Positive Psychology: Past, Present, and Future

Ed Diener

in The Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology

Second edition

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9780195187243
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:
 Positive Psychology: Past, Present, and Future

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This chapter briefly reviews the history of positive psychology, and the endeavor by scientists to answer the classic question posed by philosophers: What is the good life? One piece of evidence for the growth of positive psychology is the proliferation of measures to assess concepts such as happiness, well-being, and virtue. The chapter briefly reviews the importance of C. R. Snyder to the field of positive psychology. Several critiques of positive psychology are discussed. One valid critique is that there is too much emphasis within positive psychology on the individual, and too little focus on positive societies, institutions, and situations. We can profit from considering the various critiques because they will help us to improve the field. Positive psychology has important strengths, such as the number of young scholars and practitioners who are entering the field. The Handbook of Positive Psychology is an outstanding resource for all those who are working in this discipline, and also for others outside of the area, to gain broad knowledge of the important developments that are occurring in our understanding of positive human functioning.

Keywords: C. R. Snyder; history; positive psychology; quality of life; well-being

Article.  2906 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology ; History and Systems in Psychology

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