Academic journal article Journal of Psychology and Christianity

Positive Psychology: The Scientific and Practical Explorations of Human Strengths

Academic journal article Journal of Psychology and Christianity

Positive Psychology: The Scientific and Practical Explorations of Human Strengths

Article excerpt

POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY: THE SCIENTIFIC AND PRACTICAL EXPLORATIONS OF HUMAN STRENGTHS. C. R. Snyder & Shane Lopez. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2007. Pp. 598. Reviewed by Geoffrey W. Sutton (Evangel University/Springfield, MO).

"What is right about people?" (p. 3). The authors welcome their readers with the ubiquitous challenge of the positive psychology movement to consider what is right rather than what is wrong with people. The authors designed the book as a textbook to provide a comprehensive overview of topics in the field. This is the third collaboration of the two University of Kansas authors. Unfortunately, it will be their last because senior author, C. R. (Rick) Snyder died January 17, 2000, a little more than a month after delivering the final draft of the manuscript (XKV).

Readers will experience an extensive tour of the expansive landscape of positive psychology with 19 chapters organized in eight parts followed by OO pages of references, along with author and subject indexes. Part I contains chapters 1-4, which provide an overview of positive psychology along with summary chapters on Eastern and Western philosophical foundations for the field. As with any summary, the knowledgeable reader will find the sweeping generalizations a bit too simplistic. The three chapters of part II reflect the authors' views about the ways positive psychology may influence individual lifestyles and human development, as well as the role of culture in determining what is positive. I view parts III to V as the heart of positive psychology. These sections represent the common cognitive-behavioral triad of emotion (Part III, two chapters about positive emotional states and experiences), cognition (Part IV, three chapters on topics such as self-efficacy, optimism, and hope), and behavior (Part V, two chapters that examine positive interpersonal behaviors such as gratitude, love, and flourishing).

Part VI contains ideas for self-improvement and suggestions for prevention of mental health problems as well as primary enhancement of physical and psychological health, Part VII examines the possibilities of positive influences in the common environments of school (Chapter 10), work (Chapter 17), and the community (Chapter 18).

In Part VIII, the authors organized an interesting agglomeration of visionary statements by well-known positive psychologists (e. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.