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Post-Election Optimism

There were only glum faces around our Thanksgiving table this year. Hillary Clinton supporters all, my kids and their mates saw nothing to be thankful for. The specter of Donald Trump ascending to the most powerful position in the world cast a pall over the day and my kids—ranging in age from thirteen to twenty-seven—said with one voice that they had nothing to be optimistic about.

But I disagreed and I said so.

You likely feel the same way as my children, so let me start with a quiz:

Is the world getting better or worse?
Better Worse Not Changing Don’t Know

In the last thirty years has world poverty
Halved Doubled Not Changed Don’t Know

The Seligman Times
By Martin Seligman

When I started in 2002, I intended it to publicize my book, Authentic Happiness. I also wanted to let you take the tests--at no cost--that are the basis of the book and of Positive Psychology.

I was surprised by how popular this website became: Almost four and a half million people have registered here and taken the tests as of today. About two thousand new people register every day and this usage has been steady for years.

I was just as surprised by how popular Positive Psychology became, both in academia and with the public. There are now courses in most universities around the world and hundreds of millions of dollars in research grants and contracts. There are at least twenty national associations, the foremost being IPPA, Thousands of practitioners and scientists now call themselves “Positive Psychologists.” I number myself among them.

I find myself at the center of all these cross-currents. New articles, new books, new discoveries, new websites, new popular press, and fascinating new people and their projects, come my way almost daily. There are even whole new fields--Positive Education, Positive Neuroscience, Positive Health, Positive Humanities, Positive Theology, Prospective Psychology, and Positive Psychiatry.

So the time has come to expand and liven up this website by writing about the news in Positive Psychology and its allied fields. I call this section The Seligman Times, because I intend—at least at the outset—to write about the stuff that I personally fancy.