Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification

Oxford University Press
4
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"Character" has become a front-and-center topic in contemporary discourse, but this term does not have a fixed meaning. Character may be simply defined by what someone does not do, but a more active and thorough definition is necessary, one that addresses certain vital questions. Is character a singular characteristic of an individual, or is it composed of different aspects? Does character--however we define it--exist in degrees, or is it simply something one happens to have? How can character be developed? Can it be learned? Relatedly, can it be taught, and who might be the most effective teacher? What roles are played by family, schools, the media, religion, and the larger culture? This groundbreaking handbook of character strengths and virtues is the first progress report from a prestigious group of researchers who have undertaken the systematic classification and measurement of widely valued positive traits. They approach good character in terms of separate strengths-authenticity, persistence, kindness, gratitude, hope, humor, and so on-each of which exists in degrees. Character Strengths and Virtues classifies twenty-four specific strengths under six broad virtues that consistently emerge across history and culture: wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance, and transcendence. Each strength is thoroughly examined in its own chapter, with special attention to its meaning, explanation, measurement, causes, correlates, consequences, and development across the life span, as well as to strategies for its deliberate cultivation. This book demands the attention of anyone interested in psychology and what it can teach about the good life.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Oxford University Press
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Published on
Apr 8, 2004
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Pages
816
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ISBN
9780199883240
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Language
English
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Genres
Psychology / Clinical Psychology
Psychology / Cognitive Psychology & Cognition
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Doctoral Thesis / Dissertation from the year 2009 in the subject Psychology - Cognition, grade: magna cum laude, University of Göttingen (Institute for Nonlinear Dynamics), language: English, abstract: Selective attention enables goal-directed behavior despite the permanent, immense input to the sensory system. Contradicting early speculations of an active attending and passive ignoring, the active nature of ignoring was revealed by the negative priming paradigm. The present thesis will describe our multi-level approach to reveal the temporal structure of negative priming. Accompanied by computational modeling, we run sophisticated psychological experiments and record and analyze EEG data. The common denominator of all negative priming paradigms is the simultaneous presentation of targets that have to be attended to, and distractors that are to be ignored. A slowdown in the response to a formerly ignored stimulus is labeled negative priming. Because of negative priming being robust and sensitive at the same time, a variety of different theoretical accounts have been developed. But until now none of the theoretical accounts is able to explain all aspects of the negative priming effect. In order to clarify the situation, the time course of negative priming is crucial. In order to advance the debate on theoretical accounts, we build a computational model comprising most of the mechanisms suspected to play a role in negative priming tasks. The outcome is not only a meta-model for negative priming, but in itself a simplified model of the brain as a framework for action selection based on perception. We address the tradeoff between biological realism and understandability by modeling each assumed mechanism separately but keeping the internal dynamics of each of the corresponding layers very simple. The computational implementation of theories is accompanied by a series of behavioral experiments intended to decide about the temporal localization of the negative priming effect relative to the processing of a single trial. We present an EEG experiment that replicates findings from one of the few studies on event-related potentials related to negative priming. To access the timing of the effect not only through brain recordings but behavioral measures, we design a paradigm which divides stimulus identification and target selection. The results locate negative priming also in the latter part of a trial. This remainder of a trial still contains both target selection and response generation. Therefore, another trial splitting paradigm singles out the response generation phase. We finally find the devotion of negative priming to the target selection phase.
Looking for the latest research and practices on character strengths and mindfulness? Curious about how character strengths can supercharge your mindfulness practice? Or how mindfulness can help you deploy your best qualities? Look no further – the answers are in this book! At the core of this hands-on resource for psychologists and other practitioners, including educators, coaches, and consultants, is Mindfulness-Based Strengths Practice (MBSP), the first structured program to combine mindfulness with the character strengths laid out in the VIA Institute’s classification developed by Drs. Martin E. P. Seligman and Christopher Peterson. This 8-session program systematically boosts awareness and application of character strengths, helping people flourish and lead more fulfilling lives. The author’s vast experience working with both mindfulness and character strengths is revealed in his sensitive and clear presentation of the conceptual, practical, and scientific elements of this unique combined approach. It is not only those who are new to mindfulness or to character strengths who will appreciate the detailed primers on these topics in the first section of the book. And the deep discussions about the integration of mindfulness and character strengths in the second section will benefit not just intermediate and advanced practitioners. The third section then leads readers step-by-step through each of the 8 MBSP sessions, including details of session structure and content, suggested homework, 30 practical handouts, as well as inspiring quotes and stories and useful practitioner tips. An additional chapter discusses the adaption of MBSP to different settings and populations (e.g., business, education, individuals, couples). The mindfulness and character strengths meditations on the accompanying CD support growth and development. This highly accessible book, while primarily conceived for psychologists, educators, coaches, and consultants, is suitable for anyone who is interested in living a flourishing life.
When we think of psychology, we think of a field dedicated to understanding and curing the dark side of life--addictions, phobias, compulsions, anxieties, and on and on. But there is a field of psychology that looks at the bright side, that considers seriously these questions: What makes life most worth living? And how can we pursue a good life? That field is called, not surprisingly, positive psychology. In Pursuing the Good Life, one of the founders of positive psychology, Christopher Peterson, offers one hundred bite-sized reflections exploring the many sides of this exciting new field. With the humor, warmth, and wisdom that has made him an award-winning teacher, Peterson takes readers on a lively tour of the sunny side of the psychological street. What are the roles played by positive emotions and happiness, by strengths of character, by optimism, and by good relationships with others? How can we pursue the good life in families, workplaces, schools, and sports, no matter who we are or where we live? With titles such as "You May Now Kiss the Bride--And Would You Like Fries With That?" and "How Can You Tell If Someone from France is Happy?" Peterson good-humoredly explores these questions and many others, including such diverse topics as the difference between employment and work, the value of doing the right thing, and why books matter, among other subjects. Throughout, Peterson shows that happiness is not simply the result of a fortunate spin of the genetic wheel. There are things that people can learn to do to lead happier lives. Pursuing the Good Life is both an enjoyable read and an invaluable guide to making the good life part of your everyday existence.
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