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Authentic Happiness: Using The New Positive Psy...

Drawing on groundbreaking psychological research, Seligman shows how Positive Psychology is shifting the profession's paradigm away from its narrow-minded focus on pathology, victimology, and mental illness to positive emotion, virtue and strength, and positive institutions. Our signature strengths can be nurtured throughout our lives, with benefits to our health, relationships, and careers. Seligman provides the Signature Strengths Survey along with a variety of brief tests that can be used to measure how much positive emotion readers experience, in order to help determine what their highest strengths are. The life-changing lesson of Authentic Happiness is that by identifying the very best in ourselves, we can improve the world around us and achieve new and sustainable levels of authentic contentment, gratification, and meaning. if (window['_OC_autoDir']) _OC_autoDir('search_form_input');Preview this book What people are saying - Write a reviewUser ratings5 stars104 stars43 stars22 stars01 star0Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identifiedLibraryThing ReviewUser Review - greeniezona - LibraryThingI'd known about Seligmman's work for quite some time. I first started taking questionnaires at his website back in 2008. The fact that three years later, I still haven't taken them all, should be a ... Read full review

Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psy...


HAPPINESSThis book mainly deals with the phenomenon of happiness. According to Seligman your enduring level of happiness results from three factors: 1) your SET RANGE ( the basic biologically determined range within which your happiness normally will be), 2) the CIRCUMSTANCES OF YOUR LIFE (some conditions - like being married and living in a democratic country- somehow seem to contribute to happiness, and 3) your VOLUNTARY CONTROL ( the things you can do to get your happiness to the upper part of your set range. Ok, then how to get this done? Before answering this question Seligman explains that happiness/positive emotion can refer to three domains: the PAST (satisfaction, contentment, fulfilment, pride and serenity), the PRESENT (joy, ecstasy, calm, zest, ebullience, pleasure and flow) and the FUTURE (optimism, hope faith, trust). Then the author comes up with suggestions to improve your happiness:

USING YOUR STRENGTHSThese explanations imply what Seligman means by AUTHENTIC HAPPINESS. He says we should not rely on shortcuts like television watching, chocolate eating, loveless sex, and buying things to feel happy. He explains that positive emotion alienated from the exercise of character leads to emptiness, to inauthenticity, and to depression. So we want to feel like we deserved our positive feelings. That's why Seligman says AUTHENTIC HAPPINESS comes from identifying and cultivating your most fundamental strengths (so-called SIGNATURE STRENGTHS) and using them everyday in work, love, play, and parenting. This message reminds me of the one in Csikszentmihalyi's FINDING FLOW (see my review).

Positive Psychology arrives at the view that positive and negative traits are equally authentic and fundamental in humans, which constitutes the movement's basic motivational premise. The research of Barbara Fredickson and Thomas Joiner at the University of Michigan, for example, provides grounds for augmenting positive emotions in children early in life in order to start an upward spiral of positive emotion. Just as years ago cognitive therapists found themselves running up against a "downward spiral" of negative emotion in the depressed patients they treated, so Seligman has been advancing the idea that the coping styles of people can be altered. Evolution has various niches that support morality, cooperation, altruism, and goodness in humans. Authentic Happiness devotes an exhaustive number of pages not only to the argument for building positive emotion in kids, but also to the coaching of persons at all ages toward seeing the benefit of these values.

A huge thanks for giving a nice overview on the topic of how to meassure happiness!Currently I am leaning towards the authentic happines inventory but it seems no so easy to access, I want to find out the happiness before and after laughter and positive psychologic intervention in patients with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).Which questionnaire would you recommend to assess the happiness before and after?

The present study aims to present paradigm shifts from the authentic happiness theory (2002) to the well-being theory (2011), both developed in Positive Psychology by Martin Seligman. The well-being theory adds fulfillment and interpersonal relationships to the elements already included in the first theory (positive emotions, engagement and meaning), highlighting that well-being does not depend only on individual aspects but on issues related to context and interpersonal relationships. Whereas authentic happiness seeks life satisfaction, well-being aspires to flourishing - a more complex and dynamic construct. Well-being theory opens the possibility of developing public policies related to promotion of quality of life without ruling out the need for constant review of such approach.

Historically, it can be said that the movement known as Positive Psychology was developed from the 1990s by Martin Seligman, then the president of the American Psychological Association (APA), along with other prominent researchers in the international arena, such as Ken Sheldon, Barbara Fredrickson, Kevin Rathunde, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Robert Emmons, Carol Ryff and Jon Haidt, among others. This perspective primarily proposes modifying the focus of psychology, which shifts from attempting to repair the "worst things" in life and the emphasis on studies exclusively devoted to mental illness to building positive qualities (Delle Fave, 2006; Snyder & Lopez, 2009). This innovative proposal arises from the observation that psychology, until then, leaned primarily on the development deficits, disorders, psychopathologies and mental illness. This effort to highlight health, as opposed to illness, began to be stressed after the Second World War with veterans who returned from battlefields and needed to be reinserted into society and assisted in their needs. By removing the focus from mental illness, the possibility to highlight the positive aspects, strengths, virtues and potential of the human being was opened, focusing on health prevention and promotion.

To summarize, authentic happiness assumes that Positive Psychology relates with happiness in three aspects: positive emotion, engagement and meaning. The measurement of happiness could be conducted from measuring tools that assess life satisfaction, the goal of Positive Psychology being to increase the level of life satisfaction. What strategies can contribute to increase satisfaction? What interventions are most effective in achieving this goal? What lifestyles promote this transformation? These questions were initially raised in an intervention plan based on authentic happiness. However, this position began to be questioned by Seligman from the results of his research throughout the first decade of this century.

Thus, focusing on disease prevention and health promotion, Seligman (2011) has listed several types of training that could and should be developed as a way to protect the population, leading to the adoption of a positive attitude and directly linked to well-being. According to his studies, optimists cultivate healthier attitudes, adopt healthier lifestyles and believe that their attitudes are important, unlike pessimists. Optimists also respond more adequately to medical prescriptions. People with high levels of satisfaction with life are more likely to watch what they eat, not smoke and exercise regularly, also having more regular sleep. Studies on positive health are still ongoing, raising many questions but already pointing to the beneficial effects of the adoption of predominantly positive attitudes regarding health conditions.

A new definition of Positive Psychology is proposed, defining Positive Psychology as the science that investigates well-being. According to this new proposition, well-being may be measured in relation to five factors: positive emotion, engagement, meaning, positive relationships and accomplishment. Positive emotion continues to be the main element in determining health, as well as authentic happiness, but because they are considered subjective measurements, happiness and life satisfaction become factors relevant to the well-being theory, although they cannot sustain well-being by themselves. Thus, the importance attributed to positive emotion is reduced. According to Seligman (2004), positive emotions can be related to past, present or future events. Those emotions related to the future include optimism, faith and hope. Emotions that pertain to the present encompass calm, plenitude, joy, ecstasy, excitement and pleasure. Linked to the past are feelings of satisfaction, contentment, accomplishment, pride and serenity. These three types of positive emotions related to time are not necessarily related to each other and can be measured individually using specific scales. 041b061a72


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