A Primer in Positive Psychology (Oxford Positive Psychology Series)

A Primer in Positive Psychology (Oxford Positive Psychology Series)

A Primer in Positive Psychology (Oxford Positive Psychology Series)

Positive psychology is the scientific study of what goes right in life, from birth to death and at all stops in between. It is a newly-christened approach within psychology that takes seriously the examination of that which makes life most worth living. Everyone’s life has peaks and valleys, and positive psychology does not deny the valleys. Its signature premise is more nuanced, but nonetheless important: what is good about life is as genuine as what is bad and, therefore, deserves equal attention from psychologists. Positive psychology as an explicit perspective has existed only since 1998, but enough relevant theory and research now exist to fill a textbook suitable for a semester-long college course.

A Primer in Positive Psychology is thoroughly grounded in scientific research and covers major topics of concern to the field: positive experiences such as pleasure and flow; positive traits such as character strengths, values, and talents; and the social institutions that enable these subjects as well as what recent research might contribute to this knowledge. Every chapter contains exercises that illustrate positive psychology, a glossary, suggestions of articles and books for further reading, and lists of films, websites, and popular songs that embody chapter themes.

A comprehensive overview of positive psychology by one of the acknowledged leaders in the field, this textbook provides students with a thorough introduction to an important area of psychology.

List Price: $ 45.00

Price: $ 35.47


3 Comments so far »

  1. Ben Dean PhD said,

    Wrote on August 13, 2012 @ 6:44 pm

    119 of 127 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    The Top Ten Reasons to Love Chris Peterson’s “Primer in Positive Psychology”, November 19, 2006
    By 
    Ben Dean PhD (Bethesda, Maryland) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: A Primer in Positive Psychology (Oxford Positive Psychology Series) (Paperback)

    At Coaching Toward Happiness and at MentorCoach, we

    write about the leading figures in positive psychology

    and in coaching and talk to them in live

    teleconference interviews. We interviewed

    Chris three times. His new book is exceptional.

    Here’s why:

    ===================

    1. It’s The Best.

    ===================

    Okay. This is arguably the best introduction to positive

    psychology ever written. It ties all the key issues

    together in a compelling way. It provides understanding,

    depth, rich resources, and it’s fun to read.

    =========================

    2. It’s Reader-Friendly.

    =========================

    It’s a large trade paperback, 314 pages. Rich with fascinating

    detail, web sites, movies, overarching explanations of research.

    Bad writing makes the reader feel dumb. Good writing makes the

    reader feel smart. Chris makes you feel smart.

    ===================

    3. If You Teach.

    ===================

    If you teach positive psychology, you have to use this book. Listen

    to the founder of the field: “This is the definitive textbook in

    positive psychology. But more than that, it may be the single best

    textbook on any subject that I have ever read… (It) both made me

    laugh out loud and brought tears to my eyes.” — Martin E. P. Seligman

    ======================================

    4. For the Bright Professional

    ======================================

    It’s perfect for the curious, bright professional who’s new to

    positive psychology and wants to quickly get up to speed. If

    you understand The Primer, you’ll be ahead of 99% of the people

    in your field.

    ==========================

    5. It Sounds Like Chris.

    ==========================

    Conversational and accessible. It reads like he talks. And it

    reads like a conversation with someone who’s twice won the

    honor of best teacher at the University of Michigan.

    ======================================

    6. It Has Tiny Throw-Away Nuggets.

    ======================================

    The words “positive psychology” were first used, not by Seligman

    in 1998, but Maslow in 1954. “…The smiley-face icon was created

    for a life insurance company in 1964 by a Massachusetts graphic

    artist, who was paid $45 for his creation. Neither the insurance

    company nor artist Harvey Bell copyrighted the symbol which

    has–perhaps as a result–become extremely popular.”

    ===================

    7. The Songs.

    ===================

    Each chapter ends with films and dozens of Chris’ favorite, relevant

    songs: “Be True to Your School” (Beach Boys); “Get Up, Stand Up”

    (Bob Marley & the Wailers), “To Sir, With Love” (LuLu); “I Feel

    Good” (James Brown); “My Sweet Lord” (George Harrison). Walking

    on Sunshine” (Katrina & the Waves). He admits to being a baby

    boomer and knows it shows in his song choice. He also believes

    a relevant song is a great way to signal the beginning of a class.

    =========================

    8. Personal Usefulness.

    =========================

    You might even find it personally useful. Of the thousands of

    suggestions for increasing happiness that have been proffered

    in the last fifty years, indeed over the centuries, which have

    so far been empirically examined? It goes beyond the headlines

    and looks in detail at what the research might really mean for what

    you do.

    =======================

    9. It’s Unpretentious.

    =======================

    In 2003, I sometimes taught a teleclass from Chris’ office at Penn.

    His entire office consisted of a computer, a bare floor, one table

    and chair, and a bookshelf with 15 scattered books. Nothing to

    indicate, for example, that he was among the world’s 100 most

    frequently cited psychologists during the past 20 years.

    The Primer is similarly down to earth. Name one other famous academic

    who would write this paragraph:

    “…some skeptics still believe that positive psychologists miss

    the “obvious” point that life is tragic… I disagree but will

    not belabor the point except to note that tragedy admits to

    gradations. Even if everything sucks, some things suck more

    than others, an irrefutable fact given how people actually behave

    if not what they say….Whether we label…

    Read more

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  2. Alvin Sewell said,

    Wrote on August 13, 2012 @ 7:36 pm

    23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Dr. Peterson’s Delivery of Positive Psychology to the Masses, January 9, 2007
    By 
    Alvin Sewell (Pensacola, FL) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: A Primer in Positive Psychology (Oxford Positive Psychology Series) (Paperback)

    A Primer in Positive Psychology delivers a text full of the details from what has been concept for a decade. With the field of Positive Psychology coming to the point of being a deliverable product to the public, Dr. Peterson frames up a concise text of understandable background on what we are and how positive strategies of behavior throughout the lifetime can benefit all people. This establishes the goal of making Positive Psychology a core life training for students at all levels of education, beginning with primary stages. This textbook format gives parents the tools for themselves and their young adult children to teach themselves the principles of excelling at life, not just surviving it.

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  3. J. Barr said,

    Wrote on August 13, 2012 @ 7:53 pm

    16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Great Guide to a Different Perspective, December 30, 2007
    By 
    J. Barr (Westerville, OH USA) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: A Primer in Positive Psychology (Oxford Positive Psychology Series) (Paperback)

    When I first heard of “positive psychology” I thought…”so what is negative psychology supposed to be?” The terminology shouldn’t hang you up. Positive psychology is a look a what psychology can be sans the illness orientation. What this means is that you are really studying how people can use their minds without concentrating on how that thing they do with their hair is an obvious sign of their insecurity, their masturbatory tendencies, or their love affair with their anal stage of development. The book has great information but is not written in a stuffy or pretentious way. Without a doubt it is one of the most readable psychology books I’ve ever had the pleasure of recommending. Even though the author supplies the reader with tons of references to help him in his continued study, for the casual reader this book can easily stand by itself. If you are lucky enough to get this as a text book in college enjoy the course and the professor wise enough to chose this book.

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