A Life Worth Living: Contributions to Positive Psychology

Hardcover | April 20, 2006

EditorMihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Isabella Selega Csikszentmihalyi

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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 volumeagree 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 tothe 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, andthey 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 humancondition. 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.

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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 volumeagree on priciples of optimal development th...

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is at Claremont Graduate University.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:264 pages, 6.3 × 9.29 × 0.98 inPublished:April 20, 2006Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195176790

ISBN - 13:9780195176797

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Table of Contents

Part 1. Historical and Theoretical Perspectives1. Csaba Pleh: Positive Traditions in Western Psychology2. Christopher Peterson: The VIA Classification of Strengths3. Dmitry Leontiev: Positive Personality Development: Approaching Personal Autonomy4. Robert A. Emmons: Spirituality: Recent ProgressPart II. Positive Experiences5. Barbara L. Frederickson: The Broaden-and-Build Theory of Positive Emotions6. Daisy D. Grewal and Peter Salovey: Benefits of Emotional Intelligence7. Jane Henry: Strategies for Achieving Well-BeingPart III. Life-Long Positive Development8. Jochen Brandstadter: Adaptive Resources in Later Life9. Antonella Delle Fave: The Impact of Subjective Experience on the Quality of Life10. Jari-Erik Numi and Katarina Salmela-Aro: What Works Makes You Happy11. Tim Kasser: Materialism and its Alternatives12. Kennon Sheldon: Getting Older, Getting Better13. Martin E.P. Seligman: Afterword: Breaking the 65% Barrier

Editorial Reviews

"This book offers psychology a number of seductive challenges: to become a science that takes values seriously, prioritize health alongside pathology, and to develop interventions that aim to promote autonomy, resilience and enduring well-being. It upholds models and strategies that may helppeople to remain functional and optimistic in the presence of distress. Ultimately, it successfully frames positive psychology as rather more than just positive thinking."--The Psychologist