Flourishing: Positive Psychology and the Life Well-Lived [Hardcover]

 Corey L. M. Keyes (Editor), Jonathan Haidt (Editor), Martin E. P. Seligman (Foreword)

Publication Date: December 1, 2002

ISBN-10: 1557989303 | ISBN-13: 978-1557989307 | Edition: 1

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.

Reader reviews from

Difficult read but well worth it December 11, 2006 - By Jorge Munoz-Bustamante

Some day somebody's going to write a "Flourishing For Dummies" version of this book and they'll sell a zillion of them. In the meantime, it is a very thorough look at the tenets and possibilities of the positive psychology movement. The premise is that the field of psychology has focused mostly on prevention and illness and that it needs to move in the direction of potential and good mental health. The notion that the absence of mental illness is not the same as good mental health is well developed as are some of the behaviors attitudes and beliefs associated with good mental health.

Handbook-style reference for positive psychology June 8, 2008  - By K. Budzek

This newest positive psychology handbook is an edited volume, with contributing authors including Czikszentmihalyi, Emmons, and more.

When Dr. Haidt teaches a senior-level college course on flourishing, he assigns this text as well as Martin Seligman's (2002) Authentic happiness, Ben Franklin's autobiography, Buddha's Dhammapada, Burns' (1999) Feeling good: The new mood therapy, and finally his own (2006) The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding modern truth in ancient wisdom.

Lay readers interested in the topic but daunted by the jargon of modern experimental psychology will be happy with Authentic Happiness or The Happiness Hypothesis -- both written by major researchers but intended-for-the-public.