Authentic Happiness Positive Psychology Martin E. P. Seligman
Why bother to be happy?Your thinking is faster and broaderYou have (generally) better health & longevityYou are more productiveYou build social resources betterYour thinking is generally more tolerant, creative, constructive and non-defensive.You tolerate pain better
What External Circumstances Make us Happy?Money once above a certain level, no.Marriage robustly related to happinessSocial life yesNegative emotion? complexAge no. Intensity of emotion changes with age.Health generally, no.Education, climate, race, gender noReligion - yes
What circumstances will maximize happiness?Live in a wealthy democracy, not an impoverished dictatorship (strong effect)Get married (robust, but not causal effect)Avoid negative events & negative emotions (moderate effect)Acquire a rich social network (robust effect, but perhaps not causal)Get religion (moderate effect).
What circumstances make little difference?Making more money (Once above a certain comfort level, not important)Stay healthy (subjective health, not objective health matters)Get as much education as possible (no effect)Change your race or move to a sunnier climate (no effect).
Authentic Happiness in the PresentChanging thinking patternsIdentifying pleasures and gratifications (reinforcers)Developing strengths and virtues that increase the levels of gratification in our lives.
Authentic Happiness in the PresentPleasuresThe bodily pleasuresThe higher pleasuresEnhancing the pleasuresHabituationSavoringMindfulness
Authentic Happiness in the PresentGratificationsInvolve total absorption, suspension of consciousness, flowAbout enacting personal strength and virtues.
FlowThe task is challenging and requires skillWe concentrateThere are clear goalsWe get immediate feedbackWe have deep effortless involvementThere is a sense of controlOur sense of self vanishesTime stops
Flow research findingsLow flow teenagersAre mall kidsWatch TV a lot
Flow research findingsHigh flowteenagers have hobbiesEngage in sportSpend time on homeworkHave deeper social tiesAre high on most measures of psychological well-beingThink their low flow peers are having more funDo not perceive their engagement as enjoyable
What are the personal strengths and virtues?
Strengths and VirtuesThe Virtues:Wisdom and knowledgeCourageLove and humanityJusticeTemperanceSpirituality and transcendence
Strengths and VirtuesThe strengths linked with Wisdom & KnowledgeCuriosityLove of LearningJudgementIngenuitySocial IntelligencePerspective
Strengths and VirtuesThe strengths linked with CourageValourPerseveranceIntegrity
Strengths and VirtuesThe strengths linked with Humanity & LoveKindnessLoving
Strengths and VirtuesThe strengths linked with JusticeCitizenshipFairnessLeadership
Strengths and VirtuesThe strengths linked with TemperanceSelf-controlPrudenceHumility
Strengths and VirtuesThe strengths linked with transcendenceAppreciation of beautyGratitudeHopeSpiritualityForgivenessHumourZest
Errata from the web-site www.authentichappiness.orgSatisfaction with Life ScaleSignature Strength surveyChildrens Strengths SurveyOptimism Survey