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A Life Worth Living: Contributions to Positive Psychology
     

A Life Worth Living: Contributions to Positive Psychology

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by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Editor), Isabella Selega Csikszentmihalyi (Editor)
 

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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

Overview


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.

Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Susan Richardson, MA, PsyD (Private Practice)
Description: This introduction to the relatively new field of positive psychology is a collection of essays based on a presentation called the First International Positive Psychology Summit.
Purpose: The book is intended to provide a broad introduction to the main tenets of the ideology of positive psychology. The contributors aim to nudge clinicians from the perspective of putting out fires, clinically, to the overall concept of fire prevention, looking at humanity from the viewpoint of what we do well versus what's wrong with us.
Audience: It is written for students, academics, and providers of psychological services. The editors and many of the contributors (Seligman, specifically) are well known for their publications and tremendous contributions to the field of clinical psychology.
Features: The contributors provide a new way of measuring strengths, rather than diagnostic criteria, and looking at background influences in Classical European Psychology. A number of essays discuss lifelong development as well as the role of work and spirituality in keeping humankind happy and fulfilled. The book is well written by the forerunners in the field and it is refreshing in its insistence on looking for the positive. Some authors try too hard to put down the advances of clinical work in an attempt to strengthen the utility of positive psychology, and this feels unnecessary. Positive psychology is another important and relative tool for clinicians, and many clinicians have already discovered its tremendous usefulness in augmenting people's resources.
Assessment: This is a unique book, as the field itself is rather new. It would be a great textbook for a graduate course and is highly interesting reading that is recommended for those in the provision of mental health services.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195176797
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
02/01/2004
Series:
Series in Positive Psychology Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
264
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 6.30(h) x 1.00(d)

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A Life Worth Living: Contributions to Positive Psychology 1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Too much for me. Poorly written. A Life Worth Living is Not Worth Reading.