Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Michael F. Steger & Todd B. Kashdan
Positive psychology is a term that refers to efforts to organize and synthesize the psychological study of positive psychological experiences. Throughout much of its history, the field of psychology has focused on efforts to understand the nature, causes, and cures for human dysfunction. Psychologists have generated an enormous body of knowledge about human emotions, thoughts, and behaviors, such as depression, stereotyping, and violence. Martin Seligman, the psychologist most closely associated with positive psychology, dedicated a portion of his time as president of the American Psychological Association to writing about the potential for psychology to contribute to an understanding of how to help children thrive, how to create rewarding occupational experiences, how to create vital and beneficient social institutions, and how to provide every person with the opportunity to achieve a life worth living. In some sense, then, positive psychology was proposed to be a shift in perspective for the Seligman ...