Positive Psychology and Spirituality: A Virtue-Informed Approach to Well-Being

Joseph W. Ciarrocchi

in The Oxford Handbook of Psychology and Spirituality

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199729920
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Positive Psychology and Spirituality: A Virtue-Informed Approach to Well-Being

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This chapter brings together a number of observations from scholars in disparate fields critiquing the character strengths and virtue model of positive psychology in light of classical and contemporary virtue ethics. The legitimacy of these criticisms is acknowledged and some suggestions are made for broadening the character strengths and virtue approach to incorporate practical strategies based on these criticisms as well as offering conceptual adjustments for creating a virtue-informed positive psychology. Data were reviewed indicating that contemporary culture fosters psychological myopia, thus making character-building strategies highly relevant. Finally, on both conceptual and empirical grounds the utility of religion and spirituality for countering psychological myopia and self-regulation failure was highlighted with an emphasis on the role spirituality plays in building positive emotions.

Keywords: positive psychology; spirituality; virtues; well-being; parapsychologicalreligious orientation; spiritual transformation

Article.  9144 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology

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