Monthly Article Archives: February 2005

The Study of Happiness: Why Not Examine the Brighter Side of Life?Robert Brooks, Ph.D.

In several of my website articles I have described the emergence of “positive psychology,” a field of study that emphasizes strengths and virtues rather than weaknesses and pathology. The articles and books that my colleague Sam Goldstein and I have authored pertaining to resilience fall within the domain of positive psychology. Given my interest in a strength-based perspective of human development and functioning, I was especially drawn to a recent issue of Time Magazine with a cover titled “The Science of Happiness.” The issue contained an array of articles related to the study of happiness, featuring the works of such noted psychologists as Martin Seligman, Edward Diener, Sonja Lyubomirsky, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, and Daniel Kahneman. I find refreshing the increased attention being directed to understanding factors that contribute to contentment and happiness. While we must not lessen our commitment to learn as much as possible about psychiatric disorders if we are to develop effective interventions to ease the pain of those burdened with these disorders, it is equally important that we not neglect the study of more positive thoughts, emotions, or behaviors. Although the field of positive psychology is still relatively young, a body of research is emerging that has major

Article Archive