Positive Psychology Research/Applications

Brief Annotated Bibliography

Baker, Dan & Greenberg, Cathy, (2007) What Happy Women Know. St. Martin’s Griffin.

Using case studies, this book helps understand the ways women often struggle in living a positive life and describes how to support them from a positive framework. Many great positive interventions and approaches are described.

Diener, Ed & Biswas-Diener, Robert, ( 2008) Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth. Blackwell Publishing.

This book describes the evidence about what causes happiness and disputes the “set point” theory of happiness—they show that happiness can be learned. The authors advocate an optimal level of happiness in which people do not seek euphoria, but pursue life satisfaction, meaning, and frequent positive emotions with recognition that some negative emotions are an integral part of happy life. The authors describe why happiness is not enough—people need to be happy for the right reasons.

 Emmons, Robert A., (2007) Thanks: How the new science of gratitude can make you happier. Houghton Mifflin/

This book summarizes the extensive research that Emmons and others have done concerning the health, psychological, and spiritual benefits of gratitude. A section is included in the book on how to practice gratitude and incorporate it into daily life.

Frederickson, Barbara L. (2009) Positivity. Crown Publishers.

Frederickson shares her research on her “broaden and build” theory about happiness.  Her “tool kit” includes the “positivity portfolio” and other useful practical applications of her research.

Gilbert, Daniel,(2006)  Stumbling on Happiness. Vintage Books.

Harvard Psychologist, Dan Gilbert, draws on scientific research in psychology, cognitive neuroscience, philosophy, and behavioral economics to explain who we imagine our future and the surprising way we predict what our future will be.

Lyubomirsky, Sonja, (2007) The how of happiness: A new approach to getting the life you want. Penguin Books.

This book summarizes Lyubomirsky’s extensive research in happiness. It also includes a “workbook” with numerous activities and exercises that support new ways of thinking, incorporating happiness strategies, and quizzes for understanding each person’s individuality.

  Seligman, Martin E. P. (2002) Authentic Happiness, Free Press.

An introduction to Positive Psychology that draws on scientific research to explain how the “signature strengths” impact health relationships and career.  This book is useful for understanding the ways that strengths can be developed and integrated for greater health, happiness and more success.

Seligman, Martin E. P. (2011) Flourish, Free Press

This is a trailblazing new work. Seligman takes his own theory of Authentic Happiness to task! He takes it apart and then builds on it to add 2 more elements and changes the goal of Positive Psychology from Happiness to Flourishing. This new theory and its implications create a dramatically expanded paradigm and direction for coaches, as well as the world at large.


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