A Life Worth Living: Contributions to Positive Psychology (Series in Positive Psychology)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN 10: 0195176790
ISBN 13: 978-0195176797
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 volume agree 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 to the 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, and they 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 human condition. 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.
"This is a unique book, as the field itself is rather new. It would be a great textbook for a graduate course and is highly interesting reading that is recommended for those in the provision of mental health services."--Doody's
"One of the next major scientific human accomplishments is our understanding and commitment to engage all aspects of 'well-being' in our lives. Anyone interested in being on the leading edge of this quickly advancing science must read this collection of papers from the First International Positive Psychology Summit." --Jim Clifton, Chairman & CEO, The Gallup Organization
"The eminent authors of this volume present exciting new developments in the field of positive psychology, outlining the latest scientific thinking on how to increase quality of life by fostering people's strengths, virtues, and well-being." --Ed Diener, PhD, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Editor, Perspectives on Psychological Science, and Journal of Happiness Studies
"Transformational! A Life Worth Living brings a new level of insight and clarity to the emerging positive psychology pathway. Its poetic title hints at the rich depth of meaningful discussion that ensues--offering a profound new view of the human condition. Csikszentmihalyi brings art to the new science." --Michael W. Morrison, Ph.D., Dean, University of Toyota
"A Life Worth Living distills the research and the wisdom of many of the leaders of positive psychology. The Gallup Organization has done the field a great service in bringing the work of these key investigators together in one volume." --George E. Vaillant, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital Cover art by Eric P. Olesen
"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 help people 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
About the Author
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is at Claremont Graduate University.