Positive Psychology as Social Change / Edition 1

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In recent times there has been growing interest in positive psychology. This is evidenced by the swell in positive psychology graduate programs, undergraduate courses, journals related to the topic, popular book titles on the topic and scholarly publications. Within the positive psychology community there has been an increased emphasis on the socially beneficial side of positive psychological science. At the First World Congress of the International Positive Psychology Association there was a major push to look at positive psychology as a social change mechanism. This volume brings together the thoughts of leaders in positive psychology from eight countries to capitalize on the push toward social change and to help frame the agenda for positive psychology as a force for social change. The book contains cutting-edge thinking on a number of important issues including public policy, poverty, environmentalism, education and therapy, philanthropy and technology. Each chapter includes insights gained from research, theory and program experience and presents practical suggestions for using positive psychology as a force for social change. This seminal work is meant for anyone interested in happiness, strengths, flourishing or positive institutions. It introduces Positive Psychology as an applied science that can be used to create positive social transformation and enabling institutions. This is a must-have title for academics, especially psychologists, sociologists, economists, and professionals working in the field of Positive Psychology and Well-Being.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

From the reviews:

“This volume demonstrates how the emphasis of positive psychology can and should be shifted from the individual to the group level. … Biswas-Diener … and the other contributors introduce the reader to cutting-edge thinking about public policy and interventions designed to impact individuals who find themselves in a wide variety of social contexts. … Rarely does one find a volume of this genre to be as enthralling and thought provoking as this one. Summing up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals.” (R. B. Stewart Jr., Choice, Vol. 49 (5), January, 2012)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789048199372
  • Publisher: Springer Netherlands
  • Publication date: 12/10/2010
  • Edition description: 2011
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 358
  • Product dimensions: 0.88 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 6.14 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Biswas-Diener is widely known as the "Indiana Jones of Positive Psychology" because his scientific pursuit of the emotional good life has led him to such far flung places as India, Greenland, Israel, Kenya, and Spain. He sits on the editorial boards of the Journal of Positive Psychology and the Journal of Happiness Studies.

Robert is CAPP's Programme Director for Education and Learning. He is also part-time instructor of psychology at Portland State University (USA). Robert is the author of the books, Positive Psychology Coaching: Putting the science of happiness to work for your clients (Wiley, 2007), and Happiness: Unlocking the mysteries of psychological wealth (Blackwell, 2008).

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Table of Contents

1 What People Really Want in Life and Why It Matters: Contributions from Research on Folk Theories of the Good Life Christie Napa Scollon Laura A. King 1

Part I Some Cautionary Thoughts

2 Think Before You Think Nic Marks 17

3 Socially Responsible Cheermongery: On the Sociocultural Contexts and Levels of Social Happiness Policies Neil Thin 33

Part II Positive Psychology and Public Policy

4 Monitoring Psychosocial Prosperity for Social Change Ed Diener Carol Diener 53

5 Gross National Happiness: A Gift from Bhutan to the World George W. Burns 73

6 Ecological Challenges, Materialistic Values, and Social Change Tim Kasser 89

7 Positive Psychology and Public Health Dora Guðrún Guðmundsdóttir 109

Part III Positive Psychology and Poverty

8 Positive Psychology and Poverty Robert Biswas-Diener Lindsey Patterson 125

9 Strengthening Underprivileged Communities: Strengths-Based Approaches as a Force for Positive Social Change in Community Development P. Alex Linley Avirupa Bhaduri Debasish Sen Sharma Reena Govindji 141

Part IV Positive Psychology and Organizations

10 Creating Positive Social Change Through Building Positive Organizations: Four Levels of Intervention Nicky Garcea P. Alex Linley 159

11 Organizational Democracy as a Force for Social Change Traci L. Fenton 175

Part V Positive Psychology and a Focus on Others

12 Better Living Through Perspective Taking Sara D. Hodges Brain A.M. Clark Michael W. Myers 193

13 Investing in Others: Prosocial Spending for (Pro)Social Change Lara B. Aknin Gillian M. Sandstrom Elizabeth W. Dunn Michael I. Norton 219

Part VI Positive Psychology and Social Change Interventions

14 How Does Coaching Positively Impact Organizational and Societal Change? Sunny Stout Rostron 237

15 Positive Psychotherapy and Social Change Antonella Delle Fave Giovanni A. Fava 267

16 Recreate or Create? Leisure as an Arena for Recovery and Change Joar Vittersø 293

17 Positive Computing Tomas Sander 309

Part VII Change the World

18 Changing the World: The Science of Transformative Action Scott Sherman 329

Editor's Afterword 347

Index 355

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