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Positive Psychology and Education

Positive psychology or “the new science of happiness” claims to be nothing less than the scientific study of optimal human functioning. It was officially launched as a field of study in 1998 by Martin Seligman, president of the American Psychological Association and acknowledged founder of the discipline. Since then, positive psychology has “caught on” with remarkable speed, and it is now taught in hundreds of university and college courses across Britain and North America, as well as in English secondary schools in the form of “social and emotional intelligence.” However, the project is a controversial one. This entry considers the theoretical basis of positive psychology and the main objections that have been raised against it.

The central thesis of positive psychology, as outlined by Seligman, comprises ...

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