Pursuing the Good Life: 100 Reflections on Positive Psychology

Hardcover | January 14, 2013

byChristopher Peterson

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When we think of psychology, we think of a field dedicated to understanding and curing the dark side of life - addictions, phobias, compulsions, anxieties, and on and on. But there is a field of psychology that looks at the bright side, that considers seriously such questions as what makeslife most worth living? And how can we pursue a good life? That field is called, not surprisingly, positive psychology. In Pursuing the Good Life, one of the founders of positive psychology, Christopher Peterson, offers one hundred bite-sized reflections exploring the many sides of this exciting new field. With the humor, warmth, and wisdom that has made him an award-winning teacher, Peterson takes readers on alively tour of the sunny side of the psychological street. What are the roles played by positive emotions and happiness, by strengths of character, by optimism, and by good relationships with others? How can we pursue the good life in families, workplaces, schools, and sports, no matter who we areor where we live? With titles such as "You May Now Kiss the Bride - And Would You Like Fries With That?" and "How Can You Tell If Someone from France is Happy?" Peterson good-humoredly explores these questions and many others, including such diverse topics as the difference between employment andwork, the value of doing the right thing, and why books matter, among other subjects. Throughout, Peterson shows that happiness is not simply the result of a fortunate spin of the genetic wheel. There are things that people can learn to do to lead happier lives. Pursuing the Good Life is both an enjoyable read and an invaluable guide to making the good life part of your everydayexistence.

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When we think of psychology, we think of a field dedicated to understanding and curing the dark side of life - addictions, phobias, compulsions, anxieties, and on and on. But there is a field of psychology that looks at the bright side, that considers seriously such questions as what makeslife most worth living? And how can we pursue a...

Christopher Peterson is Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan. One of the world's most highly cited research psychologists and a founder of the field of positive psychology, Peterson is best-known for his studies of optimism and character strengths and their relationship to psychological and physical well-being. He is a...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:384 pages, 7 × 5 × 0.98 inPublished:January 14, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199916357

ISBN - 13:9780199916351

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Table of Contents

PrefacePart I. Positive Psychology and the Good Life1. What is Positive Psychology, and What is it Not?2. Parsing Positive Psychology3. How Do Americans Spend Their Time?4. Blaming the Science Versus Blaming the Victim: A Third Alternative5. Perfect People6. The Future of Unhappiness7. Positive Psychology and Bullshit8. The Bad Company of Positive Psychology9. Taking on the Criticisms of Positive Psychology10. The Future of Positive Psychology: Science and PracticePart II. Positive Emotions and Experiences11. What Do You Think About in the Shower?12. Savoring and Dampening Positive Feelings13. Who Most Enjoys the Small Things in Life?14. Fast Food and Impatience15. Passion and Positive Psychology16. The Positive Analogue of a Phobia17. Sunday Afternoon with Daniel Kahneman18. Money and Happiness19. Does Happiness Have a Cost?20. Does Happiness Have a Cost? Part Two21. Heritability and Happiness22. Smiles and Longevity: Game Faces and Life Faces23. Happiness OutliersPart III. Positive Traits and Talents24. The Last Lecture: A Positive Psychology Case Study25. Is Optimism Undermining America?26. Optimism Goes Underground27. Good Hope and Bad Hope28. Strengths or Weaknesses?29. Character Is Sexy30. There Are No Saints31. Does It Matter Where We Live?32. Resilience33. Growing Greatness34. David and Goliath and the Good Life35. Steve Jobs: Lessons for the Good Life36. What Have You Done for Yourself Lately?Part IV. Positive Relationships37. Other People Matter: Two Examples38. Gratitude: Letting Other People Know They Matter Benefits Us39. Gender and Friendship40. Tears and Testosterone41. Dealing with the Pain of Romantic Breakups42. Happiness, Small Talk, and Big Talk43. Having a Friend and Being a Friend44. Infants Get It Right45. Viral HappinessPart V. Enabling Institutions: Families46. Books Matter47. You May Now Kiss the Bride -- And Would You Like Fries With That?48. Living Happily Ever After49. What Good Are Fathers?Part VI. Enabling Institutions: Workplaces50. Leadership Style and Employee Well-Being51. Doing the Right Thing52. Positive Psychology and Assholes53. Positive Psychology and UnemploymentPart VII. Enabling Institutions: Schools54. Did You Bring a Stuffed Animal to College?55. Paying Students for Good Grades56. Teaching Positive Psychology to an Entire University57. The 50th Anniversary of the Peace Corps58. Doing the Right Thing EL With a Business Plan59. Saturday Afternoon with President ObamaPart VIII. Enabling Institutions: Sports60. When Losing Isn't Losing61. I Love the NFL, But ...62. Streaks in Sports and Life: Not for Men Only63. Brett Favre versus Cal Ripken?64. Team Sports, Happiness, and Health65. Team Celebration and Performance66. The NBA Finals: Does the Best Team Win?Part IX. Enabling Institutions: Geographical Places67. Geography and Happiness: A Book Review68. Happy Places: Happy States69. Are Happy Places Also Deadly Ones?70. Gauging the Happiness of a Nation71. How Can You Tell If Someone from France is Happy?72. Gross National Happiness73. Positive Psychology and China74. Gauging the Happiness of Nations: A View from North Korea75. Happy Places: Third PlacesPart X. Rants76. Can You Be Too Cheerful?77. "Strong" Accents Define America78. Does Anyone Write Letters Anymore?79. You Can't Savor a Nutrient80. I Hate E-mail81. Technology and Happiness: A Book Review82. Don't Pick My Brain83. First, Think Inside the Box84. It is What it is85. Upspeak86. Joy in the Misfortune of Others: Sports and Beyond87. Bucket Lists and Positive PsychologyPart XI. Pursuing the Good life88. Days are Long -- Life is Short89. I Resolve to Take Benjamin Franklin Seriously90. How to Smile91. How to Talk92. Finding the Right Bank to Rob93. Ikigai and Mortality94. University of Michigan Squirrels95. A But-Free Day96. Getting Lost in Buildings -- and Life97. Giving Thanks by Mental Subtraction98. What's in Your Closet?99. The Good Life: Ends and Means100. There Are No Bad RacksIndex