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Taking Stock and Moving Forward

Positive psychology exploded into public consciousness 10 years ago and has continued to capture attention around the world ever since. The movement promised to study positive human nature, using only the most rigorous scientific tools and theories. How well has this promise been fulfilled? This book evaluates the first decade of this fledgling field of study from the perspective of nearly every leading researcher in the field.

Scholars in the areas of social, personality, clinical, biological, emotional, and applied psychology provide honest, critical evaluations of the flaws and untapped potential of their fields of study. The contributors design the optimal future of positive psychology by addressing gaps, biases, and methodological limitations, and exploring exciting new questions.

Praise for Designing Positive Psychology

“As positive psychology enters its second decade as a formally-christened perspective, it is important to take stock and also to plan ahead. The present volume accordingly deserves a place on the bookshelf (and desk) of everyone concerned with the scientific study of what makes life worth living.”

Christopher Peterson, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Author of A Primer in Positive Psychology

“One of the most important books to appear in positive psychology, Designing Positive Psychology offers thoughtful presentations of what we have learned so far, the limits of our knowledge, and where we need to go next in the field. Anyone who wants to be a master of the science of positive psychology must read this authoritative, up-to-date, and thorough volume.”

Ed Diener, Joseph R. Smiley Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Author of Happiness

“I couldn’t put this book down! The chapters demonstrate a rare uniformity of excellence – replete with rigorous review and critique of theory, empirical research, thoughtful commentary, and provocative suggestions. After a decade of being described as an ’emerging’ field,’ positive psychology is maturing and coming into its own. This important volume offers an unparalleled glimpse into state-of-the-art research, theory, and applications in positive psychology – from past, present, and future. This fantastic book should be required reading for anyone – researchers and laypeople alike – interested in flourishing individuals, institutions, and societies.”

Sonja Lyubomirsky, Professor of Psychology, Author of The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want

What does Designing Positive Psychology have to offer?

INTRODUCTORY CHAPTERS

  • Positive Psychology: Where Did It Come From, Where Is It Going? – Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi & Jeanne Nakamura
  • Challenges, Pitfalls, and Aspirations for Positive Psychology – Todd B. Kashdan & Michael F. Steger

PERSONALITY

  • Character and Personality: Connections Between Positive Psychology and Personality Psychology – Erik E. Noftle, Sarah A. Schnitker & Richard W. Robins
  • Personality Science and the Northern Tilt: As Positive as Possible Under the Circumstances – Brian R. Little
  • Personality Traits and the Potential of Positive Psychology – Robert R. McCrae
  • Why Gratitude Enhances Well-Being: What We Know, What We Need to Know – Robert A. Emmons & Anjali Mishra

SOCIAL

  • The Role of Hypo-egoic Self-processes in Optimal Functioning and Subjective Well-Being – Mark R. Leary & Jennifer Guadagno
  • Finding Positive Value in Human Consciousness: Conscious Thought Serves Participation in Society and Culture – J. Masicampo & Roy F. Baumeister
  • Experiential Processing and the Integration of Light and Dark Sides of the Human Psyche – Kirk Warren Brown & Melissa Holt
  • The Positive Side of Close Relationships – Shelly L. Gable & Courtney Gosnell
  • Positive Psychology as a Force for Social Change – Robert Biswas-Diener, P. Alex Linley, Reena Govindji & Linda Woolston
  • Positive Relationship Science: A New Frontier for Positive Psychology? – Nathaniel M. Lambert, Frank D. Fincham, A. Marlea Gwinn, & Christine A. Ajayi

EMOTIONS

  • The Future of Emotions Research within Positive Psychology – Sara B. Algoe, Barbara L. Fredrickson, & Sy-Miin Chow
  • A Task-Focused Mind is a Happy and Productive Mind: A Processing Perspective – Michael D. Robinson & Maya Tamir
  • To Celebrate Positive Psychology and Extend Its Horizons – Gordon Bermant, Charu Talwar, & Paul Rozin
  • The Positive Psychology of Positive Emotions: An Avuncular View – Shigehiro Oishi & Jaime Kurtz

BIOLOGICAL

  • The Primary Process Affects in Human Development, Happiness, and Thriving – Jaak Panksepp
  • Beyond Pleasure and Pain? Emotion Regulation and Positive Psychology – Maya Tamir & James J. Gross
  • Positive Psychophysiology: The Body and Self-Regulation– Suzanne C. Segerstrom, Timothy W. Smith, & Tory A. Eisenlohr-Moul
  • Positive Psychological States and Biological Processes – Carissa A. Low, Julienne E. Bower, Judith T. Moskowitz, & Elissa S. Epel

CLINICAL

  • The Dog Woman, Addie Bundren, and the Ninth Circle of Hell: Positive Psychology Should Be More Open to the Negative – Jennifer L. Hames & Thomas E. Joiner, Jr.
  • Meaning and Growth within Positive Psychology: Towards a More Complete Understanding – Crystal L. Park
  • Mindfulness and Positive Psychological Functioning – Ruth A. Baer & Emily L. B. Lykins

APPLIED

  • Coaching and Positive Psychology – Anthony M Grant & Michael J Cavanagh
  • Positive Psychological Capital in the Workplace: Where We Are and Where We Need to Go – Carolyn M. Youssef & Fred Luthans
  • Organizational Applications of Positive Psychology: Taking Stock and a Research / Practice Roadmap for the Future – Alex Linley, Nicky Garcea (nee Page), Susan Harrington, Emma Trenier & Gurpal Minhas
  • Greater Happiness For A Greater Number: Is that possible? If so how? – Ruut Veenhoven
  • Place and Well-Being – Richard Florida & Peter J. Rentfrew

SUMMATIONS

  • Are We Where Yet? What Happened on the Way to the Demise of Positive Psychology – Laura A. King
  • Positive Psychology in Historical and Philosophical Perspective: Predicting Its Future from the Past – Dean Keith Simonton
  • What’s Positive about Positive Psychology? Reducing Value-Bias and Enhancing Integration within the Field – Kennon M. Sheldon
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