American Psychologist. (Journal File)

Article excerpt

Seligman, M.E.P., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000).

Positive psychology: An introduction

Vol. 55 (1), 5-14

The authors of this article introduce a modern trend in the field of psychology, which is positive psychology. The purpose of this review is to summarize the tenets put forth in the article and to note the role that Christian psychologists may play in this new trend in the psychology field. Positive psychology is a response to the majority of models that overemphasize pathology. In addition, positive psychology is also a response to humanistic approaches that focused on the positive aspects of humans, yet did not amass much of an empirically-based approach to the treatment of individuals.

In their discussion of their vision for positive psychology, many points of interest were cited as necessary for the journey into the next century. Among these interests were hope, wisdom, creativity, future mindedness, courage, spirituality, responsibility, and perseverance. One of the major thrusts of this article is to make a bold point: "... psychologists have scant knowledge of what makes life worth living" (p. 5). Although religion is included in a group of endeavors that does not answer the above question in a satisfactory manner, there are many important concepts in positive psychology that are similar to Biblical concepts. …


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