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Matthew W. Gallagher & Shane J. Lopez

In: 21st Century Psychology: A Reference Handbook

Chapter 73: Positive Psychology

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Positive Psychology
Positive psychology

Positive psychology is the scientific examination of that which makes life worth living. Cutting across traditional boundaries of clinical, social, and developmental psychology, positive psychology examines the nature of happiness, the power of hope, and fundamental human strivings such as the search for meaning. As a subfield of psychology that has received much attention recently, it is particularly fitting to discuss the shape positive psychology may take in the 21st century. We will begin this discussion by providing a brief review of the history of the positive psychology initiative before defining positive psychology as it stands at the beginning of the 21st century. We will then review three areas of positive psychology that have been emphasized in recent years: positive emotions, character ...

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