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Clinical Trial
. Jul-Aug 2005;60(5):410-21.
doi: 10.1037/0003-066X.60.5.410.

Positive Psychology Progress: Empirical Validation of Interventions

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Clinical Trial

Positive Psychology Progress: Empirical Validation of Interventions

Martin E P Seligman et al. Am Psychol. .

Abstract

Positive psychology has flourished in the last 5 years. The authors review recent developments in the field, including books, meetings, courses, and conferences. They also discuss the newly created classification of character strengths and virtues, a positive complement to the various editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (e. g., American Psychiatric Association, 1994), and present some cross-cultural findings that suggest a surprising ubiquity of strengths and virtues. Finally, the authors focus on psychological interventions that increase individual happiness. In a 6-group, random-assignment, placebo-controlled Internet study, the authors tested 5 purported happiness interventions and 1 plausible control exercise. They found that 3 of the interventions lastingly increased happiness and decreased depressive symptoms. Positive interventions can supplement traditional interventions that relieve suffering and may someday be the practical legacy of positive psychology.

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