On January 20, 2012, we had a superb, highly attended interview with one of the founders and leading figures in positive psychology--Christopher Peterson, Ph.D.

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Chris Peterson is the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan and is one of the founders and leading figures in positive psychology. He is noted for his work in the study of optimism, health, character, and well-being. He is one of the 100 most cited psychologists in the world and is now Co-Director of the newly-established Michigan Positive Psychology Center.

He received his PhD. in social psychology from the University of Colorado and respecialized in clinical psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. He also completed a clinical psychology internship at the Philadelphia VAMC.

Chris is widely regarded to be one of the seminal figures in Positive Psychology. He is a member of the Positive Psychology Steering Committee, a member of the board of directors of the Gallup Organization Positive Psychology Institute, a consulting editor of the Journal of Positive Psychology, and the positive psychology series editor of Oxford University Press.

He was the research director of the Values in Action (VIA) project, the most ambitious undertaking to date from the explicit vantage of positive psychology; the VIA project describes, classifies, and measures important strengths of character. Chris' VIA Survey of Signature Strengths has been taken by more than a million people throughout the globe. It has been translated into Chinese and Spanish as well.

Chris has twice been named best teacher at the University of Michigan and in 2010 won the 2010 Golden Apple Award - the most prestigious teaching award at the University of Michigan. He is the author of more than 350 publications. He is the co-author of Character Strengths and Virtues (2004) and the author of the best-selling, A Primer in Positive Psychology (2006).

A Primer in Positive Psychology
A Primer in Positive Psychology

Character Strengths and Virtues, A Handbook and Classification
Character Strengths and Virtues, A Handbook and Classification
co-authored with Dr. Martin E. Seligman, Ph.D.



Take (or retake!) the VIA Survey of Character Strengths here. If it's been more than a year, you should take it again. On the Authentic Happiness homepage, look in the center column for Engagement Questionnaires. The Via Survey is there. It's free. You just need to supply your email address and create your own password.

Chris' Psychology Today Blog: "The Good Life"

Top 10 Reasons to Love Chris Peterson's Primer in Positive Psychology

Chris' University of Michigan Webpage

Chris in Wikipedia

Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification (Oxford University Press)

A Primer in Positive Psychology. (Oxford Positive Psychology Series)


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