Positive Psychology: The Scientific and Practical Explorations of Human Strengths 4th Edition
For many of you, this is your first educational foray into the field of positive psychology. We are privileged to introduce you to this work. If your life is in some small way improved by reading the following pages, it will have made our efforts more than worthwhile. In these pages, we introduce you to the growing field of positive psychology. We have borrowed from the therapy and research efforts of many outstanding psychologists, and we thank them for their pioneering contributions. So, too, do we thank our clients, our students, and our colleagues (Kaylene Co, Brian Cole, Lisa Edwards, Lindsey Hammond, Zachary Kasow, Molly Lowe, Jeana Magyar, Phil McKnight, Allison Newlee, Ryan Reed, Jennifer Reimer, Melinda Roberts, and Brian Werter) who have assisted in various editions of this textbook. Over the years, they have taught us as much about positive psychology as we have taught them. Much gratitude also goes to those folks who believed that college students needed a real positive psychology textbook. Our marvelous editors, Lara Parra and Reid Hester; the entire team at SAGE; and our supportive agents at Studio B all thought the world would be a better place if students continued to learn about positive psychology.
We have sampled the various areas of positive psychology and have included exercises to help you to experience many of these new concepts. In Part I, titled “Looking at Psychology From a Positive Perspective,” we group three chapters together. We begin with Chapter 1 (“Welcome to Positive Psychology”) and introduce you to the field. In Chapter 2, we explore the Eastern and Western backgrounds of the field and ideas about blending our ME and WE styles. Next, in Chapter 3 (“Classifications and Measures of Strengths and Positive Outcomes”), we explain the attempts to categorize various topics in the field. In Part II, titled “Positive Psychology in Context,” we discuss the roles of emotions in a positive life. In Chapter 4 (“The Role of Culture in Developing Strengths and Living Well”), we examine the role of cultural factors in determining what is positive. In Chapter 5 (“Living Well at Every Stage of Life”), we trace the development of human strengths. Part III, “Positive Emotional States and Processes,” comprises two chapters. In Chapter 6, “The Principles of Pleasure: Understanding Positive Affect, Positive Emotions, Happiness, and Well-Being,” we discuss what has been learned about emotions and happiness. And in Chapter 7, “Making the Most of Emotional Experiences: Emotion-Focused Coping,Emotional Intelligence, Socioemotional Selectivity, and Emotional Storytelling,” we reveal recent findings on how emotions can contribute positively to effective coping in life.
Part IV, “Positive Cognitive States and Processes,” contains three chapters. Chapter 8 (“Seeing Our Futures Through Self-Efficacy, Optimism, and Hope”) covers the most powerful positive cognitive and motivational states. Then, in Chapter 9 (“Wisdom and Courage: Characteristics of the Wise and the Brave”), we introduce findings about people at their best under sometimes difficult circumstances. And in Chapter 10 (“Mindfulness,
Flow, and Spirituality: In Search of Optimal Experiences”), we detail the latest findings on the power of mental processes in relation to self and higher forces.
Part V is titled “Prosocial Behavior.” In this portion of the book, we examine interpersonal matters. In Chapter 11 (“Empathy and Egotism: Portals to Altruism and Gratitude”) and Chapter 12 (“Attachment, Love, Flourishing Relationships, and Forgiveness”), we show how human ties improve the quality of life.
In Part VI, “Understanding and Changing Human Behavior,” we give insights into improving one’s life in Chapter 13 (“Balanced Conceptualizations of Mental Health and Behavior”) and Chapter 14 (“Preventing the Bad and Promoting the Good”). In Part VII, “Positive Environments,” we describe how school and work (Chapter 15, “Positive Schooling and Good Work: The Psychology of Gainful Employment and the Education That Gets Us There”) work together to contribute to a more productive, happier life.
Finally, in Part VIII, “Finding Strengths in Others: Embodying Strengths in Everyday Life,” multiple authors and researchers in the field of positive psychology share their memories of Shane, a man who embodied so many positive constructs and who shared his strengths and guidance with so many in the field (Chapter 16, “Remembering Shane: Real Strengths in a Real Person”).
2. Remembering Shane J. Lopez
4. About the Authors
5. Part I Looking at Psychology from A Positive Perspective
6. Chapter 1 Welcome to Positive Psychology
7. Chapter 2 Eastern and Western Perspectives on Positive Psychology: How “ME +
WE = US” Might Bridge the Gap
8. Chapter 3 Classifications and Measures of Strengths and Positive Outcomes
9. Part II Positive Psychology in Context
10. Chapter 4 The Role of Culture in Developing Strengths and Living Well
11. Chapter 5 Living Well at Every Stage of Life
12. Part III Positive Emotional States and Processes
13. Chapter 6 The Principles of Pleasure: Understanding Positive Affect, Positive
Emotions, Happiness, and Well-Being
14. Chapter 7 Making the Most of Emotional Experiences: Emotion-Focused Coping,
Emotional Intelligence, Socioemotional Selectivity, and Emotional Storytelling
15. Part IV Positive Cognitive States and Processes
16. Chapter 8 Seeing Our Futures Through Self-Efficacy, Optimism, and Hope
17. Chapter 9 Wisdom and Courage: Characteristics of the Wise and the Brave
18. Chapter 10 Mindfulness, Flow, and Spirituality: In Search of Optimal Experiences
19. Part V Prosocial Behavior
20. Chapter 11 Empathy and Egotism: Portals to Altruism and Gratitude
21. Chapter 12 Attachment, Love, Flourishing Relationships, and Forgiveness
22. Part VI Understanding and Changing Human Behavior
23. Chapter 13 Balanced Conceptualizations of Mental Health and Behavior
24. Chapter 14 Preventing the Bad and Promoting the Good
25. Part VII Positive Environments
26. Chapter 15 Positive Schooling and Good Work: The Psychology of Gainful
Employment and the Education That Gets Us There
27. Part VIII Finding Strengths in Others: Embodying Strengths in Everyday Life
28. Chapter 16 Remembering Shane: Real Strengths in a Real Person
30. Glossary of Key Terms
31. Author Index
32. Subject Index
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