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Showing papers in "American Psychologist in 2000"


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Research guided by self-determination theory has focused on the social-contextual conditions that facilitate versus forestall the natural processes of self-motivation and healthy psychological development, leading to the postulate of three innate psychological needs--competence, autonomy, and relatedness.
Abstract: Human beings can be proactive and engaged or, alternatively, passive and alienated, largely as a function of the social conditions in which they develop and function. Accordingly, research guided by self-determination theo~ has focused on the social-contextual conditions that facilitate versus forestall the natural processes of self-motivation and healthy psychological development. Specifically, factors have been examined that enhance versus undermine intrinsic motivation, self-regulation, and well-being. The findings have led to the postulate of three innate psychological needs--competence, autonomy, and relatednesswhich when satisfied yield enhanced self-motivation and mental health and when thwarted lead to diminished motivation and well-being. Also considered is the significance of these psychological needs and processes within domains such as health care, education, work, sport, religion, and psychotherapy. T he fullest representations of humanity show people to be curious, vital, and self-motivated. At their best, they are agentic and inspired, striving to learn; extend themselves; master new skills; and apply their talents responsibly. That most people show considerable effort, agency, and commitment in their lives appears, in fact, to be more normative than exceptional, suggesting some very positive and persistent features of human nature. Yet, it is also clear that the human spirit can be diminished or crushed and that individuals sometimes reject growth and responsibility. Regardless of social strata or cultural origin, examples of both children and adults who are apathetic, alienated, and irresponsible are abundant. Such non-optimal human functioning can be observed not only in our psychological clinics but also among the millions who, for hours a day, sit passively before their televisions, stare blankly from the back of their classrooms, or wait listlessly for the weekend as they go about their jobs. The persistent, proactive, and positive tendencies of human nature are clearly not invariantly apparent. The fact that human nature, phenotypically expressed, can be either active or passive, constructive or indolent, suggests more than mere dispositional differences and is a function of more than just biological endowments. It also bespeaks a wide range of reactions to social environments that is worthy of our most intense scientific investigation. Specifically, social contexts catalyze both within- and between-person differences in motivation and personal growth, resulting in people being more self-motivated, energized, and integrated in some situations, domains, and cultures than in others. Research on the conditions that foster versus undermine positive human potentials has both theoretical import and practical significance because it can contribute not only to formal knowledge of the causes of human behavior but also to the design of social environments that optimize people's development, performance, and well-being. Research guided by self-determination theory (SDT) has had an ongoing concern with precisely these

26,488 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors outline a framework for a science of positive psychology, point to gaps in the authors' knowledge, and predict that the next century will see a science and profession that will come to understand and build the factors that allow individuals, communities, and societies to flourish.
Abstract: A science of positive subjective experience, positive individual traits, and positive institutions promises to improve quality of life and prevent the pathologies that arise when life is barren and meaningless, The exclusive focus on pathology that has dominated so much of our discipline results in a model of the human being lacking the positive features that make life worth living. Hope, wisdom, creativity, future mindedness, courage, spirituality, responsibility, and perseverance are ignored or explained as transformations of more authentic negative impulses. The 15 articles in this millennial issue of the American Psychologist discuss such issues as what enables happiness, the effects of autonomy and self-regulation, how optimism and hope affect health, what constitutes wisdom, and how talent and creativity come to fruition. The authors outline a framework for a science of positive psychology, point to gaps in our knowledge, and predict that the next century will see a science and profession that will come to understand and build the factors that allow individuals, communities, and societies to flourish.

11,929 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Evidence is provided to support the idea that emerging adulthood is a distinct period demographically, subjectively, and in terms of identity explorations that exists only in cultures that allow young people a prolonged period of independent role exploration during the late teens and twenties.
Abstract: Emerging adulthood is proposed as a new conception of development for the period from the late teens through the twenties, with a focus on ages 18-25. A theoretical background is presented. Then evidence is provided to support the idea that emerging adulthood is a distinct period demographically, subjectively, and in terms of identity explorations. How emerging adulthood differs from adolescence and young adulthood is explained. Finally, a cultural context for the idea of emerging adulthood is outlined, and it is specified that emerging adulthood exists only in cultures that allow young people a prolonged period of independent role exploration during the late teens and twenties.

10,224 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Representative selection of respondents, naturalistic experience sampling measures, and other methodological refinements are now used to study subjective well-being and could be used to produce national indicators of happiness.
Abstract: One area of positive psychology analyzes subjective well-being (SWB), people's cognitive and affective evaluations of their lives. Progress has been made in understanding the components of SWB, the importance of adaptation and goals to feelings of well-being, the temperament underpinnings of SWB, and the cultural influences on well-being. Representative selection of respondents, naturalistic experience sampling measures, and other methodological refinements are now used to study SWB and could be used to produce national indicators of happiness.

4,854 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This article analyzes the development of initiative as an exemplar of one of many learning experiences that should be studied as part of positive youth development.
Abstract: This article analyzes the development of initiative as an exemplar of one of many learning experiences that should be studied as part of positive youth development. The capacity for initiative is essential for adults in our society and will become more important in the 21st century, yet adolescents have few opportunities to learn it. Their typical experiences during schoolwork and unstructured leisure do not reflect conditions for learning initiative. The context best suited to the development of initiative appears to be that of structured voluntary activities, such as sports, arts, and participation in organizations, in which youths experience the rare combination of intrinsic motivation in combination with deep attention. An incomplete body of outcome research suggests that such activities are associated with positive development, but the developmental processes involved are only beginning to be understood. One promising approach has recorded language use and has found that adolescents participating in effective organizations acquire a new operating language that appears to correspond to the development of initiative.

2,070 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors focus on one such outcome, positive affect, and review findings about the co-occurrence of positive affect with negative affect during chronic stress, the adaptive functions of positive Affect during chronic Stress, and a special class of meaning-based coping processes that support positive affect during Chronic stress.
Abstract: Although research on coping over the past 30 years has produced convergent evidence about the functions of coping and the factors that influence it, psychologists still have a great deal to learn about how coping mechanisms affect diverse outcomes. One of the reasons more progress has not been made is the almost exclusive focus on negative outcomes in the stress process. Coping theory and research need to consider positive outcomes as well. The authors focus on one such outcome, positive affect, and review findings about the co-occurrence of positive affect with negative affect during chronic stress, the adaptive functions of positive affect during chronic stress, and a special class of meaning-based coping processes that support positive affect during chronic stress.

2,060 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
E T Higgins1
TL;DR: It is proposed that, independent of outcomes or value from worth, people experience a regulatory fit when they use goal pursuit means that fit their regulatory orientation, and this regulatory fit increases the value of what they are doing.
Abstract: The classic answer to what makes a decision good concerns outcomes. A good decision has high outcome benefits (it is worthwhile) and low outcome costs (it is worth it). I propose that, independent of outcomes or value from worth, people experience a regulatory fit when they use goal pursuit means that fit their regulatory orientation, and this regulatory fit increases the value of what they are doing. The following postulates of this value from fit proposal are examined: (a) People will be more inclined toward goal means that have higher regulatory fit, (b) people's motivation during goal pursuit will be stronger when regulatory fit is higher, (c) people's (prospective) feelings about a choice they might make will be more positive for a desirable choice and more negative for an undesirable choice when regulatory fit is higher, (d) people's (retrospective) evaluations of past decisions or goal pursuits will be more positive when regulatory fit was higher, and (e) people will assign higher value to an object that was chosen with higher regulatory fit. Studies testing each of these postulates support the value-from-fit proposal. How value from fit can enhance or diminish the value of goal pursuits and the quality of life itself is discussed.

1,540 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This article presented a new approach to culture and cognition, which focuses on the dynamics through which specific pieces of cultural knowledge (implicit theories) become operative in guiding the construction of meaning from a stimulus.
Abstract: The authors present a new approach to culture and cognition, which focuses on the dynamics through which specific pieces of cultural knowledge (implicit theories) become operative in guiding the construction of meaning from a stimulus. Whether a construct comes to the fore in a perceiver's mind depends on the extent to which the construct is highly accessible (because of recent exposure). In a series of cognitive priming experiments, the authors simulated the experience of bicultural individuals (people who have internalized two cultures) of switching between different cultural frames in response to culturally laden symbols. The authors discuss how this dynamic, constructivist approach illuminates (a) when cultural constructs are potent drivers of behavior and (b) how bicultural individuals may control the cognitive effects of culture.

1,481 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Current findings on parental influences provide more sophisticated and less deterministic explanations than did earlier theory and research on parenting and indicate that parental influences on child development are neither as unambiguous as earlier researchers suggested nor as insubstantial as current critics claim.
Abstract: Current findings on parental influences provide more sophisticated and less deterministic explanations than did earlier theory and research on parenting. Contemporary research approaches include (a) behavior-genetic designs, augmented with direct measures of potential environmental influences; (b) studies distinguishing among children with different genetically influenced predispositions in terms of their responses to different environmental conditions; (c) experimental and quasi-experimental studies of change in children's behavior as a result of their exposure to parents' behavior, after controlling for children's initial characteristics; and (d) research on interactions between parenting and nonfamilial environmental influences and contexts, illustrating contemporary concern with influences beyond the parent-child dyad. These approaches indicate that parental influences on child development are neither as unambiguous as earlier researchers suggested nor as insubstantial as current critics claim.

1,438 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Optimism promises to be one of the important topics of interest to positive social science, as long as it is approached in an even-handed way.
Abstract: Recent theoretical discussions of optimism as an inherent aspect of human nature converge with empirical investigations of optimism as an individual difference to show that optimism can be a highly beneficial psychological characteristic linked to good mood, perseverance, achievement, and physical health. Questions remain about optimism as a research topic and more generally as a societal value. Is the meaning of optimism richer than its current conceptualization in cognitive terms? Are optimism and pessimism mutually exclusive? What is the relationship between optimism and reality, and what are the costs of optimistic beliefs that prove to be wrong? How can optimism be cultivated? How does optimism play itself out across different cultures? Optimism promises to be one of the important topics of interest to positive social science, as long as it is approached in an even-handed way.

1,390 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A program of research tested the implications of cognitive adaptation theory and research on positive illusions for the relation of positive beliefs to disease progression among men infected with HIV to suggest psychological beliefs such as meaning, control, and optimism may not only preserve mental health in the context of traumatic or life-threatening events but be protective of physical health as well.
Abstract: Psychological beliefs such as optimism, personal control, and a sense of meaning are known to be protective of mental health. Are they protective of physical health as well? The authors present a program of research that has tested the implications of cognitive adaptation theory and research on positive illusions for the relation of positive beliefs to disease progression among men infected with HIV. The investigations have revealed that even unrealistically optimistic beliefs about the future may be health protective. The ability to find meaning in the experience is also associated with a less rapid course of illness. Taken together, the research suggests that psychological beliefs such as meaning, control, and optimism act as resources, which may not only preserve mental health in the context of traumatic or life-threatening events but be protective of physical health as well.

Journal ArticleDOI
David G. Myers1
TL;DR: This article found that most people report being at least moderately happy regardless of age and gender, regardless of economic growth and personal income, close relationships, and religious faith as predictors of subjective well-being.
Abstract: New studies are revealing predictors of subjective well-being, often assessed as self-reported happiness and life satisfaction. Worldwide, most people report being at least moderately happy, regardless of age and gender. As part of their scientific pursuit of happiness, researchers have examined possible associations between happiness and (a) economic growth and personal income, (b) close relationships, and (c) religious faith.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors conclude with a new theoretical perspective that characterizes wisdom as a cognitive and motivational metaheuristic (pragmatic) that organizes and orchestrates knowledge toward human excellence in mind and virtue, both individually and collectively.
Abstract: The primary focus of this article is on the presentation of wisdom research conducted under the heading of the Berlin wisdom paradigm Informed by a cultural-historical analysis, wisdom in this paradigm is defined as an expert knowledge system concerning the fundamental pragmatics of life These include knowledge and judgment about the meaning and conduct of life and the orchestration of human development toward excellence while attending conjointly to personal and collective well-being Measurement includes think-aloud protocols concerning various problems of life associated with life planning, life management, and life review Responses are evaluated with reference to a family of 5 criteria: rich factual and procedural knowledge, lifespan contextualism, relativism of values and life priorities, and recognition and management of uncertainty A series of studies is reported that aim to describe, explain, and optimize wisdom The authors conclude with a new theoretical perspective that characterizes wisdom as a cognitive and motivational metaheuristic (pragmatic) that organizes and orchestrates knowledge toward human excellence in mind and virtue, both individually and collectively

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: There is an increasing amount of high quality research on stress and coping that suggests the field is finally maturing, and this research may help reduce the long-standing gap between research and clinical practice.
Abstract: In commenting in considerable detail on the four main articles in the special section on stress and coping, the author comes to two main conclusions: First, there is an increasing amount of high quality research on stress and coping that suggests the field is finally maturing, and this research may help reduce the long-standing gap between research and clinical practice. Second, this research is increasingly using badly needed research designs that have not hitherto been sufficiently emphasized, such as longitudinal or prospective designs, focused on observations that are day-to-day, microanalytic, and in-depth, and that are compatible with a holistic outlook. The author also addresses the role of positive emotion in coping, the concept of defense as it is dealt with nowadays, and the task of evaluating coping efficacy.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Individual differences in this circuitry are reviewed, with an emphasis on asymmetries within the PFC and activation of the amygdala as 2 key components of affective style.
Abstract: The brain circuitry underlying emotion includes several territories of the prefrontal cortex (PFC), the amygdala, hippocampus, anterior cingulate, and related structures. In general, the PFC represents emotion in the absence of immediately present incentives and thus plays a crucial role in the anticipation of the future affective consequences of action, as well as in the persistence of emotion following the offset of an elicitor. The functions of the other structures in this circuit are also considered. Individual differences in this circuitry are reviewed, with an emphasis on asymmetries within the PFC and activation of the amygdala as 2 key components of affective style. These individual differences are related to both behavioral and biological variables associated with affective style and emotion regulation. Plasticity in this circuitry and its implications for transforming emotion and cultivating positive affect and resilience are considered.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is argued that unduly influenced by the ideology of economics and rational-choice theory, modern American society has created an excess of freedom, with resulting increases in people's dissatisfaction with their lives and in clinical depression.
Abstract: Americans now live in a time and a place in which freedom and autonomy are valued above all else and in which expanded opportunities for self-determination are regarded as a sign of the psychological well-being of individuals and the moral well-being of the culture. This article argues that freedom, autonomy, and self-determination can become excessive, and that when that happens, freedom can be experienced as a kind of tyranny. The article further argues that unduly influenced by the ideology of economics and rational-choice theory, modern American society has created an excess of freedom, with resulting increases in people's dissatisfaction with their lives and in clinical depression. One significant task for a future psychology of optimal functioning is to deemphasize individual freedom and to determine which cultural constraints are necessary for people to live meaningful and satisfying lives.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Support seeking was highest for diseases viewed as stigmatizing and was lowest for less embarrassing but equally devastating disorders, such as heart disease, and implications for social comparison theory and its applications in health care are discussed.
Abstract: More Americans try to change their health behaviors through self-help than through all other forms of professionally designed programs. Mutual support groups, involving little or no cost to participants, have a powerful effect on mental and physical health, yet little is known about patterns of support group participation in health care. What kinds of illness experiences prompt patients to seek each other's company? In an effort to observe social comparison processes with real-world relevance, support group participation was measured for 20 disease categories in 4 metropolitan areas (New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Dallas) and on 2 on-line forums. Support seeking was highest for diseases viewed as stigmatizing (e.g., AIDS, alcoholism, breast and prostate cancer) and was lowest for less embarrassing but equally devastating disorders, such as heart disease. The authors discuss implications for social comparison theory and its applications in health care.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, a model specifies an integrated set of triple vulnerabilities: a generalized biological (heritable) vulnerability, a generalized psychological vulnerability based on early experiences in developing a sense of control over salient events, and a more specific psychological vulnerability in which one learns to focus anxiety on specific objects or situations.
Abstract: The ascendance of emotion theory, recent advances in cognitive science and neuroscience, and increasingly important findings from developmental psychology and learning make possible an integrative account of the nature and etiology of anxiety and its disorders. This model specifies an integrated set of triple vulnerabilities: a generalized biological (heritable) vulnerability, a generalized psychological vulnerability based on early experiences in developing a sense of control over salient events, and a more specific psychological vulnerability in which one learns to focus anxiety on specific objects or situations. The author recounts the development of anxiety and related disorders based on these triple vulnerabilities and discusses implications for the classification of emotional disorders.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Progress has been made in understanding creativity since J. P. Guilford's call to arms and more is known than ever before about how individuals achieve this special and significant form of optimal human functioning.
Abstract: Although many psychologists have expressed an interest in the phenomenon of creativity, psychological research on this topic did not rapidly expand until after J. P. Guilford claimed, in his 1950 APA presidential address, that this topic deserved far more attention than it was then receiving. This article reviews the progress psychologists have made in understanding creativity since Guilford's call to arms. Research progress has taken place on 4 fronts: the cognitive processes involved in the creative act, the distinctive characteristics of the creative person, the development and manifestation of creativity across the individual life span, and the social environments most strongly associated with creative activity. Although some important questions remain unanswered, psychologists now know more than ever before about how individuals achieve this special and significant form of optimal human functioning.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors explore potential mechanisms linking pleasant feelings and good health, including direct effects of positive affect on physiology, especially the immune system, the information value of emotional experiences, the psychological resources engendered by positive feeling states, and the ways in which mood can motivate health-relevant behaviors, and elicitation of social support.
Abstract: Positive emotional states may promote healthy perceptions, beliefs, and physical well-being itself. To explore potential mechanisms linking pleasant feelings and good health, the authors consider several lines of research, including (a) direct effects of positive affect on physiology, especially the immune system, (b) the information value of emotional experiences, (c) the psychological resources engendered by positive feeling states, (d) the ways in which mood can motivate health-relevant behaviors, and (e) the elicitation of social support. As anticipated by the Greek physician Hippocrates, positive emotions and healthy outcomes may be linked through multiple pathways.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This section offers a survey of the state of the art in theory and research on stress and adaptational processes, and the strengths and limits of individual coping efforts and the need for realistic expectations and redoubled efforts.
Abstract: Coping is among the most widely studied topics in contemporary psychology. However, the explosion of interest in coping has yielded little and the field is in crisis. This section offers a survey of the state of the art in theory and research on stress and adaptational processes. The four core articles in the section take up, respectively, problems in research design, the neglect of unconscious reactions to stress, the selection of adaptational outcomes, and the link between research on adaptational processes and clinical practice. The final article by Richard S. Lazarus offers a commentary. The present introduction provides the historical backdrop for the section. Then, after a brief overview of research on adaptational processes, the authors summarize the scope and yield of coping research and preview the four core articles in the section. The strengths and limits of individual coping efforts and the need for realistic expectations and redoubled efforts are discussed.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors describe recent developments in the use of within-person, process-oriented methods that examine individuals intensively over time that provide new opportunities to examine the purported mechanisms of therapeutic interventions.
Abstract: For decades, coping researchers have used between-person designs to address inherently within-person questions derived from theory and clinical practice. The authors describe recent developments in the use of within-person, process-oriented methods that examine individuals intensively over time. Ongoing studies of stress and alcohol consumption, the effects of depression on adaptational processes, and the temporal dynamics of coping with chronic pain demonstrate that by tracking rapidly fluctuating processes such as mood and coping close to their real-time occurrence, daily process designs offer unique insights into conceptually and clinically challenging questions. Such designs also provide new opportunities to examine the purported mechanisms of therapeutic interventions. Despite its demands on participants and investigators, daily process research offers fresh opportunities to link psychological theory, research, and practice.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Understanding evolved mechanisms that produce deep sources of happiness--the selective processes that designed them, their evolved functions, and the contexts governing their activation--offers the best hope for holding some evolved mechanisms in check and selectively activating others to produce an overall increment in human happiness.
Abstract: An evolutionary perspective offers novel insights into some major obstacles to achieving happiness. Impediments include large discrepancies between modern and ancestral environments, the existence of evolved mechanisms "designed" to produce subjective distress, and the fact that evolution by selection has produced competitive mechanisms that function to benefit one person at the expense of others. On the positive side, people also possess evolved mechanisms that produce deep sources of happiness: those for mating bonds, deep friendship, close kinship, and cooperative coalitions. Understanding these psychological mechanisms--the selective processes that designed them, their evolved functions, and the contexts governing their activation--offers the best hope for holding some evolved mechanisms in check and selectively activating others to produce an overall increment in human happiness.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Community-based social marketing is an attractive alternative approach in which promoters identify the activity to be promoted and the barriers to this activity and then design a strategy to overcome these barriers, using psychological knowledge regarding behavior change.
Abstract: Psychology has a central role to play in speeding the transition to a sustainable future, because a central aspect of sustainability is widespread behavior change. To date, however, most programs promoting sustainable behavior have featured information-intensive campaigns that make little use of psychological knowledge. Community-based social marketing is an attractive alternative approach in which promoters identify the activity to be promoted and the barriers to this activity and then design a strategy to overcome these barriers, using psychological knowledge regarding behavior change. The strategy is piloted to test its effectiveness and later evaluated when it is implemented on a broader scale. Unlike many information-intensive campaigns, community-based social marketing has been shown to have a much greater probability of promoting sustainable behavior. Two case studies are provided to illustrate the approach and its possible results.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors highlight evidence of cultural variations and note ways in which attachment theory is laden with Western values and meaning, and call for an indigenous approach to the psychology of attachment.
Abstract: Attachment theorists maintain that cultural differences are relatively minor, and they focus on universals. Here the authors highlight evidence of cultural variations and note ways in which attachment theory is laden with Western values and meaning. Comparisons of the United States and Japan highlight the cultural relativity of 3 core hypotheses of attachment theory: that caregiver sensitivity leads to secure attachment, that secure attachment leads to later social competence, and that children who are securely attached use the primary caregiver as a secure base for exploring the external world. Attachment theorists use measures of sensitivity, competence, and secure base that are biased toward Western ways of thinking: The measures emphasize the child's autonomy, individuation, and exploration. In Japan, sensitivity, competence, and secure base are viewed very differently, calling into question the universality of fundamental tenets of attachment theory. The authors call for an indigenous approach to the psychology of attachment.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Process studies of interventions designed to improve coping provide an alternative to fruitless and potentially misleading correlational studies using checklists and might also aid in understanding and refining intervention strategies.
Abstract: Two distinct literatures have contributed to a tremendous growth of interest in coping. The 1st consists of descriptive studies that have used coping checklists. This literature is in crisis because of its failure to yield substantive findings concerning the role of coping in adaptation that cannot be dismissed as truisms, trivia, or the product of a confounding of stress, coping, and distress. The 2nd literature concerns interventions to improve adaptation by enhancing coping. It provides evidence of the efficacy of intervention but provides little understanding of crucial ingredients, mechanisms of change, or barriers to maintaining gains. Both literatures would benefit from cross-fertilization. Process studies of interventions designed to improve coping provide an alternative to fruitless and potentially misleading correlational studies using checklists. Such studies might also aid in understanding and refining intervention strategies.

Journal ArticleDOI
Ellen Winner1
TL;DR: Few gifted children go on to become adult creators because the skills and personality factors required to be a creator are very different from those typical of even the most highly gifted children.
Abstract: Five issues about giftedness are discussed. First, the origins of giftedness are explored. The view that giftedness is entirely a product of training is critiqued. There is indirect evidence for atypical brain organization and innate talent in gifted children: Many gifted children and savants have enhanced right-hemisphere development, language-related difficulties, and autoimmune disorders. Second, the intense motivation of gifted children is discussed. Third, it is argued that gifted children have social and emotional difficulties that set them apart. Fourth, evidence for the often uneven cognitive profiles of such children is presented. Finally, the relationship between childhood giftedness and "domain" creativity in adulthood is discussed. Few gifted children go on to become adult creators because the skills and personality factors required to be a creator are very different from those typical of even the most highly gifted children.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The sustainability of human life on Earth in the future is in danger as mentioned in this paper, and urgent changes to human lifestyles and cultural practices are required for the world to escape ecological disaster, and psychologists should lead the way in helping people adopt sustainable patterns of living.
Abstract: The sustainability of human life on Earth in the future is in danger. Human actions are producing many harmful and possibly irreversible changes to the environmental conditions that support life on Earth. This article summarizes major threats to Earth's environment, including global warming, ozone layer destruction, exhaustion of fisheries and agricultural land, and widespread exposure to toxic chemicals. Unless they are overcome, these changes will make human life increasingly miserable and eventually may make Earth nearly uninhabitable for future generations. These threats are caused by patterns of human behavior, particularly over-population and over-consumption. Urgent changes to human lifestyles and cultural practices are required for the world to escape ecological disaster, and psychologists should lead the way in helping people adopt sustainable patterns of living. Specific steps toward that goal are proposed in this and the following four articles.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors link the transformational qualities of defenses at the mature end of the DSM-IV to positive psychology and demonstrate the validity of mature defenses and their contribution in positive psychology.
Abstract: Psychology needs a metric for positive mental health that would be analogous to the IQ tests that measure above-average intelligence. The Defensive Function Scale of the DSM-IV offers a possible metric. In the present article the author links the transformational qualities of defenses at the mature end of the Defensive Function Scale--altruism, suppression, humor, anticipation, and sublimation--to positive psychology. First, the methodological problems involved in the reliable assessment of defenses are acknowledged. Next, the use of prospective longitudinal study to overcome such difficulties and to provide more reliable definition and measurement of defenses is outlined. Evidence is also offered that, unlike many psychological measures, the maturity of defenses is quite independent of social class, education, and IQ. Last, evidence is offered to illustrate the validity of mature defenses and their contribution to positive psychology.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors enumerates 8 widely held beliefs about human-environment interactions and assesses the strengths and limitations of each belief, concluding that psychology can contribute more strongly by counteracting disciplinary biases, focusing research where a behavioral analysis identifies major opportunities, making appropriately modest claims, collaborating with other disciplines, and building on psychology's relative strengths among the human sciences.
Abstract: Psychology has an indispensable role in understanding environmental problems and finding solutions. To fill this role, psychologists must work within an interdisciplinary effort to build a scientific understanding of human-environment interactions. This article enumerates 8 widely held beliefs about these interactions and assesses the strengths and limitations of each belief. It suggests that psychology can contribute more strongly by counteracting disciplinary biases, focusing research where a behavioral analysis identifies major opportunities, making appropriately modest claims, collaborating with other disciplines, and building on psychology's relative strengths among the human sciences.