The a set of scientific studies of what makes life most worth living, focusing on both individual and societal well-being.
James was a philosopher, physician, and psychologist, and he was the first educator in the United States to offer a psychology course. Many regard James as America's "first positive psychologist" due to his keen interest in a person's subjectivity and his conviction that "objectivity is founded on intense subjectivity."
In his 1954 book "Motivation and Personality," Maslow coined the term "positive psychology."
Critical of psychology's emphasis on disorder and dysfunction, he claimed it lacked an accurate understanding of human potential, emphasizing how psychology effectively reveals our negative side by disclosing a great deal about our illnesses and shortcomings but not nearly enough about our virtues and aspirations.
Famous for his experiments and theory of learned helplessness, Chris founded Positive Psychology in 1998.
His work in learned helplessness and pessimistic attitudes garnered an interest in optimism, leading to a collaboration with Christopher Peterson to create a positive side to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).
Csikszentmihalyi was born in Hungary in 1934 and was profoundly affected by the Second World War. As a child, he was separated from his family and friends and interned in an Italian prison, where he developed his first concept of working with flow and optimal experience.
Drawn to painting, he noticed that the act of creation was frequently more significant than the finished work itself and became deeply intrigued with the "flow state," making it his life's work to scientifically identify the various methods for achieving it.
Peterson was a psychology professor and former chair of the Department of Clinical Psychology at the University of Michigan. He co-authored Character Strengths and Virtues with Martin Seligman and widely recognized for his work on optimism, hope, character, and well-being in addition to his work on the DSM.
The major negative response to Positive Psychology has centered on the concept of "Toxic Positivity," which is the idea that individuals do not completely notice, process, or regulate all emotions, including anger or grief.
This can result in the accidental stigmatization of negative emotional states and their suppression.
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