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Reasons for popularity

There is no major conclusion in positive psychology that has not been challenged, modified or even rejected.

Yet the fact that positive psychology is becoming more popular means that it gives hope, optimism and perhaps happiness to millions of its consumers.

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  • There are worries about its replicability and unreliable self-reports.
  • Promoting material achievement as part of happiness can make well-being seem out of reach.
  • Positive psychology gives the impression you can be happy by thinking the right thoughts.
  • At its core, pos...

The story of positive psychology started just 20 years ago with Martin Seligman, head of the American Psychological Association. The idea he considered was: What if every person was encouraged to nurture his or her character strengths, rather than being scolded into fixing their s...

The term “positive psychology" was coined by Abraham Maslow in 1954. Martin Seligman used this term to promote personal change through the redemptive power of devotional practices like counting your blessings, gratitude, forgiveness, and meditation.

It is expressly desig...

Martin Seligman insists on the value-neutral purity of the research on positive psychology. Yet even its fans say it seems to have some of the characteristics of a religion.

Philosophers such as Mike W. Martin say positive psychology has left the field of science and entered the realm of et...

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Positive psychology: the "science of happiness"

The "science of happiness" was born as a result of Martin Seligman's (the father of positive psychology) endeavour to approach psychology beyond the idea of restoring normality in individuals and to look at happiness and contentment as ways to no...

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Being open to emotional experiences and being able to tolerate discomfort can allow us to move towards a more meaningful existence.

The way we respond to the circumstances of our lives has more influence on our happiness than the events themselves.

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  • The pleasant life: you fill your life with as many pleasures as you can. This has hardly any contribution to lasting fulfilment.
  • The life of engagement, where you find a life in your work, parenting, love and leisure.
  • The meaningful life: knowing what you...

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