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Authentic Happiness [Paperback]

Seligman Martin
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Book Description

19 Jan 2004
A national bestseller, "Authentic Happiness" launched the revolutionary new science of Positive Psychology--and sparked a coast-to-coast debate on the nature of real happiness. According to esteemed psychologist and bestselling author Martin Seligman, happiness is not the result of good genes or luck. Real, lasting happiness comes from focusing on one's personal strengths rather than weaknesses--and working with them to improve all aspects of one's life. Using practical exercises, brief tests, and a dynamic website program, Seligman shows readers how to identify their highest virtues and use them in ways they haven't yet considered. Accessible and proven, "Authentic Happiness" is the most powerful work of popular psychology in years.


Product details

  • Paperback: 321 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd; 1st Free Press Trade Pbk. Ed edition (19 Jan 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743222989
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743222983
  • Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 13.9 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 628,366 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"Elle" A bold new plan for taking control of your life and finding lasting happiness.

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. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
72 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Psychology is taking a positive turn 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Psychology is taking a positive turn 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?
Read more ›
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151 of 161 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The New Wave of Humanistic Psychology 23 April 2003
By A Customer
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Authentic Happiness 19 Dec 2008
By Beth
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.

2) the book suggests that if you want to lastingly raise your level of happiness by changing the external circumstances of your life, you should: live in a wealthy democracy, get married, avoid negative events and negative emotion, acquire a rich social network, and get religion.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Authentic Happiness
This is a really up to date study of Psychology and it certainly meets my requirements.
Published 1 day ago by John Madden
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great book!
Published 2 days ago by Joćo Ferreira
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, gives you a reasoned explanation of what is ...
Excellent, gives you a reasoned explanation of what is going to deliver happiness in your life short and long term.... Read more
Published 25 days ago by Scarlette
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I love this book and it is one which I would recommend. The authors style is such that it is easy to follow and understand this reasonably complicated subject which seems quite... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mat
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is life changing
This book has completely altered the way I see myself. Its written in such a clear, intelligent, unsentimental fashion. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Andrew Orr
2.0 out of 5 stars Academic.
If you are a professional with an interest in this field you may find this very helpful but if like me you are just someone with a keen interest in positive psychology you may find... Read more
Published 10 months ago by philip
4.0 out of 5 stars The positive psychology classic
A wonderful volume of work that outlines the argument for positive psychology and summarises some of the most interesting and important work done in the area. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Rod Matthews
3.0 out of 5 stars Serious flaws in basic premises and coverage of topics
While I understand Seligman's thesis in this book and find his analysis and argument interesting, I am left wondering if this thesis isn't just a more sophisticated version of the... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Thoughtful reader
5.0 out of 5 stars A highly Accessible Account on Attainging Individual happiness
Very accessible book, deals with things that contribute to an individuals happiness.
It lucidly explores attitudes and practices that enhance the optential for being happy.
Published 18 months ago by sam
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspired but not sure who it is pitched at
I honestly think this has changed my approach to life and I am much more relaxed and happier as a result. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Charlottie Marriottie
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