Monday, 11 April 2011

Why humans want more than happiness

Back in 1998, Martin Seligman used his presidency of the American Psychological Association to promote the idea that psychology should not just be about solving problems, but creating better mental health in everyone. Since then, the rise of ‘positive psychology’ has been all but unstoppable, with Seligman’s book Authentic Happiness (Nicholas Brealey Publishing) its key text. But Seligman was not happy. Instead of positive psychology being about living a rich, full life, as he intended, it was perceived as a pure ‘happyology’ – all about achieving a cheerful mood. So now, in his book Flourish, happiness is out and wellbeing, or ‘flourishing’, is in.
Interview with Martin Seligman in May's Psychologies. (Only introduction available online)