Flourishing: Positive Psychology and the Life Well-Lived

Pages: 335
Item #: 431686A
ISBN: 978-1-55798-930-7
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.

Psychology has made great strides in understanding mental illness, but how much has it learned about mental health? When people want to reflect upon the good life and how to live it, they turn to philosophers and novelists, not psychologists. The emerging field of positive psychology aims to redress this imbalance.

In Flourishing, distinguished scholars apply scientific analyses to study the good life, expanding the scope of social and psychological research to include happiness, well-being, courage, citizenship, play, and the satisfactions of healthy work and healthy relationships. Their findings reveal that a sense of meaning and a feeling of richness emerge in life as people immerse themselves in activities, relationships, and the pursuit of intrinsically satisfying goals like overcoming adversity or serving one's community through volunteering. This provocative book will further define this evolving field.

Table of Contents



Foreword: The Past and Future of Positive Psychology
—Martin E. P. Seligman

Introduction: Human Flourishing—The Study of That Which Makes Life Worthwhile
—Corey L. M. Keyes and Jonathan Haidt

I. Rise to Life’s Challenges

  1. Flourishing Under Fire: Resilience as a Prototype of Challenged Thriving
    —Carol d. Ryff and Burton Singer
  2. Turning Points as Opportunities for Psychological Growth
    —Elaine Wethington
  3. Optimism and Flourishing
    —Chris Peterson and Edward C. Chang

II. Engage and Relate

  1. The Construction of Meaning Through Vital Engagement
    —Jeanne Nakamura and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  2. Personal Goals, Life Meaning, and Virtue: Wellsprings of a Positive Life
    —Robert A. Emmons
  3. Toward a Positive Psychology of Relationships
    —Harry T. Reis and Shelly L. Gable

III. Find Fulfillment in Creativity and Productivity

  1. Creativity and Genius
    —Vincent J. Cassandro and Dean Keith Simonton
  2. Working, Playing, and Eating: Making the Most of Most Moments
    —Amy Wrzesniewski, Paul Rozin, and Gwen Bennett
  3. Well-Being in the Workplace and Its Relationship to Business Outcomes: A Review of the Gallup Studies
    —James K. Harter, Frank L. Schmidt, and Corey L. M. Keyes

IV. Look Beyond Oneself

  1. Doing Well by Doing Good: Benefits for the Benefactor
    —Jane Allyn Piliavin
  2. The Intermarriage of Wisdom and Selective Optimization With Compensation: Two Meta-Heuristics Guiding the Conduct of Life
    —Paul B. Baltes and Alexandra M. Freund
  3. Elevation and the Positive Psychology of Morality
    —Jonathan Haidt

V. Looking Ahead: A Call to Action

  1. Complete Mental Health: An Agenda for the 21st Century
    —Corey L. M. Keyes

Author Index

Subject Index

About the Editors

Editor Bios

Corey L. M. Keyes is a social psychologist. He received his PhD in sociology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He has been a member of the Emory University faculty since 1997, where he holds joint appointments in the Department of Sociology and in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education of the Rollins School of Public Health. He is a member of the steering committee of the Society for the Study of Human Development, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's Research Network on Successful Midlife Development, and the Positive Psychology Network. His research focuses broadly on the domains of successful human development and aging and the diagnosis and etiology of mental health and illness.

Jonathan Haidt is a social and cultural psychologist. He received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1992 and then did postdoctoral research at the University of Chicago and in Orissa, India. He has been on the faculty of the University of Virginia since 1995. His research focuses on morality, and he began his career studying the negative moral emotions, such as disgust, shame, and vengeance. In 1998 he had his awakening to positive psychology with the realization that there was almost no research on the positive moral emotions — the emotions people feel when other people do kind, heroic, or otherwise virtuous acts. He now studies these emotions, including elevation, awe, admiration, and gratitude. He is the 2001 winner of the Templeton Prize in Positive Psychology.