Since the turn of the twenty-first century, the field of positive psychology has sought to implement a science of human flourishing so that we may lead happier, more fulfilling lives. It has found expression not only in academic papers but also popular books and, increasingly, in government policy. The Routledge International Handbook of Critical Positive Psychology is the first volume dedicated to a critical appraisal of this influential but controversial field of study.
The book critically examines not only the scientific foundations of positive psychology, but also the sociocultural and political tenets on which the field rests. It evaluates the current field of knowledge and practice, and includes chapters analysing the methodological constructs of the field, as well as others that question what positive psychology actually means by ideas such as happiness or well-being. Taking the debate further, the book then discusses how positive psychology can be applied in a wider variety of settings than is presently the case, helping communities and individuals by acknowledging the reality of people’s lives rather than adhering strictly to debateable theoretical constructs.
Including contributions from disciplines ranging from psychoanalysis to existential therapy, theology to philosophy, and contributors from throughout the world, The Routledge International Handbook of Critical Positive Psychology will be enlightening reading for anyone interested in how psychology has sought to understand human well-being.
Table of Contents
Interiorizing and Interrogating Well-Being
Critical Positive Psychology: A Creative Convergence of Two Disciplines
Piers Worth and Matthew Smith
Section 1: Criticism of Positive Psychology
Nicholas J. L. Brown
The Unavoidable Role of Values in Positive Psychology: Reflections in Light of Psychology’s Replicability Crisis
Brent Dean Robbins and Harris L. Friedman
Taking a Closer Look at Well-Being as a Scientific Construct: Delineating its Conceptual Nature and Boundaries in Relation to Spirituality and Existential Functioning
Douglas A. MacDonald
The Meaning and Valence of Gratitude in Positive Psychology
Liz Gulliford and Blaire Morgan
Positive Psychology, Mental Health, and the False Promise of the Medical Model
Is Positive Psychology an Indigenous Psychology?
Jeanne Marecek and John Chambers Christopher
Community Psychology’s Contributions on Happiness and Well-being: Including the Role of Context, Social Justice, and Values in Our Understanding of the Good Life.
Salvatore Di Martino, Francisco José Eiroa-Orosa, and Caterina Arcidiacono
Positive Psychology: Intellectual, Scientific, or Ideological Movement?
Bernardo Moreno-Jiménez and Aldo Aguirre-Camacho
Is Positive Psychology Compatible With Freedom?
Critique of Positive Psychology and Positive Interventions
Paul T. P. Wong and Sandip Roy
Toward a Well-Spoken Explanatory Style
An Introduction to Criticality for Students of Positive Psychology
Nicholas J. L. Brown
Five Historic Philosophers Discuss Human Flourishing and Happiness in Positive Psychology: A Speculative Dialogue in Three Acts
Liz Gulliford and Kristján Kristjánsson
Section 2: Doing Positive Psychology Critically
A Re-appraisal of Boredom: A Case Study in Second Wave Positive Psychology
Affirming the Positive in Anomalous Experiences: A Challenge to Dominant Accounts of Reality, Life, and Death
Edith Steffen, David J. Wilde, and Callum E. Cooper
Uncovering the Good in Positive Psychology: Toward a Worldview Conception That Can Help Positive Psychology Flourish
Peter C. Hill and M. Elizabeth Lewis Hall
Toward a Culturally Competent Positive Psychology
Adil Qureshi and Stella Evangelidou
Cultural and Racial Perspectives on Positive Psychologies of Humility
David R. Paine, Sarah H. Moon, Daniel J. Hauge, and Steven J. Sandage
Positive Psychology’s Religious Imperative
Daniel K. Brown and David G. George
Character Strengths as Critique: The Power of Positive Psychology to Humanise the Workplace
Roger Bretherton and Ryan M. Niemiec
Toward an Integrative Applied Positive Psychology
Positive Politics: Left-wing Versus Right-wing Policies, and Their Impact on the Determinants of Wellbeing
A Proposed Enquiry Into the Effect of Sociocultural Changes on Well-Being
Francisco Jose Eiroa-Orosa
Complexity: Towards a New Measure of Societal Well-being
Daniel T. Gruner and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Pleasure as a Form of Liberatory Practice
Tod Sloan and Marisol Garcia
Section 3: Applied Perspectives
Francisco Jose Eiroa-Orosa
Community Social Psychology and Positive Psychology: Learning From the Experience of Latin America
Ramón Soto Martínez and Salvatore Di Martino
Positive, Necessary, and Possible Lives: Experience and Practice from the Struggle for a Dignified Life
José Eduardo Viera and Lauren Languido
Exploring the Role of Engagement on Well-Being and Personal Development: A Review of Adolescent and Mental Health Activism
Anne C. Montague and Francisco Jose Eiroa-Orosa
Citizenship, Mental Health, and Positive Psychology
Jean-François Pelletier, Chyrell Bellamy, Maria O’Connell, Michaella Baker, and Michael Rowe
The Brutality of Reality
Philotimo: Vices and Virtues of a Moral Archetype
Manos Rhodes Hatzimalonas
Evaluating Positive Education: A Framework and Case Study
Dianne A. Vella-Brodrick, Nikki S. Rickard, and Tan-Chyuan Chin
Shaping Positive Education Research to Influence Public Policy
Charlie Simson, Lauren Rosewarne, and Lea Waters
Positive Psychology at a City Scale
Mike Zeidler, Liz Zeidler, and Byron Lee
Judging the Efficacy and Ethics of Positive Psychology for Government Policymaking
Mark D. White
Feel Good or Be Happy. Distinctions Between Emotions and Development in the Environmental Psychology Research of Wellbeing
Pablo Olivos and Ricardo Ernst
Nicholas J. L. Brown is a PhD candidate in Health Psychology at the University Medical Center, University of Groningen, the Netherlands. His research examines the claims made by positive psychology regarding the relation between well-being and physical health outcomes.
Tim Lomas is a Lecturer in positive psychology at the University of East London, UK. He has published numerous books and papers on topics including positive psychology theory, language, meditation, Buddhism, and neuroscience.
Francisco Jose Eiroa-Orosa holds a Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship coordinated between the universities of Barcelona and Yale. The aim of his project is to explore the role of context on mental health interventions with key stakeholders such as service users, professionals, and policy makers.