John on Patmos, Memling
THE relatively new field of “positive psychology”, pioneered by Christopher Peterson and Martin Seligman in the early twenty-first century seeks to shift from a primary focus on psychopathology to the question of human flourishing:
[...] human goodness and excellence are as authentic as disease, disorder, and distress and therefore deserve equal attention from psychologists and human service providers.
(Peterson & Park, 2003 “Positive psychology as the evenhanded positive psychologist views it.” Psychological Inquiry, 14, 141-146)
Alan Carr offers a compelling and brief summary of findings (Positive Psych., 351):
“The results of scientific research point to three reliable ways to find happiness:
• Cultivate relationships which involve deep attachment and commitment;
• Involve yourself in absorbing work and leisure activities in which you exercise your strengths, talents and interests;
• Cultivate an optimistic, future-oriented perspective on life in which you expect the best and value the future more than the present.”
review article in First Things 2017
Wikipedia Article on Positive Psychology
The Values in Action Project, explores six core virtues and twenty-four character strengths
The full Values in Action Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS; Peterson & Seligman, 2004) consists of 240 questions and may be taken at (Martin Seligman's) authentichappiness.com (Penn State).
A shorter form, the VIA-120 is available at the Values in Action website - viacharacter.org. Here progressively higher fees are charged for increasingly-detailed analyses of results.
TEXTS and ARTICLES include:
(VIA pp. 44 ff.) Carr, Alan, Positive Psychology: The Science of Happiness and Human Strengths. 2nd.ed. (Routledge, London, 2011). ISBN 1-58391-991-0
(VIA) Peterson, Christopher; Seligman, Martin E. P. (2004). Character strengths and virtues: A handbook and classification. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 185. ISBN 0-19-516701-5
(VIA) Snyder/Lopez, The Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology (Introduction has brief section on why therapy works)
(VIA in pt. IX) Linley P. Alex and Joseph Stephen, Positive Psychology in Practice (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2004) ISBN 0-471-45906-2 (pt IX: Classification; Emotional Intelligence; Gratitude; Curiosity; Wisdom)
(VIA pp. 943 ff.) Lopez, Encyclopedia of positive Psychology (Wiley Blackwell, 2009)
(VIA pp. 304 ff.) Aspinwall, Lisa G., ed., A psychology of human strengths: Fundamental questions and future directions for a positive psychology. (Washington, DC, US: American Psychological Association, 2003). ISBN: 1-55798-931-1
STRENGTHS and Pathology/Vice - Peterson's suggestion in article by Seligman (pdf)
WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE on VIA (VALUES and ACTIONS INVENTORY of STRENGTHS)
with research and cultural correlation:
Seligman, Martin, Flourish. (New York: Free Press, 2011). SBN 9781439190760.
This Webpage was created for a workshop held at Saint Andrew's Abbey, Valyermo, California in 2017