is an area that has an interesting past and has quite a cast of characters over time. Most recent, optimism has been viewed as a cognitive characteristic, but not just plain cognition because there is an emotional component to it. There are two types of happy in the motivation world. The first is hedonic, which focuses on the experience of pleasure, avoiding problems, and having a relaxed and good life. The second, eudaemonic happiness, focuses on three areas: wealth and materialism, attachment, and personal goals. Youth activities that promote positive development do have solid longitudinal research showing their effects.Source:
This book helps in understanding motivation from a perspective of basic knowledge, provides a bit of the schema set that a motivation researcher brings to these situations and offers some guidance in one or more motivational models. Chapter 1 begins with a global definition of motivation. Motivation is not a learning theory, but it affects what people learn. The second chapter talks about topics related to incentives, rewards, reinforcers, and punishers using the operant-conditioning framework. Self-determination theory (SDT) is a large-scale model for motivation, and allows for the discussion of social development, individual differences, and cultural factors that can assist or impede a person’s progress. Needs can be thought of as arising from three categories: physiological, psychological and social needs. The sheer “motivation” for paying attention in class and working on material in class concerning physiological needs is impressive. Individuals have beliefs and judgments about their ability to successfully complete an activity or task, which can be termed as expectations. Additionally, people also have a value system associated with the expectation. Goals are important and goal setting is crucial for moving forward. Long-term goals are better suited for increasing intrinsic motivation. Chapter 7 describes several focused theories within the thematic concept of self-evaluation or self-judgment. Positive psychology falls within the perspective of humanism but focuses on testing ideas. Optimism has been viewed as a cognitive characteristic with an emotional component to it.
This book focuses solely on the modern period and begins in 1927. The aim is to orient the reader to continuing themes in the field and to also point any future historian to unresolved historical questions as these appear. The accounts of the development of the coalition of theory and practice, an account of some of the effects of psychology on society is presented via the account of a fictional family the Blacks whose several generations were impacted by the development of psychology from the 1920s. In 1920, in America, psychology was dominated by two main currents. The first was a tendency to reduce life to habit, and the second was to establish differences between humans by test. Within psychiatry, psychology had long had allies, and during the 1930s some powerful ones became associated with psychology and supported its aims to develop a parallel nonmedical psychotherapy system. The year 1945 saw the culmination of many developments in psychology since the 1920s, which led to two major coalitions being formed. The first of these was represented in the reorganization of the American Psychological Association (APA). The 1950s, in American society as well as psychology, were characterized by two pairs of opposites: liberty versus repression and conformity versus creativity. The 1960s were brought to the United States on television. In the 1980s, the APA added a division of clinical neuropsychology, another specialty area where the advances in both cognitive and brain studies translated into an acceptable medical support occupation for psychologists. The Big 5 Personality Theory began to gather wide recognition in the 1990s. Positive psychology promised an opportunity to focus study on some important and neglected aspects of human life.