1st Edition

A Psychological Perspective on Joy and Emotional Fulfillment

ISBN 9780415841238
Published October 8, 2013 by Routledge
308 Pages

USD $185.00

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Book Description

Throughout the history of psychology, there have been full investigations of discrete emotions (particularly negative ones) and a recent wealth of books on happiness, but few exist on the emotion of joy. This book takes a unique psychological approach to understanding this powerful emotion and provides a framework within which the study of human joy and other related positive fulfillment experiences can fit in a meaningful schema.

A key feature of this book is its development of an experiential phenomenology of joy.  This phenomenology is based on more than three hundred descriptions of joy experiences recounted by subjects in an empirical study executed by the author. Types of joy experiences are examined, such as excited vs. serene joy, anticipatory vs. completed joy, and affiliative vs. individuated joy. There is no comparable book or work that clarifies the relationship among major positive states with emotional components including satisfaction, happiness, and ecstasy.

Table of Contents

1. Theories of Joy  2. The Facial and Linguistic Expression of Joy  3. The Role of Positive Emotion in Evolution  4. The Subjective World of Joy  5. The Relation of Happiness and Joy  6. Ecstasy and Joy  7. Joy and Manic Euphoria

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Chris M. Meadows, Ph.D. taught at Vanderbilt University where his teaching and research were in the areas of emotion, personality theory, psychotherapy, and health psychology. He also served as the head of a hospital counseling center, founded a career development center, was a neuropsychologist on an inpatient unit of a major rehabilitation institute, and a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist for over 30 years.


"Those who are interested in positive psychology and health and well- being will find this work valuable. In addition, those who avoid works on joy, happiness, and fulfillment, thinking that these topics are unsubstantial or self- indulgent and meant for pleasure-seekers or "New Age" proponents, will be surprised and enlightened."- Mary Dugan, Missouri Institute of Mental Health, PsycCRITQUES, September 2014