Handbook of Positive Psychology Hardcover – Apr 4 2009
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This is an excellent book on a unique approach to psychology. The international authorship helps readers see positive psychology from many different vantage points. Doody's Notes (Gary B Kaniuk, Psy.D, Cermak Health Services)
About the Author
C. R. Snyder is Professor and Director of the Clinical Psychology Program in the Department of Psychology at the University of Kansas. Shane J. Lopez is Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and Research in Education at the University of Kansas.
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The sections on "Cognitive Approaches" and "Interpersonal Approaches" were by far the most intriguing. The topics of creativity, mindfulness, time, optimism, hope theory, self-efficacy, problem solving appraisal, curiosity, and courage among others are covered extensively each in their own essays. These sections are especially reminiscent of Aristotelian and Nietzschean virtue theories and take up the task appropriate of positive psychology of giving more scientific analyses of long held cross cultural consensus on virtues and various prosocial behaviors. If positive psychology is to grow as a newly demarcated field of study and not be a mere recapitulation or Aristotelian atavism it must couple this scrutinizing scientific eye with the guiding passion of the ancients. Overall, this text is worth the read and although some essays may not have appealed to me, other essays may advance other readers' personal research. It is a dense read and not for the timid reader.
Unfortunately the obvious striving for academic detail and rigor comes at the expense of readability and interest, with the result that it feels like reading a collection of narrow academic journal articles rather than readable overviews.
The first edition managed to marry both rigor and readability better
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