Authentic Happiness

by Martin E. P. Seligman, Ph.D.
Drawing on groundbreaking psychological research, Seligman shows how Positive Psychology is shifting the profession’s paradigm away from its narrow-minded focus on pathology, victimology, and mental illness to positive emotion, virtue and strength, and positive institutions. Our signature strengths can be nurtured throughout our lives, with benefits to our health, relationships, and careers. Seligman provides the Signature Strengths Survey along with a variety of brief tests that can be used to measure how much positive emotion readers experience, in order to help determine what their highest strengths are. The life-changing lessons of Authentic Happiness help us identify the very best in ourselves, so we can improve the world around us and achieve new and sustainable levels of authentic contentment, gratification, and meaning.

“Martin Seligman is the leading spokesman for the new movement of positive psychology, which focuses on mental health rather than mental illness. In this most helpful book he identifies characteristics and strategies of people with positive outlooks and explains how you can cultivate and experience authentic happiness and other desirable emotional states more of the time. Professor Seligman makes me optimistic and authentically happy about the future of psychology.”

—Andrew Weil, M.D.

“Authentic Happiness is a must read for two groups of people: anyone interested in a deeper, sophisticated, more integrated treatment of the Positive Psychology movement; and those people who struggle for greater contentment in their daily lives. This book can make the world a better place for all human beings. I intend to buy it for all of my friends who have visions of a better world.”

—Don Clifton, co-author of "Now, Discover Your Strengths"

“The Constitution may guarantee the right to pursue happiness, but it doesn’t offer clear paths to follow through the wilderness. Seligman does. By turns smart, funny, irreverent, and insightful, he is the perfect guide, someone who can make such a difference in life, and lives. A world hungry for happiness will love his new book.”

—Diane Ackerman, author of "A Natural History of the Senses"

“Authentic Happiness is written with grace, power, eminent intelligence, incisive scholarship and-equally important-kindness. Seligman has provided readers from every walk of life with one of the very few authentic self-improvement books in existence.”

—George Vaillant, Director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development and author of "Aging Well"

“To read this book is to walk with your head floating in clouds of possibility while your feet tread firmly on the ground of scientific research. Dr. Seligman gives us the tools to tap into our greatest strengths, so that we can live more joyously while making a greater contribution to loved ones, work and community.”

—Joan Oliver Goldsmith, author of "How Can We Keep from Singing: Music and the Passionate Life"

“Authentic Happiness is an excellent book about emotions that are vital, positive, and lend great strength to our lives. Martin Seligman, a pioneer in the field of positive emotions, has written a book that will make a real difference to many people.”

—Kay Redfield Jamison, author of "An Unquiet Mind"

“An impressive achievement. This book will change how people view psychology and how all of us view ourselves.”

—Howard Gardner, Harvard University, author of "Multiple Intelligences"

“Authentic Happiness is delightful and richly insightful. Martin Seligman has written a very practical book guiding readers to make positive choices in life.”

—Caroline Myss, author of "Sacred Contracts"

“Seligman takes the best, most recent science in psychology and applies it to our oldest, most basic human questions—how can we be happy? And how can we be good? His book is ground-breaking, heart-lifting and, most importantly, deeply useful. With pun intended, I’m optimistic about its success.”

—Mary Pipher, author of "Reviving Ophelia"

“Authentic Happiness is one of the most important books of our time. It offers a powerful message of hope for millions who long for a deeply satisfying life. Highly accessible and filled with practical advice, if you read it and use it, it will change your life.”

—Cheryl Richardson, author of "Stand Up for Your Life"

“An amazing book! Absolutely full of practical wisdom and its authentic sources. What depth of understanding! Seligman affirms our power of choice with a perspective on old and new psychology I found compelling and fascinating. This book will help restore the Character Ethic.”

—Dr. Stephen R. Covey, author of "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People"

“At last, psychology gets serious about glee, fun and happiness. Martin Seligman has given us a gift—a practical map for the perennial quest for a flourishing life.”

—Daniel Goleman, author of "Emotional Intelligence"

“Martin Seligman is one of the most original thinkers the social sciences have produced in our century. Authentic Happiness is a fascinating, compelling look at a body of ground-breaking research. An important book.”

—Jonathan Kellerman

“A revolutionary perspective on psychology, Seligman’s Authentic Happiness is a beacon for human behavior in the new century. Laypersons and professionals alike will find this book enormously enriching. It summarizes a huge literature, it provides concrete self-assessment tools, and it speaks with a joyful voice about what it means to be fully alive.”

—Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of "Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience"

“Martin Seligman is on a mission: to take the rich and surprising findings of a young field called Positive Psychology and use them to improve the mental, moral, and spiritual well-being of his readers. Being Positive Psychology's founder, as well as a vivid, inspiring writer, he is uniquely qualified for this job. Only one person could have written Authentic Happiness, but millions could benefit from it.”

—Robert Wright, author of "The Moral Animal"

“A highly insightful scientific and personal reflection on the nature of happiness, from one of the most creative and influential psychologists of our time.”

—Steven Pinker, Peter de Florez Professor of Psychology, MIT, and author of "The Language Instinct"

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Develop insights into yourself and the world around you through these scientifically tested questionnaires, surveys, and scales.

Featured Questionnaire:

Compassionate Love Scale
Measures your tendency to support, help, and understand other people

Emotion Questionnaires:

Authentic Happiness Inventory Questionnaire
Measures Overall Happiness

CES-D Questionnaire
Measures Depression Symptoms

Fordyce Emotions Questionnaire
Measures Current Happiness

General Happiness Questionnaire
Assesses Enduring Happiness

PANAS Questionnaire
Measures Positive and Negative Affect

Engagement Questionnaires:

Brief Strengths Test
Measures 24 Character Strengths

Gratitude Questionnaire
Measures Appreciation about the Past

Grit Survey
Measures the Character Strength of Perseverence

Optimism Test
Measures Optimism About the Future

Transgression Motivations Questionnaire
Measures Forgiveness

VIA Survey of Character Strengths
Measures 24 Character Strengths

VIA Strength Survey for Children
Measures 24 Character Strengths for Children

Work-Life Questionnaire
Measures Work-Life Satisfaction

Meaning Questionnaires:

Close Relationships Questionnaire
Measures Attachment Style

Compassionate Love Scale
Measures your tendency to support, help, and understand other people

Meaning in Life Questionnaire
Measures Meaningfulness

Life Satisfaction Questionnaires:

Approaches to Happiness Questionnaire
Measures Three Routes to Happiness

Satisfaction with Life Scale
Measures Life Satisfaction