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date: 15 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter traces the history of examinations of well-being since the founding of psychology in 1879. Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi (2000) asserted that positive psychology as a scientific discipline was to focus on empirical examinations of valued individual experiences and traits, as well as group and institutional characteristics that mark positive functioning. Positive psychology set parameters on the types of evidence that would be given credence in the field. Many scholars had described well-being prior to 2000, but much of this work could not counted as within the bounds of the new positive psychology because of how the different movements approached gathering evidence. Therefore, the founding of positive psychology represented another step in an ongoing debate in psychology regarding the conduct of scientific research on human characteristics and behavior, and its accomplishments can be viewed as a paradigm shift in the study of well-being.

Keywords: Positive psychology, well-being, history, empiricism, theory

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