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Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realise Your Potential for Lasting Fulfilment Paperback – 6 Mar 2003


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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Nicholas Brealey Publishing (6 Mar 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857883292
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857883299
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2.5 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 25,512 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'At last, psychology gets serious about glee, fun and happiness. Martin Seligman has given us a gift - a practical map for the perennial quest for a flourishing life.' —Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence

'Seligman takes the best, most recent science in psychology and applies it to our oldest, most basic human questions: How can we be happy? And how can we be good? His book is groundbreaking, heart-lifting, and most important, deeply useful. With pun intended, I'm optimistic about its success.' —Mary Pipher, author of Reviving Ophelia

'A highly insightful and personal reflection on the nature of happiness, from one of the most creative and ifluential psychologists of our time.' —Steven Pinker, author of The Language Instinct

'An amazing book! Absolutely full of practical wisdom and its authentic sources. What depth of understanding! Seligman affirms our power of choice with a perspective on old and new psychology I found compelling and fascinating. This book will help restore the Character Ethic.' —Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

'An impressive achievement. This book will change how people view psychology and how all of us view ourselves.' —Howard Gardner, Harvard University, author of Multiple Intelligences

'Martin Seligman is on a mission: to take the rich and suprising findings of a young field called Positive Psychology and use them to imporve the mental, moral and spiritual well-being of his readers. Being Positive Psychology's founder, as well as a vivid, inspiring writer, he is uniquely qualified for this job. Only one person could have written Authentic Happiness, but millions could benefit from it.' --Robert Wright, author of The Moral Animal

From the Publisher

This book offers a powerful message of hope for millions who long for a deeply satisfying life. It is filled with practical advice, discover your strengths applied to love, friendship, work and parenting.

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IN 1932, Cecilia O'Payne took her final vows in Milwaukee. Read the first page
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73 of 75 people found the following review helpful By Coert Visser on 11 Sep 2002
= POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY =
Until recently psychology has mainly been working within a disease model: a strong emphasis has been placed on discovering deficits in human behavior and finding ways to repair this damage. Psychologist hardly focused on in doing studies acquiring knowledge about healthy functioning and building strengths. In other words: they have focused solely on taking away something negative (the disfunctioning) instead of adding something positive (increasing mental and behavioral health). The result: psychologist know little about healthy and happy functioning. This situation has been changing now since the rise of positive psychology a few years ago. What is Positive Psychology? It is a new movement in psychology, originated by Martin Seligman and a few other prominent psychologists among whom Mihali Csikszentmihalyi (author of FLOW). It aims to be a psychological science about the best things in life. Main topics of study are: positive emotions, positive traits and positive institutions. This book, Authentic Happiness, is the first book on positive psychology. Seligman is its main spokesperson.
= HAPPINESS =
This book mainly deals with the phenomenon of happiness. According to Seligman your enduring level op 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?
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279 of 291 people found the following review helpful By Coert Visser on 20 Mar 2003
Format: Paperback
= POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY =
Until recently psychology has mainly been working within a disease model: a strong emphasis has been placed on discovering deficits in human behavior and finding ways to repair this damage. Psychologist hardly focused on in doing studies acquiring knowledge about healthy functioning and building strengths. In other words: they have focused solely on taking away something negative (the disfunctioning) instead of adding something positive (increasing mental and behavioral health). The result: psychologist know little about healthy and happy functioning. This situation has been changing now since the rise of positive psychology a few years ago. What is Positive Psychology? It is a new movement in psychology, originated by Martin Seligman and a few other prominent psychologists among whom Mihali Csikszentmihalyi (author of FLOW). It aims to be a psychological science about the best things in life. Main topics of study are: positive emotions, positive traits and positive institutions. This book, Authentic Happiness, is the first book on positive psychology. Seligman is its main spokesperson.
= HAPPINESS =
This book mainly deals with the phenomenon of happiness. According to Seligman your enduring level op 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?
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152 of 162 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 April 2003
Format: Paperback
The author, American psychologist Dr. Martin Seligman, is famous for his book Learned Optimism. And his new book, Authentic Happiness, is a useful addition with an especially good web site presenting personality tests. Not all psychologists, however, have agreed with, or found research support for, Dr. Seligman's theory of optimism. Some parts of this "Positive Psychology Movement" have been found to be too one-sided and unrealistic about optimism. The academic book about that more balanced research and theory is Optimism and Pessimism edited by Dr. Chang. That book has a chapter about constructive pessimism by Dr. Norem, the author of the Positive Power of Negative Thinking. Some psychologists say Dr. Seligman's theory of Positive Psychology is too much a 'one size fits all' model of healthy personality. Individual and cultural differences seem to be more important than Dr. Seligman implies -- his approach may be a bit too "American" and optimistic for some readers. The recent surge of research on Resiliency in psychology indicates that individual differences in personality are fundamental -- what helps me won't necessarily help you. Keeping an open mind while exploring psychological health seems to be the key. In any case, Dr. Seligman does present some of the answers for some of the people, and that alone is a very worthwhile contribution.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Beth on 19 Dec 2008
Format: Paperback
Written by the former president of the American Psychological Association, and author of over a dozen books including the popular Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life, this title is one of the better selling happiness books out there.

First off, this book was a little harder read for me than most happiness books- I have the paperback book which has small print, perhaps that was a factor. I'm also partial to shorter, just-give-me-the-facts happiness books, such as Finding Happiness in a Frustrating World- so that might also explain why I plodded my way through pages at times. But having said that, there's IS lot of gems in here for happiness searchers like myself.

While this is the kind of book I could write a really long review about, I think I'll just discuss what I consider to be the best bits for those looking for ways to become happier- which I think is why most people would buy this book. Soooo.....

1) the book provides the reader with a "happiness formula", which is H = S + C + V. This works out to happiness = your genetic Set point + intervening Circumstances + factors under you Voluntary control. So, since your can't do much about changing your genetics, when it comes to becoming happier, that leaves room for improvement in the areas of circumstances and voluntary activities.
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