Pursuing the Good Life: 100 Reflections in Positive Psychology

ISBN : 9780199916351

Christopher Peterson
368 ページ
136 x 178 mm

What makes life most worth living? And how can we pursue a good life? The new perspective of positive psychology takes these questions seriously and provides some useful answers. In Pursuing the Good Life, Christopher Peterson, one of the founders and leaders of positive psychology, compiles for the first time a collection of his reflections on what positive psychologists have learned about the good life, with meditations on how to make it part of everyday life. With the humor, warmth, and wisdom that have made him an award-winning teacher, Peterson explores a range of concerns on the groundswell of positive psychology and the lessons it embraces. What are the potential pitfalls and problems of this perspective? What are the roles played by positive emotions and happiness, by strengths of character, by optimism, and by good relationships with others? How can we pursue the good life in families, workplaces, schools, and sports, no matter who we are or where we live? There is no one correct form of the good life, but the masterful insight collected here offers the mindfulness to chase it.


Part I. Positive Psychology and the Good Life
1. What is Positive Psychology, and What is it Not?
2. Parsing Positive Psychology
3. How Do Americans Spend Their Time?
4. Blaming the Science Versus Blaming the Victim: A Third Alternative
5. Perfect People
6. The Future of Unhappiness
7. Positive Psychology and Bullshit
8. The Bad Company of Positive Psychology
9. Taking on the Criticisms of Positive Psychology
10. The Future of Positive Psychology: Science and Practice
Part II. Positive Emotions and Experiences
11. What Do You Think About in the Shower?
12. Savoring and Dampening Positive Feelings
13. Who Most Enjoys the Small Things in Life?
14. Fast Food and Impatience
15. Passion and Positive Psychology
16. The Positive Analogue of a Phobia
17. Sunday Afternoon with Daniel Kahneman
18. Money and Happiness
19. Does Happiness Have a Cost?
20. Does Happiness Have a Cost? Part Two
22. Heritability and Happiness
22. Smiles and Longevity: Game Faces and Life Faces
23. Happiness Outliers
Part III. Positive Traits and Talents
24. The Last Lecture: A Positive Psychology Case Study
25. Is Optimism Undermining America?
26. Optimism Goes Underground
27. Good Hope and Bad Hope
28. Strengths or Weaknesses?
29. Character Is Sexy
30. There Are No Saints
31. Does It Matter Where We Live?
32. Resilience
33. Growing Greatness
34. David and Goliath and the Good Life
35. Steve Jobs: Lessons for the Good Life
36. What Have You Done for Yourself Lately?
Part IV. Positive Relationships
37. Other People Matter: Two Examples
38. Gratitude: Letting Other People Know They Matter Benefits Us
39. Gender and Friendship
40. Tears and Testosterone
41. Dealing with the Pain of Romantic Breakups
42. Happiness, Small Talk, and Big Talk
43. Having a Friend and Being a Friend
44. Infants Get It Right
45. Viral Happiness
Part V. Enabling Institutions: Families
46. Books Matter
47. You May Now Kiss the Bride - And Would You Like Fries With That?
48. Living Happily Ever After
49. What Good Are Fathers?
Part VI. Enabling Institutions: Workplaces
50. Leadership Style and Employee Well-Being
51. Doing the Right Thing
52. Positive Psychology and Assholes
53. Positive Psychology and Unemployment
Part VII. Enabling Institutions: Schools
54. Did You Bring a Stuffed Animal to College?
55. Paying Students for Good Grades
56. Teaching Positive Psychology to an Entire University
57. The 50th Anniversary of the Peace Corps
58. Doing the Right Thing EL With a Business Plan
59. Saturday Afternoon with President Obama
Part VIII. Enabling Institutions: Sports
60. When Losing Isn't Losing
61. I Love the NFL, But ...
62. Streaks in Sports and Life: Not for Men Only
63. Brett Favre versus Cal Ripken?
64. Team Sports, Happiness, and Health
65. Team Celebration and Performance
66. The NBA Finals: Does the Best Team Win?
Part IX. Enabling Institutions: Geographical Places
67. Geography and Happiness: A Book Review
68. Happy Places: Happy States
69. Are Happy Places Also Deadly Ones?
70. Gauging the Happiness of a Nation
71. How Can You Tell If Someone from France is Happy?
72. Gross National Happiness
73. Positive Psychology and China
74. Gauging the Happiness of Nations: A View from North Korea
75. Happy Places: Third Places
Part X. Rants
76. Can You Be Too Cheerful?
77. "Strong" Accents Define America
78. Does Anyone Write Letters Anymore?
79. You Can't Savor a Nutrient
80. I Hate E-mail
81. Technology and Happiness: A Book Review
82. Don't Pick My Brain
83. First, Think Inside the Box
84. It is What it is
85. Upspeak
86. Joy in the Misfortune of Others: Sports and Beyond
87. Bucket Lists and Positive Psychology
Part XI. Pursuing the Good life
88. Days are Long - Life is Short
89. I Resolve to Take Benjamin Franklin Seriously
90. How to Smile
91. How to Talk
92. Finding the Right Bank to Rob
93. Ikigai and Mortality
94. University of Michigan Squirrels
95. A But-Free Day
96. Getting Lost in Buildings - and Life
97. Giving Thanks by Mental Subtraction
98. What's in Your Closet?
99. The Good Life: Ends and Means
100. There Are No Bad Racks


Christopher Peterson is Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan. He is an award-winning teacher and one of the world's most highly cited research psychologists. He holds an appointment as an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor in recognition of his teaching. One of the founders of positive psychology, Peterson is best-known for his studies of optimism and character strengths and their relationship to psychological and physical well-being.