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Positive Psychology

Positive Psychology
The Science of Well-Being

January 2020 | 392 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Positive Psychology brings together a range of research and a comprehensive review of the more recent work and lessons learned since the founder’s original vision of this field. Organised into five sections: An Introduction, Positive Experiences, Personality Processes, External Influences, and Applications, this text provides a thorough introduction to an interesting and challenging area in Psychology. With a final look at the future of Positive Psychology, and its potential to inform social change and how useful this knowledge can be when considering the well-being of entire societies, this text is an enlightening read and invaluable resources for students.

Strongly guided by empirical work this text encourages the reader to think critically and go beyond the facts.

Key features:

  • Provides a framework for teaching and understanding global trends in Positive Psychology.
  • Inclusion and a review of up-to-date research.
  • Using storytelling and happiness’s intrinsic appeal to foster interest in the methods we use to answer important questions in Positive Psychology.
  • Online resources including student self-tests, an instructor test bank, and links to additional web content.


Part I: Introduction
Chapter 1 Describing the Science of Positive Psychology
Part II: Happiness and Positive States
Chapter 2 Positive Emotions
Chapter 3 Happiness
Part III: Personality Processes
Chapter 4 Personality
Chapter 5 The Self
Chapter 6 Thinking
Part IV: Social, Psychological, and Physical Environments
Chapter 7 Social and Physical Environments
Chapter 8 Close Relationships
Part V: Towards increasing positivity
Chapter 9 Stability and Change
Chapter 10 Looking Forward
Key features

Key Needs/Benefits Analysis:


Key Need 1: Courses are now evolving to bring in wider perspectives of PP, as opposed to merely those of the ‘founding fathers’ – Zelenski is committed to integrating new perspectives into his framework of PP, one that will give it more of a contemporary position, and this appears to be timely and desirable.  This will help develop students’ critical evaluative skills on courses.


‘I would like to say that there is an important and urgent need for a textbook in positive psychology that integrates different perspectives on positive psychology and goes beyond the simple definition of positive psychology or a simple list of topics that are studied in positive psychology. Dr. Zelenski’s proposed textbook will serve very well this purpose and will meet an important need in the academia.’ (Frederick Grouzet)

Key Need 2: There’s now a greater need for students to understand and evaluate scientific evidence in the field of PP– One of the criticisms of PP is that it has lacked some scientific credibility in comparison with other genres of psychology up until now. Zelenski is anxious to promote the science of PP in this textbook in a way that students can understand, and will use it to help develop students’ research skills:


‘I believe that this book proposal presents an alternative approach to studying PP, which is currently unique. The biggest perceived weakness of PP is its scientific foundation, or lack thereof, however, this book may address this weakness and offer a more empirically up-to-date perspective in PP.’ (Filia Garivaldis)

Key Need 3: Courses are now focused on giving students (especially in Europe) an international ‘non-US’ understanding of PP – PP is, inherently, a US paradigm, but in recent years it has been developed in Europe to give it  a broader international dimension. Zelenski is well versed with both North American and European perspectives and will fuse the two together in this textbook.


‘The book is international in its focus which is important given that most books on Positive Psychology are very American in their focus.’ (Deborah Jim-Otero)


Key Need 4: Situating PP’s key concepts within a traditional psychology framework will aid understanding /engagement for students – A key USP of this textbook is Zelenski’s interest in couching the field of PP in a framework that students will find instantly recognisable. Thus, he has organised his textbook into sections focusing on social, personality and cognitive themes. The advantage here is that students taking PP and using Zelenski’s textbook will more readily latch on to key concepts given some prior knowledge/familiarity:

 “He is thus tacitly rebutting the initial evangelical approach of the field, which claimed it was entirely new.  But his approach is likely to make the subject more, not less, agreeable in existing psychology departments, and so quite likely to attract more use as a textbook.” (Steve Draper)


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ISBN: 9781473902152

ISBN: 9781473902145