In Authentic Happiness, the bestselling author of Learned Optimism introduces the revolutionary, scientifically based idea of "Positive Psychology." Positive Psychology focuses on strengths rather than weaknesses, asserting that happiness is not the result of good genes or luck. Happiness can be cultivated by identyfying and using many of the strengths and traits that listeners already possess -- including kindness, originality, humor, optimism, and generosity. By frequently calling upon their "signature strengths," listeners will develop natural buffers against misfortune and the experience of negative emotion -- elevating their lives to a fresh, more positive place.
Drawning on groundbreaking psychological research, Seligman shows how Positive Psychology is shifting the profession's paradigm away from its narrow-minded focus on pathology, victimology, and mental illness to positive emotion, virtue and strength, and positive institutions. Our signature strengthts can be nurtured throughout our lives, yielding benefits to our health, relationships, and careers.
Seligman provides the "Signature Strengths Survey" that can be used to measure how much positive emotion listeners experience, in order to help determine what their highest strengths are. Authentic Happiness shows how to identify the very best in ourselves, so we can achieve new and sustainable levels of authentic contentment, gratification, and meaning.
Martin E.P. Seligman, Ph.D., the Robert A. Fox Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, works on positive psychology, learned helplessness, depression, ethnopolitical conflict, and optimism. Dr. Seligman's work has been supported by the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Science Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation. He is the director of the Positive Psychology Network and scientific director of Foresight, Inc., a testing company that predicts success in various walks of life.
He was for fourteen years the Director of the Clinical Training Program of the University of Pennsylvania and was named a "Distinguished Practitioner" by the National Academies of Practice. In 1995, he received the Pennsylvania Psychological Association's award for "Distinguished Contributions to Science and Practice."