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Psychologists to Discuss Quality of
Life and Positive Psychology

Posted November 30, 2000

HOLLAND -- Two internationally-known psychologists will give talks related to the quality of life and positive psychology on Thursday-Friday, Dec. 7-8.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi will present "Flow and the Quality of Life" on Thursday, Dec. 7, at 11 a.m. in Room 102 of VanderWerf Hall. Martin Seligman will present "Positive Psychology" on Friday, Dec. 8, at 3:30 p.m. in Wichers Auditorium of Nykerk Hall of Music.

The public is invited to both addresses. Admission is free.

Csikszentmihalyi, a Hungarian-born polymath and the Davidson Professor of Management at the Claremont Graduate University, in Claremont, Calif., has been thinking about the meaning of happiness since he was a child in wartime Europe. His research and theories in the psychology of optimal experience have been adopted in practice by national leaders such as Bill Clinton and Tony Blair, as well as top executives who run major corporations.

Csikszentmihalyi is the author of several popular books about his theories, the bestselling "Flow: The Psychology Of Optimal Experience"; "The Evolving Self: A Psychology For The Third Millennium"; "Creativity"; and "Finding Flow." "The Wall Street Journal" has listed "Flow" among the six books "every well-stocked business library should have."

Seligman is an expert in the areas of learned helplessness, depression, optimism and pessimism. He is currently Fox Leadership Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.

He is well known in academic and clinical circles, and is a best-selling author. His bibliography includes 15 books and 150 articles on motivation and personality. Among his better-known works are "Learned Optimism," "What You Can Change & What You Can't," "The Optimistic Child," "Helplessness," and "Abnormal Psychology."

In 1996, Seligman was elected president of the American Psychological Association, by the largest vote in modern history. His primary aim as APA president was to join practice and science together so both might flourish, a goal that has dominated his own life as a psychologist. His major initiatives concerned the prevention of ethnopolitical warfare and the study of positive psychology.

Both psychologists will be on campus for an invitation-only professional conference running at Hope on Friday-Sunday, Dec. 8-10. The conference, "Positive Psychology: Alternatives to Materialism," is examining the issue of resource consumption and its effects on society, particularly the way that increased consumption can lead to materialism. Approximately 30 internationally-known psychologists are scheduled to attend the event.

VanderWerf Hall is located on Graves Place (11th Street between Central and Colleges avenues. Nykerk Hall of Music is located in the middle of campus, between College and Columbia avenues along the former 12th Street.

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