positive psychology

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The psychology of valued psychological phenomena, such as contentment and satisfaction (with the past), hope and optimism (for the future), and happiness and well-being (in the present). It focuses on positive subjective experiences, such as love and aesthetic appreciation; positive individual qualities, such as courage, interpersonal skill, perseverance, originality, and wisdom; and positive social phenomena, such as cooperation, altruism, and tolerance. The term was introduced by the US psychologist Martin E. P. Seligman (born 1942) in a Presidential Address to the American Psychological Association in 1998, and it was discussed at length in the journal American Psychologist in 2000, in a special issue edited by Seligman and by the Italian-born US psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (born 1934). In March 2003, the British Psychological Society's journal The Psychologist also devoted a special issue to positive psychology.

Subjects: Psychology.

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