A Psychology of Human Strengths: Fundamental Questions and Future Directions for a Positive Psychology

Pages: 369
Item #: 431685A
ISBN: 978-1-55798-931-4
List Price: $39.95
Member/Affiliate Price: $29.95
Copyright: 2003
Format: Hardcover
Note: This book is out of print and no longer available for purchase.

In A Psychology of Human Strengths: Fundamental Questions and Future Directions for a Positive Psychology, leading scholars of contemporary psychology set a research agenda for the scientific study of human strengths. The book features contributors who bring both supportive and challenging voices to this emerging field to stimulate discourse. In many cases, their findings have turned "established wisdom" on its head. What results is a comprehensive volume that provides a forward-looking forum for the discussion of the purpose, pitfalls, and future of the psychology of human strengths.

This volume offers commentary on positive psychology and its antecedents. It is a must-read for those looking for new ways of thinking about such topics as intelligence, judgment, volition, social behavior, close relationships, development, aging, and health as well as applications to psychotherapy, education, organizational psychology, gender, politics, creativity, and other realms of life.

Table of Contents




  1. A Psychology of Human Strengths: Some Central Issues of an Emerging Field
    —Lisa G. Aspinwall and Ursula M. Staudinger
  2. Human Strengths as the Orchestration of Wisdom and Selective Optimization With Compensation
    —Paul B. Baltes and Alexandra M. Freund
  3. The Human's Greatest Strength: Other Humans
    —Ellen Berscheid
  4. Constructive Cognition, Personal Goals, and the Social Embedding of Personality
    —Nancy Cantor
  5. A Conception of Personality for a Psychology of Human Strengths: Personality as an Agentic, Self-Regulating System
    —Gian Vittorio Caprara and Daniel Cervone
  6. Human Aging: Why Is Even Good News Taken as Bad?
    —Laura L. Carstensen and Susan T. Charles
  7. Three Human Strengths
    —Charles S. Carver and Michael F. Scheier
  8. The Malleability of Sex Differences in Response to Changing Social Roles
    —Alice H. Eagly and Amanda B. Diekman
  9. Toward a Positive Psychology: Social Developmental and Cultural Contributions
    —Nancy Eisenberg and Vivian Ota Wang
  10. Light and Dark in the Psychology of Human Strengths: The Example of Psychogerontology
    —Rocío Fernández-Ballesteros
  11. Intervention as a Major Tool of a Psychology of Human Strength: Examples from Organizational Change and Innovation
    —Dieter Frey, Eva Jonas, and Tobias Greitemeyer
  12. Judgmental Heuristics: Human Strengths or Human Weaknesses?
    —Dale Griffin and Daniel Kahneman
  13. Positive Affect as a Source of Human Strength
    —Alice M. Isen
  14. The Parametric Unimodel of Human Judgment: A Fanfare to the Common Thinker
    —Arie W. Kruglanski, Hans-Peter Erb, Scott Spiegel, and Antonio Pierro
  15. Turning Adversity to Advantage: On the Virtues of the Coactivation of Positive and Negative Emotions
    —Jeff T. Larsen, Scott H. Hemenover, Catherine J. Norris, and John T. Cacioppo
  16. A Holistic Person Approach for Research on Positive Development
    —David Magnusson and Joseph L. Mahoney
  17. Harnessing Willpower and Socioemotional Intelligence to Enhance Human Agency and Potential
    —Walter Mischel and Rodolpho Mendoza-Denton
  18. The Motivational Sources of Creativity as Viewed From the Paradigm of Positive Psychology
    —Jeanne Nakamura and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  19. Ironies of the Human Condition: Well-Being and Health on the Way to Mortality
    —Carol D. Ryff and Burton Singer
  20. Political Symbols and Collective Moral Action
    —David O. Sears
  21. Positive Clinical Psychology
    —Martin E. P. Seligman and Christopher Peterson
  22. Driven to Despair: Why We Need to Redefine the Concept and Measurement of Intelligence
    —Robert J. Sternberg
  23. The Ecology of Human Strengths
    —Daniel Stokols

Author Index

Subject Index

About the Editors

Reviews & Awards
  • A Choice Outstanding Academic Title!

Although positive psychology only recently reached its five-year mark, the study of psychological factors that "make life worth living" is flourishing. This tightly edited book tackles human strengths, the qualities and processes that promote well-being and health while preventing pathology. The editors invited leading researchers to explore the role strengths play in a variety of topics, including personality, aging, sex differences, close relationships, intelligence, creativity, judgment, affect…This excellent, 23-chapter moveable feast of theory and data is by no means a united front; constructive criticism of the young discipline's possible directions and problems are offered alongside more embracing perspectives. Summing up: Essential.
—CHOICE Magazine